Small businesses leasing commercial space face increasingly difficult challenges in today’s economic climate. Many small businesses entered into five or eight year leases before the economy crashed and when rents were still extraordinarily high. Many of the business owners also signed personal guarantees to pay the rent. Now that business has slowed, many businesses are not able to pay these unrealistic rents. Some landlords and management companies are willing to negotiate with their tenants to reduce the rent, but often there are many issues of which the tenant may not be aware.
One of the most common problems today is that many landlords are close to losing their commercial property to foreclosure. When a bank takes over the property, tenants are often left wondering what rights they have and to whom they are responsible under the lease. Rent reduction deals with the original landlord may be deemed invalid and the bank may show a large unpaid balance on your lease account as a result. The previous landlord may not have provided copies of your lease to the bank. Your common areas may fall into disrepair and you may not be able to determine who is in charge of your lease account.
When these problems arise, turn to The Butler Law Office for thorough commercial tenant advice. We can explain your rights and responsibilities as a tenant under your current lease, a lease amendment, new ownership, or whatever the situation may be. If you have signed a personal guarantee, we can evaluate it to determine if it is valid and explain the consequences if you are unable to continue paying the rent. Additionally, we are experienced negotiators who can help you re-negotiate your lease in order to obtain a realistic rental rate. We understand debtor laws, including bankruptcy, so we can offer you a comprehensive evaluation of all your options to keep your business running and to protect your personal assets.
The Butler Law Office has over thirty three years of experience and can help you protect your business and your individual finances.