Yours and Your Landlord's Responsibilities in Leasing or Renting Salon Space


3 types of salon leasing or rent options

What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
What my landlord’s responsibilities?

The answers to the above questions will depend on what relationship structure you have with the landlord. There are 3 main ways to rent salon space in Albuquerque. (There are many more, but these are the most common)

  1. You can lease a space in a commercial building and open your own salon.

  2. You can lease a suite or studio in a commercial building.

  3. You can rent/lease a chair from a booth rental salon.

In all 3 cases, you will sign a lease and pay a deposit. The lease will spell out the responsibilities of both parties. Be sure to have an attorney look over the lease before you sign if you have any questions.


About Leasing Commercial Space

Your #1 responsibility will be to pay your rent on time.


The lease can be very long and complicated. Most commercial leases (even for salons) are difficult to get out of. And the lease can require you to continue to pay the rent even if, for whatever reason, you close the business before the lease term ends.


The landlord will stay completely out of your business. The landlord’s main concern is for the condition of the building and receiving the rent on time. The landlord will include a CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charge in your rent. The CAM pays a lot of different things and can vary from landlord to landlord.


Maintaining the building on the outside is pretty much up to the landlord. Painting the outside, taking care of landscaping, providing security, and repairing any damage. The CAM which you pay will pay for all of those things.

The inside of the building will be your responsibility, including any buildout that you may have done before opening your salon. You will provide hot water heaters, washer and dryer, plumbing, and electrical--and also HVAC maintenance will all be up to you. And when anything breaks down inside the space, it will be your responsibility to repair it. Depending on your lease, you could be responsible for having to replace the air conditioner or heating unit. Watch out for that clause in the lease.


Your utilities will all be your responsibility. You will also need insurance on your space and equipment. So, to make a long story short, it is safe to say that almost anything inside the space is your responsibility.


Leasing commercial space is a huge responsibility. Think long and hard about taking that on. It can be very rewarding if you are ready for it financially and emotionally. And on top of all that you will have the responsibilities of running your own business and managing employees or renters.


Your remaining 2 options are much less complicated because someone else is taking on all of the responsibilities described above. However, you still will have some responsibilities.


Leasing a Salon Studio/Suite

The landlord will provide the studio/suite/room. Most likely the studio will have a shampoo bowl, a styling chair, and a mirror. Some may provide more, and some may provide less.


The landlord, depending on your lease, will maintain anything that they provide. So if your sink developed a leak or your styling chair wasn’t working properly, the landlord would take care of it. However, anything that you purchase for your space would be up to you to repair, such as if your EyeVac quits working or your blow dryer. Anything like that is up to you.


Your #1 responsibility will be to pay your rent on time. It will also be your responsibility to furnish the studio space with whatever you personally would like. You will probably need more storage than is provided.


You will need to provide everything else that you need to run your business:

  • Supplies and products

  • Retail products

  • All tools for working

  • Towels

  • Trash can

  • Space for clean towels

  • Space for dirty towels

  • A mat for standing on if you want one.

  • Broom and dustpan or a broom and EyeVac

  • Booking app or appointment book

  • Social media promotion

  • Credit card processing

  • Renter's insurance

In a studio/suite situation, you will likely be able to decorate your space and personalize it to your own taste. Painting the studio is something to discuss with the landlord. Some landlords don’t allow tenants to paint and some do. Most landlords want you to be happy and comfortable in your space, so just talk to them.

I will be including another post on the business side of owning your own business, so check back on our website for that.

Salon Chair or Booth Rental

Note that you are still self-employed in a booth/chair rent situation. You set your own hours (within the salon's business hours). You set your own prices. You can come and go as you please. You are not an employee.


You are also responsible for promoting your own business.


The owner can provide more amenities or not, depending on the salon. The owner will provide a styling chair and a station, but it will not be in an enclosed area. They are usually in an open concept salon, where the chairs are next to each other. So, you'll have less privacy or personalization compared to a studio/suite situation.


The owner may provide some of these things:

  • Coffee and Water bottles or clients.

  • Some provide towels and towel service.

  • Some provide a receptionist or front desk person.

  • Back bar and retail

  • Extra storage

The amenities provided will vary from salon to salon. And some salons may not provide anything and leave that up to the renter. Your #1 responsibility will be to pay your rent on time.


In renting a booth or chair, you will provide:

  • All of your personal tools

  • Any product that you need, such as color, shampoo etc.

  • Retail products

  • Possibly towels, depending on the salon

  • Possibly a mat, if not provided by the salon

  • Booking app or appointment book

  • Social media promotion

  • Credit card processing

  • Renter's insurance

In all 3 leasing situations, I’m sure that I have not mentioned everything that you will need, but this will give you an idea of what to expect when you decide to take the "leap of faith."