Closure in a Landlord-Tenant Case

You cannot always get what you want, but in court sometimes, you get what you need.  Such was the case recently in a landlord-tenant dispute on a commercial property. The Tenant was paying rent; the Landlord was not cashing the checks. When the Landlord leased the space, he did not realize there was a restriction against the Tenant’s business.  While the lease between them stated to only use this property for Purpose A, the Covenants and Restrictions stated that the property could not be used for Purpose A.  After the build out of the space, the Property Owner drove by and saw the problem. It was a mutual mistake.  The issue was that there was no adequate remedy under the law to fix it. Both sides were deeply prepared, and the case was argued well.  The facts came out, and the Judge figured out what to do:  he got the two sides to make a deal.  They agreed to a rescission, the Tenant kept his money from rent, and the Tenant got 90 days to move out. Something was going to happen one way or the other, and this gave the Tenant closure, which was the right thing for the […] Read More

Residential and Commercial Leases Are Different

With residential leases, you are not going to use a lawyer all the time to set up a rental.  A commercial lease, however, is more sophisticated. Residential landlords own the dirt and the building they are leasing out.  Commercial leases, however, have a lien on the stuff inside the building.  As a commercial tenant, you cannot just leave in the middle of the night.  Your landlord has a lien on your furnishings and equipment. Also, unlike a residential lease, a commercial landlord can put a chain on your door in certain circumstances, denying you access to your property and rental space. Do not get stuck in a lease you do not understand.  Whether it is residential or commercial, if you do not understand the terms of the lease, seek competent legal counsel to look over your shoulder.  An attorney who represents you and only you can help ensure you are getting wheat you think you are getting.   Read More

Does A Commercial Lease Have To Be Witnessed?

Commercial leases are usually for more than one year.  They are typically longer than residential leases because of build-out expenses (which you do not normally have with residential leases).  So, does a commercial lease have to be witnessed? Yes.  According to the Statute of Frauds, if an agreement is for more than one year it has to be witnessed…but it does not have to be notarized. You may want legal counsel to help ensure you get what you think you are getting in a contract, and also so that the agreement is properly executed and enforceable.   Read More