Landlord won’t make any changes

Being a real estate attorney for many years and having “geekishly” enjoyed commercial leasing, I have had the pleasure of representing many commercial landlords and tenants. For purposes of this article, I want to focus on something that I often hear from the tenants that I represent. Many times a tenant will approach me and say that the landlord gave me this lease, but told me that he will not accept very many changes. From a landlord’s perspective I can understand this, because consistency among the leases makes it easier to manage each tenant. However, from a tenant’s perspective, this is not good, as to quote a previous blog of mine “One size does not fit all”.

This is important because too often I have seen instances where a tenant by signing a landlord’s lease would shortly thereafter be in breach of the agreement. For example, if a tenant that intends to open a birthday party place for children finds a suitable location at an office park, and the landlord and tenant agree upon the business terms (e.g., rent), if the landlord’s “standard office” lease given to the tenant prohibits “excessive noise”, the tenant will most likely be in breach of the contract once it opens for business. This could essentially mean that the thousands of dollars spent in opening the business might be lost, because under the lease the tenant may be limited as to how it can operate. After all I submit, a children’s party place is bound by its very nature to be noisy.

Even if the landlord does not immediately act on it, this is not to say that it won’t in the future. Most leases will have a no waiver clause, which essentially states that a landlord’s failure to raise a breach in the lease on one occasion does not prevent it from raising a breach for the same conduct in the future. As such, this can be something the landlord can hold over the tenant’s head in the future should the landlord want to get the tenant out for say a higher paying tenant.

Accordingly, you need to have your attorney review the lease to note details that do not fit your lease and point them out to the landlord’s attorney. If the landlord’s attorney will not agree to budge from its position (or even clarify or compromise), than you (as the tenant) should think long and hard about whether it is worth entering into a lease with a landlord who seems this inflexible.

*The information in this blog posting is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this blog or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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