Restaurant sale / lease? legal documents? - Posted by Adam

Posted by Adam on August 09, 2010 at 24:03:27:

I have a commercial building in a small town on a major highway. It was previously a restaurant.
The previous owners just walked away from it. It still has all the freezers, cookers, coffee pot, chair, tables, etc. The building has been sitting idle about 8 years.
It now needs some work. The roof is leaking, the pipes froze and broke, and it is basically really dirty and needs a very good cleaning.
I bought it has an investment a few years ago at county auction. I thought I would have time to fix up the place and resell it or rent it. However, I purchased 3 homes that month and I am still remodeling those homes and therefore I have had this place about 3 years now. I pay $30 for electricity connection every month and about $2,000 per year in taxes so I am losing money the longer I hold it.
Recently I have a church group inquire about renting it for meetings. And also I had a couple that wants to start a Bakery there. However, I do not have the time or money to invest into it to get it useable.
I told both groups that they could clean it up and make necessary repairs at their expense and I would not charge rent until they were actually using it for their meetings or business.
Should I ask for money? A Security deposit up front?
Is this idea good? It seems a bit strange to me that renters would be investing in the property but I would be happy the place would be getting fixed up. Although I think some expenses might be too costly and then they will come to me to put money in. I think it might need a furnace.
What kind of legal documents should be signed between parties? I am afraid they will sue me if they get hurt working there. Also I know the place has lead based paint.
The entire ceiling has the old square design tins (I hear these are worth some $$) it is beautiful but someone painted those with lead based paint, and now that paint is peeling off.
Ok, so I would like advice on what legal documents I would sign with these people and what I should request from them? Security deposit? I think it would be better to sell to them on a land contract instead of leasing? Any ideas here?