In my travels over the years, I have come across instances where business people have confused the distinction between a lease and a license. The distinction is important because the rights and obligations of the parties can be significantly different depending upon what the true relationship is determined to be.
Initially, simply labeling an Agreement a “License Agreement” or “Lease” does not make it so.» Read More
On July 7, 2011, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a trial court ruling that where a lease requires a tenant to operate a “quality jewelry store” in a “first class and reputable manner,” the landlord has an implied obligation to maintain the shopping center in a good condition.
In Wallington Plaza LLC v. Taher, the trial court concluded that while the lease obligated tenant to sell only quality jewelry, it also imposed a responsibility on the landlord to keep the premises in a reasonable condition as a tenant would expect if he had to operate a first-class business to make prospective customers welcome. » Read More
Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers are assured of relatively swift and certain compensation payments in exchange for relinquishing their rights to pursue a potentially larger recovery in a common law action. This concept is known in legal circles as the “workers’ compensation bar.” This bar does not, however, preclude an injured employee from suing a third party for negligence that contributed to the accident.» Read More
On Wednesday of last week, St. Patrick’s Day, the luck of the Irish was with a commercial tenant who happened to be a defendant in a condemnation action in which the owner’s interest in the property was not being condemned. In Town of Kearny v. Discount City, the New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed a condemnation action filed by the Town of Kearny, because its designated developer, who was also the landlord, failed to engage in bona fide negotiations with the only remaining holdout tenant, even though the lease between the landlord and tenant contained a standard condemnation clause in which it bargained away its right to receive compensation in a taking.» Read More
When entering into a commercial lease, one of the more important terms negotiated between the parties pertains to the manner in which the landlord will recoup its operating expenses. After all, commercial landlords are in business to make money. Without addressing its operating expenses, a landlord’s return on investment would be whittled away to nothing. While the more sophisticated players in the industry are thoroughly familiar with the various techniques available, many tenants – and some landlords – are not so well informed.» Read More
Commercial landlords are occasionally confronted with a situation where one of their tenants is not abiding by the lease. Some commercial landlords feel that they can simply lock the tenant out of its space as result of any breach under the lease. This is not the case under New Jersey law. Any landlord who resorts to self help risks being sued by a tenant for any number of causes of action, including, but not limited to, wrongful eviction, trespass, and breach of contract.» Read More
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a total of $58.3 billion of the commercial-mortgage loans sliced and diced on Wall Street are currently delinquent. More than $1.4 trillion in commercial mortgages will come due by 2013, with as much as 65 percent of those deals finding it difficult to refinance. The delinquency rate of 8.58% is still nearly twice as high as the year-ago level of 4.8%. » Read More
I blogged in an earlier post about the importance of including a well-drafted provision in commercial leases giving the landlord the right to remove, and dispose of, the tenant’s personal property left behind after an eviction.
Including a well-drafted provision in your commercial lease regarding the disposition of the tenant’s property will protect you not only from an angry tenant, but from other parties who may appear on the horizon.» Read More
Anyone who owns rental property in New Jersey knows that this State is pro-tenant – at least with respect to residential tenancies. Commercial tenants, however, are not accorded the same “protective” approach most tenancy courts in New Jersey take toward residential tenants. For starters, unlike residential tenants, commercial tenants are obligated to leave the premises once their lease expires, unless the parties agree upon a new term, or an extension of the old term.» Read More
In the previous blog entry, I highlighted the need for commercial landlords to specify in their leases the manner in which the tenant’s personal property is dealt with upon termination of the lease, either by its terms or by way of court action (summary dispossess). Doing so gives the commercial landlord the flexibility needed to get the newly vacated space ready for re-letting.» Read More