A recent off hand statement by a Landlord’s attorney got me thinking. I was representing a national retailer in a lease negotiation. We got to an issue that sophisticated landlords typically ask for and most retailers typically concede. Our client, however, does not typically concede the issue. The issue has unique meaning for our client because of their specific line of business. When I told Landlord’s attorney that we do not ever agree to it, his response was “Boy, I wish I was a tenant attorney these days.”
I then tried to explain to him that this was not a case of the Tenant trying to take advantage of a down market, or exploiting some perception of leverage. Rather, this retailer was different from other retailers when considering their product mix and customer base. And so it was a special business issue, not trying to take advantage; and I meant it !
Taking advantage of a superior bargaining position is not always the best thing for anyone. If you take undue advantage, you can be sure the other side will remember it. Then, in the next deal where you may not have the advantage, issues that should be conceded in your favor may not get conceded. Or during the relationship you might find you need a favor or just cooperation. If you have soured the relationship because of taking undue advantage, the other side may not be so quick to help out.
So the point is to negotiate for what you really need. Do not demand more than you need or refuse to give what you can. Protect your client’s real concern. Anything more may harm the client more than it helps.