Unlike residential leases, which often offer month-to-month terms or a single year term, commercial leases tend to last for multiple years. That leaves you, as a tenant, legally responsible for rent and cost for a much longer period of time.
When your landlord does something questionable, you may not feel like you have many options. After all, you can’t simply walk away from your lease due to a breach of a single clause. The courts will likely hold you responsible for the rest of the rent over the lease period if you simply attempt to break the lease.
Negotiating issues with commercial real estate rentals can quickly become complicated, whether you’re working on a new lease or enforcing an existing one. If you have run into issues with your landlord, you need to take quick action to protect your bottom line and your business.
Sometimes, landlords do not live up to their end of the contract
There are many negotiable factors in the average commercial lease. For example, your landlord may include a clause that allows them to adjust common area maintenance (CAM) fees if costs go up in any given year. However, some landlords who do not include this clause may still attempt to seek higher rent payments or CAM payments from tenants. Pushing back on that attempt is often complicated, even if the lease is clear that these responsibilities fall to the landlord.
Depending on the nature of your lease, your landlord may be responsible for some of the costs associated with maintaining the property. A single net lease, for example, would leave your landlord responsible for taxes, insurance and most building maintenance costs. However, your landlord may still attempt to pass some of those expenses on to you, even if those expenses fall outside the terms of your lease.
You may feel like you don’t have any options but to pay, but that is not necessarily true. Exploring all of your legal options typically requires careful review of your lease contract and other documents executed with your landlord.
Terminating a lease for commercial tenants isn’t always easy
Not only do commercial leases last longer, they typically are far more expensive per square foot than residential leases. If your landlord does not adequately maintain the property or otherwise violates the terms of your lease, you may have no choice but to leave.
If you find yourself in a situation where your landlord has not performed contractually obligated maintenance, you may need to find a way to terminate your lease ahead of schedule. In that scenario, your company could lose tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the lease. Your best option is to ask the courts to release you from that lease due to the landlord’s failure to uphold their end of the contract.
Any changes or challenges to a commercial lease could cost your business a lot of money. That’s why it is so important to take issues with a commercial landlord seriously. Failing to do so could end up hurting your business and impacting your ability to move on after the dispute is settled.