Online Alerts

"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...

Letting a Tenant Buy Its Way Out of a Lease

May 2, 2022    

The pandemic has illustrated the need for landlords and tenants to be flexible and work together to find solutions to leases that have become disadvantageous. One approach is to enter into a buy-out agreement allowing the tenant to end the lease early in exchange for an agreed-to sum of money....

Limit Holdover Rent Cuts to Short Holdovers

April 5, 2022    

Getting tenants to leave their space when the lease ends can be a difficult and costly proposition. For one thing, you may have to initiate an eviction suit to get the tenant out. And if you’ve already re-rented the space, holdovers expose you to the risk of being sued by the new tenant...

Follow Special Lease Requirements for Default Notice

February 23, 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 Rely on Tenant's Efforts to Re-Rent Vacant Space

January 31, 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...

Call All Tenant Payments 'Rent' or 'Additional Rent'

December 1, 2021    

Commercial property owners should ensure that their leases describe 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 later...