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The Structure of a Retail Lease
John D. Benjamin and Peter Chinloy

Start Page: 223
End Page: 236
Volume: 26
Issue Number: 02
Year: 2004
Publication: Journal of Real Estate Research

Abstract: This paper develops an option-theoretic model of a retail lease. The standard retail lease contains provisions for a security deposit, a base rent, and a percentage rent or a sharing between
landlord and tenant of rent revenue above a preset sales threshold or break point level. The findings show that the tradeoff between the security deposit and base rent provisions is independent of
percentage rent. The function of the security deposit and percentage rent is to sort separate tails of the distribution of tenants and landlords. Low-quality tenants are charged higher security deposits or are sorted from other tenants by their inability to pay them. High-quality tenants use percentage rent provisions as a method of distinguishing between landlords. Landlords who maintain capital expenditures and who have financial staying power are more likely to collect percentage rent.

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