Commercial leasing is far more complex than residential leasing for several reasons. Leases tend to bind the parties for much longer periods of time in a commercial environment, making it all the more important that the lease terms are workable for both parties. In addition, the lease will likely include additional provisions for items like adaptation of the property to a particular commercial purpose, restrictions on use related to zoning and the interests of other tenants, and more. Finally, commercial tenants are generally not entitled to the special protections extended to residential tenants.
Ideally, both parties will have worked with experienced commercial leasing attorneys in the development of the lease, so that there is truly an informed meeting of the minds regarding the lease. Many problems arise when parties purchase generic lease forms or attempt to adapt leases from other properties without legal counsel, since issues specific to the rental agreement may not be adequately addressed.
Commercial Landlord / Tenant Litigation
A well-prepared lease diminishes the likelihood of landlord / tenant litigation, but it will not guarantee that no legal dispute will ever arise. When such a dispute does arise, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced commercial property litigator right away. Getting legal advice from the outset may even eliminate the need to pursue litigation. If litigation is required, having a knowledgeable guide from the beginning will ensure that you have not made missteps that might impact your claim later.
Commercial Property Litigation on Behalf of Tenants
If your commercial landlord is not fulfilling the obligations under your lease, those breaches may impact your business operations and your bottom line. Your possible remedies will depend upon the terms of your lease, so the first step toward exploring your options is to speak with an attorney who can review your lease and assess your options.
Take that step as soon as possible if you are a commercial tenant whose landlord has or is attempting to:
- Prematurely terminate your lease in violation of its terms
- Change the terms of your lease without your agreement
- Collect additional fees not provided for in your lease
- Deny or limit access to or use of space you have leased
- Fail or refuse to make repairs required under the terms of the lease
- Fail or refuse to make modifications as agreed in the lease
- Fail to provide additional services, such as security, required by the lease
Commercial Property Litigation on Behalf of Landlords
As a commercial landlord, your property is the core of your business, and we are here to help you protect that property and your ability to lease it profitably. Some common issues in commercial landlord / tenant relationships arise when tenants:
- Fail to make rental payments as agreed
- Wish to terminate the lease early without properly compensating you
- Damage the property through negligence or misuse
- Make modifications not provided for under the terms of the commercial lease
- Create liability for the landlord through improper use of the premises
- Inconvenience other tenants or otherwise reduce the value of adjacent space
If you are facing these or other issues with a commercial tenant, talk to an experienced commercial leasing attorney before you determine your next step.
Litigating Commercial Real Estate Claims
When a commercial landlord / tenant dispute cannot be resolved by agreement, litigation may be required. Most often, the case will take the form of a breach of contract action, in which one party asserts that the other has breached the terms of the lease. It is common for counter-claims to be asserted in such cases, with both the landlord and the tenant asserting breaches by the other party. As such, the litigation is often complex, and may, in some cases, involve injunctions that may disrupt one party’s business operations.
The Commercial Landlord / Tenant Litigation Team at KPPB is Here to Help
With years of experience in the commercial landlord / tenant law arena, we understand just how important it is that you have knowledgeable guidance and representation. Having the right attorney by your side to assess your options, negotiate on your behalf, assemble evidence, identify claims or counter-claims, and effectively argue your case can make the difference between a thriving business and one that is stalled and losing money because of someone else’s breach.
The attorneys at KPPB have helped many parties in commercial landlord / tenant disputes reach favorable resolutions, and we have the experience necessary to protect your rights and steer your case toward the best resolution possible. Contact KPPB LAW for more information.