Dos & Don'ts

Don't Use 'To Code' as Sole Work Letter Standard

June 23, 2022    

When negotiating the terms of a work letter with a tenant, don’t just agree to do a particular item of work “to code,” without listing any specifics or limitations. When not properly defined or limited, the phrase “to code” can be the source of confusion,...

Consider Seeking Lower Tax Assessment If Tenant Pays Below-Market Rent

June 23, 2022    

In these tough times, landlords need to find ways to turn lemons into lemonade. One example is considering whether the lemon of the tenant who’s paying below-market rent might yield sweet lemonade in the form of a reduction in your property tax assessment. This recipe has worked for many...

Don't Rely on Tenant's Efforts to Re-Rent Vacant Space

January 26, 2022    

Don’t ease up on your efforts to re-rent space that a tenant has vacated early—even if the tenant is doing its own search for somebody to take over its rent obligations. While spending your own time and money might seem like a needless reduplication of effort, sitting back and...

Follow Special Lease Requirements When Providing Default Notice

January 26, 2022    

Before notifying a tenant that it’s in default, be sure to check the lease to see if it includes any special requirements. If so, follow those requirements to the letter, or you could end up losing your eviction and other remedy rights.

Don't Make Defaulting Tenant Guess on Months of Nonpayment

January 3, 2022    

Don’t send tenants a default notice for nonpayment of rent that doesn’t specifically identify the months. Failing to list the months of nonpayment in the notice may cost you your right to evict the tenant or terminate the lease.

Call All Tenant Payments ‘Rent’ or ‘Additional Rent’

November 23, 2021    

Landlords should make it a point of emphasis to ensure that the lease describes all tenant payments and charges as either “rent” or “additional rent.” While it might seem like a legal technicality, using these terms ensures you access to fast-track eviction if the tenant...

Specify in Lease that 'Attorney' Can Send Notices

August 3, 2021    

It's important to make your notice to a tenant valid if your attorney sends it. If a tenant violates your lease, you're probably required to notify the tenant in writing that if it doesn't cure—that is, correct—the violation by a set deadline, you can take action against...

14 Things You Must Do Right Now to Manage COVID-19 Infection Liability Risks

April 20, 2020    

One of the great unknowns of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic for landlords is the potential liability for infection, including class actions by clusters of...

Don't Charge Tenants for Electricity 'Consumed'

May 20, 2019    

If your lease requires tenants to pay you their share of the property/facility’s electric bill, don’t say they have to pay for the electricity they “consume.” That’s because the bills you receive from the electric company may include elements not related to...

Specify Tenant’s Alleged Lease Violations in Eviction Notice

May 20, 2019    

Make sure your eviction notices (a.k.a. notices to quit) specify exactly which duty and section of the lease the tenant violated. Otherwise the notice may be too vague and you won’t be able to get a court to evict the tenant no matter what it allegedly did wrong.

Don't Forget Beneficial Transportation in Operating Expenses

February 12, 2019    

If you’re the owner of a large retail property or several properties, you might decide to capitalize on the convenience factor and provide transportation for shoppers. While maximizing sales benefits you in the form of higher percentage rent and maintaining cotenancy obligations by...

Don't Accept Ambiguous Definition of 'Merchandise' in Use Clause

February 12, 2019    

An increasing number of retailers sell both new and “vintage” or consigned merchandise. But if you want a retail tenant’s space to be used solely or primarily for sales of new merchandise, then you’ll need to say this in the lease’s use clause. And be aware that...