Feature Articles

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.

Put Three Protections in Lease to Prevent Constructive Eviction Claims

April 22, 2019    

“Constructive eviction” happens when a landlord commits a lease violation so egregious that it effectively forces the tenant out. Result: The tenant is free of all obligations and, in many cases, entitled to damages. And while constructive eviction cases used to be somewhat...

Drafting Licenses & Leases for Nontraditional Commercial Space

March 28, 2019    

By Sujata Yalamanchili, Esq. and Elizabeth A. Holden, Esq.

Addressing the Special Concerns of Companies That Use Co-Working Spaces

March 28, 2019    

By Sujata Yalamanchili, Esq. and Elizabeth A. Holden, Esq.

Co-working spaces look like cool, hip, innovative spaces, so you may have wondered if you can do your job in one of those spaces. Could a law firm or just an individual attorney sit at a table for a day, type away, and...

Protect Interests When Dealing with Financially Troubled Tenant

February 12, 2019    

While retail and office building owners field defaults of many kinds from tenants that fail to follow their lease terms, nonpayment of rent is the most common breach of a tenant’s lease. It signals bigger problems for you than just your bottom line being affected in the months that you don...

Don't Forget Beneficial Transportation in Operating Expenses

February 12, 2019    

If you’re the owner of a large retail property or several properties, you might decide to capitalize on the convenience factor and provide transportation for shoppers. While maximizing sales benefits you in the form of higher percentage rent and maintaining cotenancy obligations by...

Don't Accept Ambiguous Definition of 'Merchandise' in Use Clause

February 12, 2019    

An increasing number of retailers sell both new and “vintage” or consigned merchandise. But if you want a retail tenant’s space to be used solely or primarily for sales of new merchandise, then you’ll need to say this in the lease’s use clause. And be aware that...