Feature Articles

Attach Moving Rules to Lease to Head Off Move-In/Move-Out Disputes

October 28, 2019    

If you’re going to get into a dispute with a tenant, chances are it’ll happen during the move-in or move-out process. While stress is an inherent part of moving, you can go a long way toward preventing disputes and minimizing disputes by getting the tenant to agree to clear moving...

Keep Tenants from Introducing Topless Entertainment

October 28, 2019    

One thing to look out for when leasing to bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other entertainment establishments is unanticipated—and unwanted—use changes after the business opens. Such changes may include the introduction of topless dancing. Needless to say, this is the kind of thing...

Get 12 Lease Protections When Granting Tenant Improvement Allowances

September 17, 2019    

Offering tenant improvement allowances (TIAs) is a great way to attract and retain small and new businesses that can’t afford the renovations they need to open shop. But it can also backfire if the tenant defaults before moving in or generating the revenues necessary to pay you back. TIAs...

Beyond the Boilerplate: How to Negotiate the Force Majeure Clause

August 20, 2019    

It’s among the least appreciated parts of the lease. But while rent, renewal, and other business terms command most of the attention, the so-called force majeure clause takes center stage when disasters occur. It’s at that point that both landlords and tenants recognize the...

The 12 Dos & Don'ts of Food Hall Leasing

July 23, 2019    

Although the restaurant business is notorious for fads, the food hall has demonstrated that it’s more than just the flavor of the month. Like its cousin the mall food court, the food hall is a mix of retail eateries sharing space within a larger facility. The difference is that food halls...

Standard Entry Clause May Not Give You Right to Inspect Space

July 23, 2019    

Landlord shall have the right to enter tenant’s space at any time to examine the same, and to make repairs, replacements, and improvements [emphasis added].

Avoid Liability for ADA Accessibility Violations within Tenant’s Space

June 24, 2019    

Each year, literally thousands of private individuals file ADA lawsuits against landlords for money damages claiming their properties aren’t accessible to the disabled. In many of these cases, the alleged violation occurs not in the common areas but inside the tenant’s premises.

Count Installment Payments in Gross Sales as Early as Possible to Maximize Percentage Rent

June 24, 2019    

You’re negotiating a lease with a retail tenant that sells some goods on an installment basis in which customers make a series of payments over a period of time. How do you calculate these sales for purposes of calculating percentage rent? The tenant wants installment sales to count as...

Get 15 Lease Protections When Tenants Use Letters of Credit Instead of Security Deposits

June 6, 2019    

As a means of securing a tenant’s obligations under the lease, a letter of credit (LC) offers distinct advantages over a cash security deposit. The landlord’s underlying assumption is that if the tenant defaults, drawing on the LC will be as easy and automatic as making a withdrawal...

Limit Your Duty to Re-Let After Tenant Defaults

May 20, 2019    

Consider this situation: With three years remaining on its lease, a commercial tenant decides to pull up stakes, vacate the premises, and stop paying rent. The landlord makes no effort to re-let the space and allows it to remain vacant through the end of the lease term. It then sues the tenant...

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.