Traps to Avoid

Limit Reimbursement to Owner if You Walk Away from Lease

March 7, 2012    

Commercial leases can be expensive to draft. In some cases, if a prospective tenant walks away from a deal after the owner has spent time and money preparing an individualized lease with tailored rights and options, the owner is stuck with a useless document—and the costs of creating it...

Don't Risk Being in Shadow of Competitor's Billboard

February 8, 2011    

Many commercial leases include language that limits the size of billboards and signage on the roof or exterior, or in the common areas of the office building or shopping center. But tenants sometimes forget to negotiate restrictions on the content of those billboards and signs. It's a...

Don't Risk Being Trapped into Unintended Lease

February 2, 2011    

The search for commercial space that accommodates both your budget and your business needs can be long and arduous. While touring spaces, you may get enthusiastic about a particular space or deal, and begin to talk about the property as though you were already planning to move in. Tenants...

Make Owner Install Water Meter, Monitor Individual Usage

November 20, 2009    

In a Connecticut case decided October 2009, a dispute over the amount of a water bill that a tenant owed to its owner resulted in protracted litigation. The owner's failure to install water meters for each unit on the property and bill tenants individually for usage made it extremely...

Plan Ahead to Reduce Liability for Snow and Ice Injuries

October 25, 2009    

Winter is almost here, and that may mean heavy snowfalls and icy conditions. To avoid being held negligent for slip-and-fall accidents on your property, it is important to find out if the lease requires you to provide snow and ice removal or if your owner or its property manager will do this....

Clarify Which Parts of Property Subject to Rent Escalation

September 27, 2009    

In a Massachusetts case decided this past June, the ambiguity of a term in a tenant and owner's lease had sparked a dispute about which parts of the leased property were subject to a significant rent escalation. Ultimately, the tenant prevailed based on the court's determination that...

Owner Claims No Liability for Incomplete Construction

August 23, 2009    

The following case, which involved a bitter dispute between a tenant and owner over whether penalties applied to incomplete construction work, demonstrates why you need to work with your attorney to protect your interests when leasing property that is still under construction before you move in...

Constructive Eviction Terminates Lease, Despite "Hell or High Water" Clause

July 19, 2009    

In certain frustrating situations, you may be able to terminate your lease, relieving you of your obligation to pay—even if you are bound by a “hell or high water” clause that your owner thought would protect it under any circumstances. That was the outcome of a recent case in...

Don't Let Guarantor Get Burned by Rent Acceleration Clause

October 28, 2008    

If your lease contains a rent acceleration clause, the owner's enforcement of it could put your guarantor on the hook for a large amount of rent, says New York City attorney Nancy A. Connery. A personal guaranty could hit an individual guarantor particularly hard.

There are two common...

Check Crime Reports Before Signing Lease

June 30, 2008    

Running a business in today's economic climate is difficult enough; the last thing you need is to have your store or office located in a high-crime area, says security expert John L. Currie. If you don't do your research before you sign your lease, you could end up in an area that...

Make Sure Owner Verifies Heating Oil Deliveries

July 31, 2007    

On July 19, 2007, 200 federal agents raided two major New York City oil delivery companies, alleging that for the past 17 years, the companies had stolen heating oil from their customers and resold it for profit, according to The New York Times.