Online Alerts

Is Tenant Liable to Landlord for Subtenant’s Lease Violation?

May 1, 2023    

Tenants are generally allowed to transfer their lease interests to a third party as long as the landlord is notified and provides consent in advance. The two basic ways to structure such arrangements are as:

Don't Let New Tenant's Exclusive Conflict with Old Tenants' Sales Rights

April 3, 2023    

Offering an exclusive can help you lure new tenants. But offering the wrong kind of exclusive can cost you a renewal. SNAFUs are apt to occur when you use a common form of exclusive stating that the tenant is the only tenant in the shopping center that’s allowed to sell a particular...

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

March 1, 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

February 3, 2023    

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...

Don't Agree to Keep CAM Costs “Competitively” Priced

January 3, 2023    

Tenants that must pay common area maintenance (CAM) or operating costs typically want assurances that landlords will keep those expenses reasonable and in line with the average costs that owners of other shopping centers or office buildings in the area pay. And if the tenant has bargaining clout...

"No Representations" Clause Doesn't Bar All Fraud Claims

December 5, 2022    

It’s a clause that almost every commercial lease contains, yet rarely gets even 10 seconds of attention. The clause says something to the effect that “Landlord has made no representations to Tenant other than those contained in the terms expressly stated in this Lease.” The...

Keep Guarantor Liable for Tenant’s Renewal and Holdover Defaults

October 31, 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...

Seek Lower Tax Assessment If Tenant Pays Below-Market Rent

October 3, 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...

Can Landlord Evict Tenant for Not Carrying Required Insurance?

September 6, 2022    

A commercial lease to an auto shop tenant includes three key clauses:

1. Tenant’s duty to maintain insurance. Section 19 of the lease requires the tenant to maintain fire, business, and liability insurance on the property and name the landlord as an additional...

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

July 26, 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,...

Must You Use a CPA to Calculate Lease Costs?

July 5, 2022    

Certified public accountants (CPAs) don’t work for free. And if you know math, you may not need one to calculate your own real estate tax, cost-of-living increases, operating expenses, and other lease costs you pass along to tenants. However, the money you save on CPA fees by doing your...

The Word that Cost a Landlord a Rent Increase

May 31, 2022    

This. It’s such a simple, little word, one that we all use countless times per day. But used the wrong way in a commercial lease, “this” can bite a landlord in the backside. If you don’t believe it, ask the Arizona landlord that lost a juicy rent increase because...