Commercial Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Commercial Landlord-Tenant Disputes

What do you do when a tenant does not pay? When a commercial landlord-tenant relationship is fractured and a dispute cannot be resolved by mutual agreement, sometimes legal action may be required.

Commercial leasing is often far more complex than residential leasing for several reasons. To start, commercial leases tend to have a much longer duration and bind the parties to more terms and conditions throughout that time period. In addition, the lease will likely include provisions for making changes to the space to suit the business needs of the tenant, restrictions related to zoning, and an understanding of what types of business can, and cannot, be conducted in that space. This can be due to anti-competition clauses with others in nearby properties, or a general list of prohibited activities.

Once you throw in that commercial tenants are often responsible for more expenses in their buildings, and those tenants are generally not entitled to the special protections that are often extended to residential tenants, it can be seen how there are lots of opportunities for disagreement.

Finally, when considering that there are lots of opportunities for high-ticket building improvements or repairs to be made, and a lack of clarity on who exactly should pay for it due to the ill advised practice of commercial landlords using boilerplate or generic lease agreements, the need for an attorney experienced in handling commercial landlord-tenant disputes can be incredibly important for protecting profitability and preventing reputational risk.

There are many issues that can arise in a commercial landlord-tenant dispute, however there are a few that we see consistently become issues requiring a third party to intervene.

Commercial Landlord-Tenant Litigation Issues

Often, well-prepared and thorough custom legal documents can diminish the need for prolonged legal action in many cases. When there are situations where a dispute cannot be resolved directly between the parties, getting legal advice early may be the difference between winning a claim, losing, or ultimately not needing to even pursue further legal action.

 

Here are some of the common issues we see:

I

Implementing questionable methodologies and tactics to delay, deny, and defend against property damage claims

I

Using adjusters who tend to save them money by routinely returning real estate claims that reduce the amount of property damages they have to pay out

I

Refusing to pay for a property that has been damaged by a storm, flooding, shifting grounds, or other weather-related incidents, even if covered in agreement

I

Relying on assessments and appraisals that undervalue the costs of the work that needs to be done to restore the damage to the property

I

Classifying property damage under categories that are not covered, even if they should rightfully be covered under their legal designation

Experienced defending all types of property damage claims

Our law firm can help if you are about to file an insurance claim, have recently filed a claim, are fighting for coverage, or are in the midst of a bad faith claim against an insurance provider.

Here are a few of the damages we cover:

I

Fire damage

I

Hail damage

I

Homeowners insurance claims

I

Flooding from inside or outside

I

Sinkhole damage

I

Ground shifting and earthquake damage

I

Smoke damage

I

Rain and storm damage

While it is always better to have an attorney helping you from the beginning considering how much can be at stake, here are some telltale signs that you should engage an attorney immediately:

I

Damage to property through negligence or misuse

I

Making unapproved modifications to the space not allowed for, or covered, in the agreement

I

Improper use of the premises resulting in landlord liability

I

Failure to make rental payments as agreed

I

Attempting to terminate the rental agreement early, without proper compensation

I

Premature termination of the rental agreement due to a violation of its terms

I

Changing the terms of the lease without being agreed upon by both parties

I

Denying or limiting access to space

I

Failure to provide additional services such as security or snow removal as per agreement

I

Disagreement over repairs

Litigating Commercial Real Estate Claims

When a commercial landlord-tenant dispute cannot be resolved by agreement or mediation, litigation may be the best way to achieve results. This can often take the form of a breach of contract, or a counterclaim in which both parties claim that the provisions of the agreement have been violated. Due to the potential complexity of such cases, and the fact that the disputed items may not be clearly defined in the agreements that were signed, this form of commercial landlord-tenant disputes requires an experienced team who can convince a court of both intent and assigned responsibility.

Hunter Law Group

1900 W. 75th St.
Ste. 120
Prairie Village, KS 66208

913-320-3830

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.