Much of the legal action in commercial real estate rental is toward tenants who breach the terms of their lease. While this is the most common situation, the landlord is sometimes at fault. How can a landlord breach a commercial property lease?
Increasing Rent Without Proper Notice
Your lease may state that rent may only increase upon lease negotiation or if your landlord gives adequate notice. Typically, a notice of a rent increase should be made no less than 60 days before it will take effect, but your lease may be written differently. It’s essential to understand what you can expect in terms of future rent increases by reading your lease carefully.
Not Making Timely, Necessary Repairs
Every landlord will be responsible for building or property repairs. Your lease may state that you, as the tenant, are responsible for property maintenance, like landscaping or replacing HVAC filters, while your landlord is responsible for others. These should all be clear in the lease to help avoid disputes. However, your landlord is most likely to make repairs, and they should be done promptly, especially if they may cause further damage to the building or affect your business.
Not Complying with Move-Out Terms
Every lease should clearly state the process for ending the lease early or moving out of the property once the lease ends. Just because the lease has ended or you are leaving the building doesn’t mean your protections have ended. Your landlord should work with you to ensure you have access to retrieve any business property while you also hold up your end of the lease by leaving the building clean and free of any unwanted property.
Evictions that Don’t Comply with Lease Terms
While the lease gives your landlord permission to evict you under certain circumstances, they still need to do it legally and within the terms of the lease. Most contracts will allow for partial rent payments to enable a tenant to continue doing business at the property. Once a partial rent payment has been accepted, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for non-payment. A landlord must also give adequate notice of eviction. Sufficient notice will vary depending on the reason for the eviction, but these time frames should be stated clearly in your lease.
If you are renting a commercial property and your landlord may have breached the terms of your lease, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate and business attorney who understands the complexities of commercial property leasing. Contact the Law Offices of S. Mark Burr to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.