When Landlord-Tenant Disputes Arise
Many companies profit by renting as opposed to purchasing commercial space and the success of your business can, in large part, depend on the terms you negotiate in a commercial lease.
Knowing your rights as either a tenant or a landlord can save you a lot of time, money and frustration. When one or both parties to a lease fail to thoroughly review all related terms and conditions, a lease can become a source of legal dispute or disagreement.
Disputes between landlords and tenants can take many forms — from upkeep, maintenance and repair issues to nonpayment of rent and potential eviction.
Common examples of commercial lease disputes involve issues related to:
- Early termination
- Subleasing and assignments
- Respective duties of landlord and tenant
- Repairs and modifications to the premises
- Common area maintenance (CAM) and responsibilities
Resolving a commercial lease dispute involves an interaction between business, contract and real estate laws. At the Law Offices of Susan D. Stein, Ms. Stein draws upon decades of knowledge and uses her mediation skills in an effort to resolve commercial lease disputes outside of court and avoid costly litigation.
Understanding Eviction Actions
Evictions under a commercial lease differ from residential eviction procedures. For example, a landlord of commercial property may accept partial rent payments and still proceed with an eviction. Notice periods for eviction are typically stipulated in the lease whereas notice periods in residential tenancies are statutory.
In California, most commercial landlords use one of the standard “AIR” leases, tailored to the landlord’s and tenant’s specifications. In theory, all terms and provisions of the lease are negotiable: rent, physical changes, time, whether to arbitrate and mediate disputes and even how to handle building defects. There are frequently trade-offs of one term for another, but typically, the changes a tenant wants are accepted without objection.
Proactive Legal Counsel In Commercial And Residential Real Estate Matters
Although parties to a lease may be represented by real estate agents and/or attorneys, it is vital that you take the time to carefully review a lease. Ms. Stein is frequently surprised by how many of her clients have not read their leases until there is a breach, at which time she becomes involved. In negotiating the terms of your lease, try to think of what could go wrong and how it should be handled.