View Full Version : Short Term Leases

04-11-2010, 08:31 PM
This will be our first year as a pro haunt and everything has been coming along very well -- with one big exception. We're looking around for a location and have found several properties, but we run straight into a wall when we're dealing with the agent or property owners. None of them will agree to a short term lease of any kind.

The biggest reason they give is that they might lose the "big fish" -- the one that will buy their property or sign a long term lease. Now with properties that were recently vacant, I could understand, but these are buildings that have been empty for three to five years!

Any advice, tips or tricks I could use to make a deal? We're also trying to find temporary workshop space and I would like it to be in the same building, but it's been frustrating making that happen. Any help would be appreciated!

04-12-2010, 12:07 AM
Don't feel bad we also run into this same problem. We rent out our building space from July 1st-mid November for tear down. This will be our 4th straight year doing this and it is a MAJOR PAIN. I find that the big no no is never say it is for a "haunted house" I have been shut down right away from leasing agents. I find that works best is say "A Halloween haunted attraction" Our biggest problem is finding the perfect monthly rate, most places want $10,000-$12,000 a month for rent on buildings that have been vacant for many years. I don't know what these leasing agents are thinking?

Jay Dead
04-12-2010, 08:39 AM
Yes, list your use as holiday attraction, and you should do better. If you are also a member of IAHA or HHA, present your credentials. While they might not know what the associations are, bringing some clout along may be helpful.

What most cities or counties are looking for is your interest in public safety. I cant wait to start building my space - all the permits and inspections. :P because I can almost guarantee that your city official wont know diddly about the industry.

Jay Dead
p.s. I dont runa haunt, yet, but I do run a tattoo shop. We run into the same discrimination all across the world.

04-12-2010, 11:12 AM
We too had this problem when we decided to leave our trail behind and move into a building in the city. We roamed around town aimlessly looking for empty buildings and trying to find a realtor that would even consider a short term lease. After finding that many of them wouldn’t talk to us, or did not have the authority to make such a deal, we contacted a property management company. I told him what we needed and that we initially wanted a short term lease, but with the possibility of converting that to a long term lease after our season if all went well. Maybe we just got lucky, but I found a fellow that had a perfect building in his listings, and to top it off, he allowed us to bring the fire marshal and building inspector in BEFORE we signed a lease to find out exactly what we had to do to open. We took the building for four months initially, at a higher monthly rent than a long term of course. After the season we negotiated a much lower price for the year. And in our case, by making one annual rental payment in November, it got even cheaper. Good luck, and don’t give up.

04-12-2010, 11:40 AM
Some times they will not do a short term lease because they will write it off as a loss at the end of the year. Good luck, I hope you find a nice building to do your haunt in.

04-12-2010, 11:50 AM
Going through the exact same thing right now...trying to find a new location and so far no luck...still chugging ahead tho, can never stop the search, only have a few more months left!


04-12-2010, 01:42 PM
I wouldn't sign a short term lease unless I thought the location wasn't good, or I was worried I wouldn't do well. If you do great you don't want to move, you want to stay. Risk equals reward. Larry

04-12-2010, 02:41 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate all the info. The only reason we're seeking a short term vs a long term is that our budget is obviously tight and we want to put all we can into the haunt itself. And I think some more searching will help. Being in a tourist town a lot of the issues I face are owners thinking their property is worth a lot more than it is.

Thanks again!

04-12-2010, 05:39 PM
Ahh the dreaded dilemma...
We also had this problem (and do now since our building owner has decided to sell the building we are in and it's out of our budget and needs renovations that he won't do to get it up to code this year)...
Originally when we first started (before we bought ANYTHING) we had a place perfect in the middle of town with 9000 sq. ft. The owner was going to let us use it, we toured it, mapped out the dimensions, and went and bought the stuff off the local charity haunt that was selling it off. Well, the next day we called and he said that he decided not to let us use it (we had a handshake deal-and regardless were going to buy the stuff and do it no matter what) since he heard that possibly 4 people wanted to look at it long term. Well it was sitting there for a few years empty and guess what? It still sat there empty until last year! 4 more years!
He was probably writing it off (as he owns a tax company in town) and waiting on the 'big fish'...
So now I'm looking again...................

Keep your chin up...it will work out!


04-13-2010, 02:59 PM
This is off-topic a little but what does "writing it off" mean? I have been in business for a long time but admit I have never owned any commercial rental property. Are you allowed to write anything off on your taxes if it's just sitting there?

04-13-2010, 03:10 PM
Yes you can write off a portion of loss of rental income.