Plugging Loopholes

Hold New Tenant Financially Responsible for Construction Delays It Causes

March 23, 2023    

Delays are apt to occur any time you perform pre-move-in construction work for a new tenant. Such delays may result in your not being able to complete the work by the date the tenant is required to begin paying rent under the lease. To protect tenants in the event of such a contingency, leases...

Get Second Chance to Respond to Tenant’s Assignment or Sublease Request

February 23, 2023    

“Is my landlord going to drag its feet if I try to assign or sublet the lease?” That’s a question that has kept many a tenant lying awake in bed at night. Rather than risk a delay that might ultimately cost them the assignment or sublease, these tenants may insist on requiring...

Don't Let Consent to One Assignment Become Carte Blanche for Future Assignments

January 27, 2023    

Boilerplate language requiring tenants to get your consent to assign the lease may not be enough to guarantee your right to consent to future assignments. Thus, in saying yes to a lease assignment, you may be inadvertently consenting to all of the subsequent assignments that the assignee chooses...

Don't Let Exercise of Purchase Option End Tenant's Duty to Pay Rent

December 22, 2022    

Do you grant your tenants the option to purchase the leased premises? If you’re using a standard lease form to provide such an option, you might also be inadvertently giving the tenant an unexpected windfall: one or more months of free rent in the months after it exercises the option. Here...

Keep Guarantor Liable for Tenant’s Renewal and Holdover Defaults

August 29, 2022    

In many states, the lease guaranty ends when the underlying lease ends. So, unless there’s language to the contrary, the guarantor is off the hook if the tenant holds over after the end of the term or renews the lease. That leaves you holding the bag for any tenant defaults that occur...

Get Proof of Partnership/Corporation's Authority to Sign Lease

December 22, 2021    

Before signing a lease with a partnership or corporation, get proof that the business is a valid legal entity and that it’s taken the necessary partnership or corporate action to allow it to enter the lease. Otherwise, you may have a hard time enforcing the lease. The risk: If the...

Make Tenants Who Leave Space Unrentable Pay Consequential Damages

October 21, 2021    

It happens to countless landlords, and sooner or later, it’s bound to happen to you. A tenant moves out at the end of the lease. You take possession of the property and discover that it’s in a totally unrentable condition.

The good news is that your lease probably requires the...

Don't Inadvertently Give Defaulting Tenant an Option to Buy

August 24, 2021    

The last thing any landlord wants is to allow a tenant to purchase the property while it’s in default. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you might have to do if the purchase option clause in your lease contains a common loophole.  

Are Landlords Liable for Criminal Attacks on a Tenant’s Employees?

July 21, 2021    

One reason general liability insurance is so expensive is that landlords can be sued for money damages if an individual gets injured on their property. While there are lots of legal theories trial lawyers can rely on, the vast majority of personal injury cases against landlords involve one or...

Keep Guarantors on the Hook for Attorney’s Fees

June 17, 2021    

Guaranty agreements may cap how much the guarantor has to pay if the tenant defaults. For example, the agreement may say that $100,000 is the most the landlord can collect from the guarantor. If you include dollar caps in your own lease guaranties, just be sure that they exclude attorney’s...

Don't Let Rent Abatements Reduce Future CPI-Based Rent Increases

May 19, 2021    

Granting rent concessions and abatements (which we’ll refer to collectively as “abatements”) has become standard operating procedure in these troubled times. But before you engage in the practice, check your lease for a loophole that can limit how much of a rent increase you...

Require Tenant Notice of Default to Avoid Surprise Claims in Court

January 22, 2021    

Litigation is a big hassle, and when you resort to it you want to be sure you collect as much as possible from tenants who have left the space and are no longer paying rent. But your lease may have a loophole that defaulting tenants can rely on to get a court to reduce or even...