Business Leases – Most Commonly Disputed Issues

Business LawCommon legal disputes in commercial leases were highlighted in today’s free legal seminar, business leases.  One problem area is in the renewal options clauses. as it is difficult to know the appropriate rent amount in advance, not knowing market conditions, leading to vague terms and disputes.  Another hot area causing concern and disputes is the lack of precise descriptions of the premises and what is included in the rent, including common area usage.  Assignment and subletting is a third area where problems arise in commercial leases, due to ambiguity in the lease allowing the landlord’s discretion.  Yet another area of frequent dispute are “use” clauses.  Tenants prefer exclusive use provisions in order to avoid nearby competition in the same shopping center or building.  Clear drafting in a use clause is critical to avoid litigation, including remedies.  The bottom line is that it is important for both landlords and tenants to take the time to create very clear and precise terms when forming a commercial lease.  Think of the lease as a roadmap to how the parties’ relationship is defined – the more specific the terms, the better the chance of avoiding litigation.

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