NNN vs. Gross Lease: Understanding the Differences in Commercial Real Estate Leasing

May 06, 2024

When it comes to leasing commercial real estate, there are various types of lease structures that landlords and tenants can negotiate. Two common types are NNN (Triple Net) leases and Gross leases. Understanding the differences between these two lease types is crucial for both landlords and tenants to make informed decisions.

What is an NNN Lease?

An NNN lease, also known as a Triple Net lease, is a lease agreement where the tenant is responsible for paying the base rent as well as the net real estate taxes, net building insurance, and net common area maintenance expenses. In essence, the tenant is responsible for all operating expenses associated with the property in addition to the base rent.

triple net lease

Understanding Gross Lease

On the other hand, a Gross lease, also known as a full-service lease, is a lease agreement where the landlord is responsible for paying all operating expenses associated with the property, including real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance costs. The tenant pays a fixed amount of rent, and the landlord covers the property expenses.

gross lease

Key Differences

The primary difference between NNN and Gross leases lies in the allocation of operating expenses. In an NNN lease, the tenant bears the burden of these expenses, while in a Gross lease, the landlord assumes the responsibility.

Considerations for Tenants

For tenants, understanding the differences between NNN and Gross leases is crucial for budgeting and financial planning. In an NNN lease, while the base rent may be lower, the tenant is responsible for variable operating expenses, which can result in fluctuating monthly costs. On the other hand, a Gross lease offers more predictable monthly expenses, as the tenant pays a fixed rent amount.

commercial real estate

Considerations for Landlords

For landlords, the choice between NNN and Gross leases impacts their cash flow and risk exposure. NNN leases can provide a more stable income stream for landlords, as operating expenses are passed on to the tenant. However, in a Gross lease, landlords have more control over property expenses but may need to adjust the base rent to accommodate fluctuating costs.

Which Lease is Right for You?

Ultimately, the decision between an NNN and Gross lease depends on the specific needs and preferences of both landlords and tenants. Tenants who prioritize cost predictability may prefer a Gross lease, while those seeking potential cost savings based on their usage may lean towards an NNN lease. Landlords should consider their risk tolerance and financial goals when choosing the appropriate lease structure.

Understanding the nuances of NNN and Gross leases is essential for making informed decisions in commercial real estate leasing. By carefully evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of each lease type, both landlords and tenants can negotiate lease agreements that align with their financial objectives and risk tolerance.