Leasing a business space or renting out an investment property to a tenant may seem simple, but can be quite problematic when disputes arise. Many future disputes can be prevented by consulting with an attorney before entering into a lease. We ask the right questions and explain (and draft) the proper documents to reduce the likelihood of problems later. Too many small businesses just sign what their landlord gives them, and don’t know what clauses should be removed or negotiated. Too many investment property owners have their residential tenants sign blatantly unlawful leases, only to find out the hard way when the tenant doesn’t pay the rent.
In commercial matters, we represent both landlords and small business tenants. In residential eviction matters, we normally represent landlords.
Commercial leases have none of the same protections that a residential lease has. Furthermore, they often run for more than a year, which requires careful crafting and reading of the document to know the rights of all concerned parties.
Most small business owners lease space from a landlord. When the landlord presents the business tenant with the lease, few tenants know what to look out for, and end up getting stuck with terms they did not understand or even knew existed. Also, since many small businesses do not have established business credit, these leases contain personal guarantees that are extremely one-sided and give the guarantor little recourse in the event of a dispute.
Even if your landlord is fair and ethical, business tenants still need an attorney to review initial drafts of their leases. In many cases, we can negotiate terms and conditions that are reasonable and balanced for all involved.
If you are a landlord, are you still using CAR or AIR forms? They only address basic issues of tenancy and do not cover many other contingent events that landlords need to address at the start of a lease. Every landlord should have an attorney review, and if needed, re-draft their leases for each unique situation.
In residential tenancy matters, many landlords use boilerplate forms for their leases, many of which do not comply with laws specific to Michigan residential tenancies. For example, does your lease contain a provision for exorbitant late fees if the residential tenant does not pay their rent timely? Sorry, but certain late fees are unenforceable in Michigan. However, liquidated damages are enforceable, if properly drafted at the start of the tenancy.
Our firm can handle virtually every landlord-tenant matter within Michigan. A small investment today with an attorney can save you thousands later should you ever end up in court.