There are numerous laws and regulations over the management and leasing of property. Whether you manage an apartment complex, condominiums, an HOA, office buildings, or other commercial property, you need to be well aware of your legal obligations, responsibilities, and liability.
Hart & David provides skilled legal counseling to property managers and landlords to ensure their assets and rights are protected. Without a solid foundation in commercial leasing and property management law, it is very easy to fall into any of a number of pitfalls, resulting in complex legal situations and disputes that can threaten your assets and your own standing.
There are fewer legal restrictions on commercial leases than on residential, but they still need to adhere to certain standards. In order to be enforceable by law, a commercial lease must include various key items, including:
- Names of tenant and landlord, with care to name business entities, not individuals
- Rent, including escalations and fluctuations
- What is covered in the rent
- Additional expenses, such as utilities and modifications, and how they will be calculated
- Length of the lease, or lease term
- Security deposit amount and conditions
- Information on the space being rented
- Provisions for improvements or modifications to the property
- Termination of lease policies
- Whether a lease may be extended or renewed
- Alternative dispute resolution requirements and provisions
Commercial lease documents must be carefully drafted so as to be enforceable. In addition, they must be accurate and precise, which limits the odds that a lawsuit will arise against you based on issues within the lease agreement.
The lease is often dependent on negotiations between the landlord and the lessee, which means that 1) there are no standard contracts, and 2) the need for skilled legal negotiation and analysis is high. You need to draft a lease that will meet necessary standards and be enforceable by a judge. This is where our attorneys come in.
Property Management Laws
Property managers have a fiduciary duty to the community they manage. This means they must always act in the best interests of the community as a whole. Certain enterprises or conflicts of interest may lead to disputes and litigation, with a possible loss of assets or even licensing. Knowing and fulfilling your responsibilities to tenants, associations, and the law is key to protecting yourself in the event of a lawsuit.
In addition, there are certain limits on what a property manager may do. For example, preparing legal documents may constitute an unauthorized practice of law and lead to litigation. Avoiding the pitfalls inherent in managing property, whether that is a commercial space, condominium, or apartment building, requires the assistance of a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of real estate management.
Property managers and lessors must ensure that their leasing and management practices are well within the limits of federal and state regulations. Hart & David provides the real estate, management, and legal expertise needed to ensure you are in full compliance with respect to your duties, practices, policies, and documents. We can also represent you during lease negotiations and disputes. To learn more about how we can help you, contact Hart & David today.