Feature

Get 10 Legal Protections When Giving Tenants a Right of First Offer

June 23, 2022    
Offering ROFOs is a great way to attract flourishing businesses. But it comes at a price.   Moving to a different building can be costly and disruptive. Accordingly, tenants that are growing rapidly may seek rights to expand within the building in case they run out of space. One way to...
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,...
Dos & Don'ts

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...
Owner Loses

Bankrupt Tenant Can Renew Lease Despite Defective Renewal Notice

June 23, 2022    
What Happened: A restaurant tenant with a habit of paying rent late took advantage of the COVID-19 shutdown to make some improvements to the space at its own expense, assuming that it would be able to renew once the lease came to an end in August 2021. But the tenant was still in big-time arrears...
Owner Loses

Must Landlord or Tenant Pay for Required Earthquake Retrofit?

June 23, 2022    
What Happened: The town of Santa Monica passed an ordinance requiring a commercial building leased to a delicatessen/catering firm to be retrofitted for earthquakes. The landlord claimed that the tenant, who had leased the building since 1973, was the real owner and thus financially responsible for...
Owner Wins

Another Restaurant Tenant’s COVID-19 Impossibility Defense Bites the Dust

June 23, 2022    
What Happened: February 2020 was the last month a high-end steak house restaurant tenant paid full rent. When COVID-19 hit, the restaurant had to shut down and later could open only for outdoors and indoor dining at very limited capacity. In September, the tenant moved out at the landlord’s...
Feature

Set 11 Conditions for Consenting to Shopping Center Assignments and Subleases

May 23, 2022    
As retail and restaurant businesses contract and struggle to survive, many shopping center tenants are looking for ways to get out of their leases. One common exit strategy is for tenants to assign their lease interest or sublease some or all of the leased space to a third party. Tenants are...
Traps to Avoid

Calculating Lease Costs Without a CPA

May 23, 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 own...
Pop Quiz

Can Landlord Evict Tenant for Not Carrying Required Insurance?

May 23, 2022    
The recipe for legally evicting a tenant contains two essential ingredients: A valid substantive case—that is, proof that the tenant has violated a material duty under the lease without having a legal defense excusing the default; and Proper procedures for not only eviction but also, in many...
Owner Wins

Out-of-Possession Landlord Not Liable for Injury to Tenant’s Employee

May 23, 2022    
What Happened: The employee of a tenant suffered serious injury after a heavy box fell on top of him. The victim blamed the accident on the leaky warehouse roof, which caused the box to become waterlogged and weakened the palette holding it up. He sued the landlord for negligence. His theory: As an...