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What are common commercial lease disputes in New York and how to prevent them?

Posted by Melvin Monachan | Oct 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Most businesses rent space for their operations. As such, a commercial lease is an important part of any business operation. The business environment today is dynamic yet volatile, and a lease can sometimes make the difference in profits. Making sure the lease agreement favors both the landlord and the business is important to a good working relationship. But even then, disputes can arise. Here are some of the most common commercial lease disputes you can expect as a commercial landlord in New York.

Common Commercial Lease Disputes in New York

There are many reasons a business may dispute its lease agreement. Below are the most common reasons.

  • Terms of the Lease – commercial lease agreements are usually drafted specifically for the business entering into the lease, and so if the business changes any aspect of its operations, disputes may Aris, especially with respect to who can use the property, the operations conducted on the property, and changes in monthly rent.
  • Early Termination – sometimes a business fails or wants to relocate to take advantage of another strategic location or otherwise wants to get out of the lease agreement, and so the business may want to terminate the lease agreement before the actual end date.
  • Duty to Repair – the property owner has a duty to repair certain things on the property, and when the owner fails to do so (or allegedly fails to do so), a dispute may arise.
  • Subleasing – there may come a time when a business/tenant, for whatever reasons, wants to sublease part or all of the rental property or otherwise assign the lease to another party; the commercial lease will likely discuss the terms of doing so and sometimes a dispute may arise.
  • Deposits – tenants typically make a deposit on a commercial rental and upon termination of the lease, the deposit is owed to the former tenant but only so much as remains after the property owner uses the deposit to make lawful repairs; sometimes either party may dispute the deposit amount and the purpose for which the deposit was used.

These disputes can involve landlord/tenant law but they can also crossover into other areas of like, like taxes and zoning. To solve any of these disputes, you may require a real estate lawyer. But to prevent these types of disputes, you should also consult with an experienced New York real estate lawyer.

How to Prevent Lease Disputes in New York

To prevent commercial lease disputes in New York, you can take several preventative actions. First and foremost, everything about the commercial lease must be in writing, and both parties must agree to the terms and conditions. But also:

  • For businesses who are looking at rental space, make sure you consider both your current use-needs of the property as well as what you may need to use the property for in case the business grows.
  • For property owners, be cautious of any conditional obligations because these open the door for disputes unless you prepare contingency plans in advance. 
  • For both parties, make sure that the terms and conditions of the lease agreement will not impact or be impacted by third parties. Further, if there are common area expenses, be sure both parties are clear on these expenses and calculations.  

It is always important to have a real estate attorney review the commercial lease – that way, you know your interests are clear and will be upheld by the lease regardless if you are the landlord or the tenant.

About the Author

Melvin Monachan

Melvin Monachan is the founder of The Law Office of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, a full service, real estate law firm representing individuals, investors and corporate entities in all aspects of real estate law. On the transactional side, Melvin represents purchasers and...


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