Landlord Matters Attorney

Commercial Landlords

In a commercial situation, you are normally dealing with a sophisticated tenant, which is some form of different business entity. The landlord and tenant, normally referred to as «lesser» and «lessee» have considerable latitude in developing the terms of the lease agreement, whether it be a simple lease, a triple net lease (taxes, insurance, and maintenance) or some variation thereof. Commercial leases are normally managed by a property manager, which will require a separate agreement with the management firm. In addition, the vast majority of commercial leases are personally guaranteed by the individual leasing the property. Therefore, if «X Y Z, Inc.» or «X Y Z, LLC» is the lessee, the shareholders of the corporation or members of the LLC should personally guarantee performance of the terms and conditions of the lease.

Residential Landlords

Residential landlords have some limitations placed on the terms that can be included in a residential lease, due mainly to the provisions set forth in the various state, county and municipal statutes. This does not mean that all leases are the same. The landlord, in fact, has the ability to customize his lease, including remedies and rules he wishes the tenants to follow. The statutory requirements must be strictly followed. If they are followed, it is much less painful when it is necessary to terminate a lease. If you have to evict a tenant, you will be allowed a minimum amount for attorneys fees and costs, however, unless the lease itself was personally guaranteed by someone other than the tenant, who in fact has assets to attach, the chances of collecting any judgment against a tenant for fees and costs or back rent is usually slim. Prospective tenants references should be thoroughly checked. Sufficient deposits should be obtained and a thorough move-in and move-out written inspection should be completed and signed.

Attorneys Practicing in Landlord Matters: Ronald W. Greenen