Commercial Tenants Lawyers in Beverly Hills

Commercial Tenants and Commercial Leases

Commercial evictions and other non-residential property disputes are complicated. It can be challenging to know which laws protect you — that is, if any protect you at all. In California, when it comes to commercial lease agreements and commercial tenant evictions in particular, the state provides few legal protections. Therefore, if you are a commercial tenant, it is vital to have a specific and clear commercial lease agreement to protect yourself against unlawful eviction and other contract disputes.

What Are Commercial Tenants?

Commercial tenants own their business but rent the premises in which they run their business operation. Under California law, commercial tenants do not have the same rights and protections as residential tenants. Many of the tenant protections do not apply to commercial tenants because, under California law, business owners are presumed to be sophisticated, not needing protection from the state. However, because influential people often control commercial and industrial land, in reality, most commercial tenants must be especially careful to protect themselves.

Types of Commercial Tenancy Cases

If you are a commercial tenant, an experienced real estate lawyer, like the ones at Tenants Law Firm, will understand that disputes surrounding a lease agreement can severely impact your profitability. At Tenants Law Firm, since our lawyers want to resolve your business disputes quickly, we provide vigorous representation for our clients in a wide variety of commercial landlord-tenant disputes:

  • Commercial Unlawful Detainer (Commercial Eviction)

  • Lease Negotiation and Renegotiation

  • Breach of Commercial Lease Terms

  • Landlord-tenant Litigation

  • Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Provisions

  • Commercial Premises Liability

  • Acquisitions and Dispositions

  • Property Management

  • Tenant Improvement Issues

  • Monetary and Non-monetary Defaults

  • Co-tenancy Clause Violations

  • Rent Adjustment Conflicts

  • Pass-through Provisions

  • Recapture Provisions

  • Brokerage Agreements

  • Equipement Lease Disputes

  • Fair Market Value Disputes

What Are Commercial Leases?

A commercial lease is a binding agreement between a landlord and a business tenant that outlines the conditions and terms of the rental space. It is essential to understand that commercial leases are very different than residential leases. Here are some of the significant differences between the two types of landlord-tenant agreements:

  • No caps on security deposit amounts,

  • No regulations protect a commercial tenant's privacy,

  • No standard forms, and

  • Hard to break or change a commercial lease.

Commercial leases are typically subject to much negotiation between the business owner and the landlord, and are generally more complicated than residential leases. Because fewer laws govern commercial leases, these leases are contracts that are created to fit the needs of the particular parties involved. Although the terms of commercial leases vary widely, they often favor the landlord's needs. However, a small business owner can level the playing field by hiring an experienced real estate attorney to review the commercial lease terms before signing a binding contract.

Since there is no standard form for commercial leases, it is the responsibility of both parties to implement a specific and clear commercial lease agreement. Leases are critical documents that control the landlord-tenant relationship. They should always be specific, clear, and customized to both parties' needs. Commercial tenants must ensure that the lease terms will meet the needs of their business before signing a commercial lease agreement. If they fail to determine requirements before committing to a lease, it can lead to unfortunate consequences.

When Can Commercial Tenants Be Evicted?

If you have received an eviction notice terminating your commercial tenancy, then your first step should be to review the written lease. Because there are not many statutory protections for commercial tenants, the eviction of commercial tenants is generally an issue of contract law — therefore, in most instances, if you have any questions regarding the lawfulness of your eviction, look to your lease. However, there are some situations in which a commercial tenant may be protected by statutory law or the common law — typically, a tenant is protected by notice requirements or by the core tenants of contract law.

Under California statutory law, the landlord must properly serve the commercial tenant with a three-day notice. The three-day notice is a legal document that informs the tenant that legal action will be undertaken in three days if they do not pay their rent. After receiving the notice, the tenant then has a three-day window to fulfill their obligation or vacate the premises. If the tenant has still not fulfilled their obligation after three days have passed, then the landlord may file an unlawful detainer complaint. From here, a summons will be served to the commercial tenant by a process server, and the tenant will have a five-day window to vacate the premises. Therefore, despite common misconceptions, a commercial landlord must comply with several requirements to evict a tenant lawfully.

How Can Commercial Tenants Avoid Eviction?

There are several defenses available to commercial tenants attempting to evade eviction:

  • The tenant may assert that the landlord's motivation for evicting the tenant is retaliatory, and meant to silence complaints about the premises that have been voiced by the tenant.

  • The tenant can also assert that the landlord failed to fulfill their contractual obligation, thus invalidating the lease.

  • The tenant can argue that the dispute must be resolved in mediation or some other specified venue, depending on the lease terms.

How Tenants Law Firm Can Help You Today

Commercial tenants can turn to the Tenants Law Firm for experienced advice, guidance, and representation regarding lease agreement negotiations and commercial unlawful detainer in Southern California. We offer a personal approach to commercial real estate negotiations and lease agreement review. At Tenants Law Firm, our commercial tenant clients benefit from our attorneys' knowledge of effective means of dealing with commercial lease negotiations and other commercial tenant issues. If you are a commercial tenant, call our California real estate lawyers today at 310-432-3200 about any problems regarding a commercial lease. Or, if you prefer, you can complete the online form here. Talk with your lawyer today about any issue concerning commercial lease agreements and commercial unlawful detainer.