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The Tale of Tea & Sympathy: NY Commercial Lease Obligations

Posted by Melvin Monachan | May 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

A few weeks ago, the New York Times published an article regarding a popular establishment by the name of Tea & Sympathy, a British-themed store and restaurant located on Manhattan's Greenwich Avenue. The business has managed to stay afloat for 20 years despite its continuous struggle over the years to meet lease obligations. But now it seems the business may be forced to close its doors unless the landlord decides to amend the terms of the lease.

Tea & Sympathy isn't the first tenant (and definitely won't be the last) to face the possibility of closure because of a failed attempt to meet commercial lease obligations. Fortunately, loyal customers have assembled in support of the business by creating a “Go Fund Me” page to aid the business in meeting expenses for loans, vendors, real estate taxes, monthly rent and other fees obligated by the lease agreement.

While things could be looking up for Tea & Sympathy, other commercial tenants in this situation may not be so lucky.

It isn't uncommon for clients with commercial leases to contact the Law Offices of Melvin Monachan when they discern that they will have impending trouble with meeting lease obligations. These difficulties arise due to numerous factors. In the majority of cases, lease issues date back to when the lease was originally negotiated. In this phase, many tenants mistakenly agreed to terms that weren't sustainable in the first place.

But in other cases, some of these difficulties could be due to unpredictable factors. Perhaps there was a planned fee increase established by the landlord in the beginning that the tenant initially agreed to, but other business expenses unexpectedly increased. Let's say real estate tax increases were enforced by the municipality where the leased premises is located, or maybe the business climate has drastically changed since the lease was signed and the product or service offered is no longer appealing to people in the area. These are all circumstances a tenant can't control and that can impair their ability to meet their lease obligations.

How a Real Estate Attorney Can Help

One of the most effective ways for you to prevent the untimely dissolution of their business is to consult with an insightful and experienced New York real estate attorney. An attorney will be able to identify your goals and help you come up with a viable plan.

If you no longer want your business to remain on the premises, an attorney can help you “surrender” your lease before the end of its term. If successfully formulated and negotiated, this agreement can allow you to get out of the lease prematurely without running into significant issues that often come with unfulfilled lease obligations. It can also help you get your security deposit back.

If you still want to remain on the leased property, a legal professional can conduct a negotiation with the landlord in hopes of modifying the lease so that the new terms are consistent with your current abilities and that the landlord still has enough revenue to cover property expenses.

Contact Real Estate Attorney Melvin Monachan

At the Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, we've helped people tied up in complex commercial leasing disputes overcome their issues with our expertise. Let us help you find a solution to your real estate issues. Contact us by filling out an online contact form or give us a call at (516) 714-5763.

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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