Feature Articles

COVID’s Impact on Construction Duties Under the Lease: Lessons for the Future

March 23, 2021    

By Sujata Yalamanchili and Dylan Weber


Do Government COVID Business Closure Orders Frustrate the Purpose of a Commercial Lease?

February 18, 2021    

In addition to their express terms, leases are governed by so-called common law rules that apply regardless of what the agreement actually says. One of these rules is a normally obscure and arcane doctrine known as “frustration of purpose,” which applies when performing lease duties...

Limit Financial Risk When Granting Tenants an Operating Expense Cap

February 18, 2021    

Death and taxes aren’t the only certainties in life. So are rises in the costs of operating commercial property. That’s why landlords generally require tenants to pay their share of operating expenses. And while most tenants are willing to go along with this arrangement...

Structure Rent Repayment Plans to Take Advantage of New Bankruptcy ‘Preference’ Rules

January 22, 2021    

They say that no good deed goes unpunished. And if you’ve cut tenants a break on their rent during the COVID-19 crisis, you may have learned the truth of this maxim the hard way. This is especially so if the tenant later declared for bankruptcy. Thanks to the so-called rule of preference,...

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...

How to Limit Your Liability for Negligence and COVID-19 Infection

December 17, 2020    

Although premises liability and the risk of negligence litigation are perennial concerns for commercial property owners, COVID-19 infuses these issues with a new immediacy. The nightmare scenario: Tenants and/or their employees, customers, vendors, or other invitees who get COVID will claim they...

Enforcing Commercial Lease Guaranties in the Age of COVID-19

December 17, 2020    

As it has with most every other aspect of leasing, the COVID-19 crisis has played havoc with landlords’ efforts to collect unpaid rent from tenants’ guarantors. And now as a second and more deadly surge of cases threatens further government shutdowns, landlords need to be aware of...

Protect Yourself When Letting Tenants Tap Security Deposit to Pay Rent

November 18, 2020    

The tenant security deposit is the piggy bank that you don’t want to break open while the lease remains in effect, unless it’s absolutely, positively necessary. And with COVID-19 cases resurging and the prospects of business shutdowns looming, we may be getting close to that...

Landlords Draw First Blood in Battle for Coverage of COVID-19 Losses

October 21, 2020    

Do financial losses that a landlord, tenant, or other business incurs as a result of COVID-19 and the resulting government shutdowns count as a “direct physical loss” covered by business interruption insurance?

11 Best Practices for Seeking COVID-19 Financial Relief from Your Lender

October 21, 2020    

It’s become abundantly clear that to overcome the economic dislocation caused by COVID-19, landlords must be able to work not only with their tenants but also their lenders. For one thing, you probably can’t offer tenants rent concessions and other relief without your lenders’...

How to Protect Yourself When Giving Tenants an Option to Contract

September 18, 2020    

By enabling tenants to surrender part of their space, contraction options can keep tenants viable, out of bankruptcy, and in their leases. This may be the perfect antidote to the staff reductions, stay-at-home orders, and uncertainty over future space needs created by the pandemic.

Rework Lease Notice Provisions for the Pandemic World

August 25, 2020    

By Matthew S. Raczkowski, Esq.