How A Commercial Property Lawyer Can Help When Terminating A Commercial Lease
Whether you’re a lessee or a lessor, a commercial property lease has a contract between the renter and the one owning the retail space. In this contract, the use of the space or piece of property is limited to a specific period stated in the agreement. For some commercial leases, the contract period lasts for up to two years or more.
Sometimes, terminating a commercial lease may require the help of a commercial property lawyer. Here are ways how a commercial property lawyer can help you as a lessor or a lessee:
#1. Helps In Case The Lease Is Breached
Before terminating your commercial lease, it’s best to consult with a commercial property lawyer so that you won’t end up breaching the lease contract. Since your lawyer will read all the provisions stated in the rent agreement, your attorney can provide you with the best solutions before terminating your contract.
But if you’ve already breached the contract of the lease, your lawyer can still help you. In the event that you think you’ve violated a lease, or you’re being sued due to the breach of the contract, or you want to file damages because the lease has been breached, your commercial property lawyer will analyze whether the violation exists. Your lawyer will do so by checking the existence of the lease contract. Then, your lawyer will also determine if there are provisions in the agreement that may have been broken. After which, your lawyer can determine who incurred losses and who’ll be responsible for such losses.
If you’re not familiar with property laws in your area, you may find it hard to identify whether a breach of the lease exists or not. If it does, then your lawyer can help you file for the appropriate claims, especially when you’re the lessor and your renter has left with unpaid rental fees.
#2. Aids In Negotiation
If you’re renting a commercial space and you want to end the lease earlier than what’s in the contract, negotiating with your lessor may be a good move. However, if you’re not in good terms with your landlord or you don’t feel confident negotiating, a commercial property lawyer may be of help.
Here’s how your commercial property lawyer negotiates after studying your lease agreement:
- Your lawyer can approach your landlord to surrender your lease. When surrendering your contract, your landlord and your attorney will come up with an agreement. Your lawyer will put it in a deed of surrender as proof of the agreement. The document will also contain any surrender fees that you may need to pay.
- If you can’t continue with the lease, but you found someone who can, your lawyer may negotiate this with your lessor. Assigning a lease means passing your obligations and rights to the new tenant you’ve found. Although your contract doesn’t include such, your lawyer may convince your landlord to assign the lease to a new tenant since the primary purpose of lessors is to gain profit from their rental properties. Your lawyer may help explain the benefits of such to your landlord rather than them having to lose money.
- If worse comes to worst and your landlord doesn’t want to agree, then your lawyer may help you send a notice to your landlord. Since it may take you up to 90 days’ notice before you can leave the premises, at least your lawyer has given your lessor a notice with regards to breaking the lease.
#3. Can Help When Evicting A Tenant
If you’re a landlord and you need to terminate the lease agreement between you and the tenant, you must do so according to the law. If not, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. One of the many reasons you can terminate the contract of lease as a landlord is due to non-payment of rent. Or, if your tenant is violating your agreement despite warning them, eviction may be your last resort, especially when your tenant has been using your commercial space for illegal purposes.
However, it’s vital that you hire the services of a commercial property lawyer to help with the eviction process. Because of the complications and legalities of evicting your tenant, your lawyer can help by doing the following on your behalf :
- Before you can legally evict your tenant, your lawyer will give written notice. The termination of tenancy notice will vary from state to state. For instance, you may need to serve the notice personally while some states allow you to post the notice on the tenant’s door.
- Even after giving written notice and the tenant doesn’t leave your premises, your lawyer can then file a complaint. Also, your lawyer will need to provide your tenant with a copy of the complaint and summons.
- Lastly, if the eviction goes to court, your lawyer will help represent and defend you. Your lawyer will give evidence of why you’re serving the eviction. If the tenant has counter-evidence, then your lawyer will defend you so that you’ll win your case.
Although terminating a contract of lease might not always require a lawyer, incorrectly doing it might become a hassle when you’ve violated any provisions in your agreement, which can make you legally liable. To avoid this, hiring a commercial property lawyer to help when terminating a contract of lease is precautionary. That way, you can avoid breaching a contract and may even negotiate with your landlord. On the other hand, if you’re the commercial space owner, then hiring a lawyer can help in legally evicting your tenant.