Common Causes of Commercial Lease Disputes
Reasons for commercial lease disputes are often rooted in solid complaints. Sometimes a landlord doesn’t follow through on their end of the bargain. Other times, it’s the commercial tenant that drops the ball. Sometimes, both parties sincerely believe that they are right, and sometimes conflicting rules and regulations conflict with new laws put into place. This can be especially true in California commercial lease disputes.
Landlord Reasons for Commercial Lease Disputes
If a tenant fails to fulfill their lease obligations, it can cause problems for landlords. Failure to pay rent, violations of permitted use, closing shop unexpectedly, and defaulting on payments can all create stressful situations and financial loss to building owners and other landlords.
Sometimes tenants destroy the premises while leaving or cause disruptions for other tenants while leasing. These situations require the help of a commercial lease dispute lawyer.
Tenant Reasons for Commercial Lease Disputes
When a landlord provides misleading information such as inaccurate sizing, inaccurate ordinance restrictions, inaccurate availability of amenities and services, a tenant’s business can be at risk. Landlords sometimes exaggerate the commercial foot traffic at the space. Other times they offer seemingly unfair lease renewal rates. Failure to maintain common areas can put a commercial tenant’s brand image at stake.
Conflicting Interpretations of Agreements
Lease interpretation is a major issue in commercial lease disputes, especially when attorneys were never consulted to draft the lease in the first place. When the language in a commercial lease doesn’t break down responsibilities such as exactly who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of the building or who is responsible for pest control inside a suite, each party blames the other when reality hits.
Just as with residential leases, commercial leases without definitive language about subleasing often causes disputes between landlords and commercial tenants. A commercial lease might have language that restricts subleasing, meanwhile the State of California prohibits the landlord from unreasonably withholding consent. So, if the commercial lease doesn’t have language that explains the criteria for consent to sublease, the landlord might be facing a lawsuit if they deny a sublease.
Commercial leases often have language that says that tenants must maintain insurance coverage. When the unexpected happens though, disputes over insurance coverage between landlords, tenants and even their insurance companies can arise. This situation would absolutely need the help of a commercial lease dispute lawyer.
Conflicting Rules, Regulations and Laws
Commercial leases in California are very different from residential leases. Commercial tenants don’t have anywhere near the same government protections that residential tenants enjoy. Still, some landlords don’t realize that what’s legal in one building that they own doesn’t necessarily apply to the next.
For example, if an apartment building owner has a retail area rented by a commercial tenant, the landlord might not be aware that the commercial tenant may be protected by the regulations within the Fair Housing Act. Plus, some landlords know that they can’t discriminate against residential tenants but think they have much more say over who they choose for a commercial tenant. Federal antidiscrimination laws can protect potential commercial lessees too.
When federal, state, and local laws are updated, commercial tenants may end up responsible for upgrading facilities in many cases. Of course, when it comes to an expensive upgrade to comply with a new law, neither party wants to foot the bill. A commercial lease lawyer is usually called in situations where new laws or ordinances require expensive upgrades.
Consult With an Attorney When Commercial Lease Disputes Arise
LloydWinter, P.C. can help reduce the chance of a commercial lease dispute getting out of hand, but if a dispute needs litigation, we will aggressively fight for our client’s best interests. As a full-service law firm, our team is always ready to assist you. Plus, we offer transparent monthly billing plans. Contact our team today for a free consultation.
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