A modest suggestion: When you’re dealing with real estate, eliminated demised from your contracts.

For purposes of real-estate contracts, demise means “to convey by will or lease.” There’s always a simpler word.

The following example is from the contract providing for Jeff Bezos’s acquisition of the Washington Post (discussed in this post):

The Seller shall lease to the Purchaser sufficient office space for the conduct of the Post Business in the Seller’s office buildings located in downtown Washington, D.C. … for a period of two years, with two extension options of six months each exercisable by the Purchaser. … The lease shall provide for an allocation of building parking spaces based on the ratio of the demised premises’ square footage [read of the leased space] to the total square footage in the buildings.

If in the first sentence it’s OK to refer to leasing space, there’s no reason why that shouldn’t work for the subsequent sentence too.


About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.