commercial real estate lease negotiation

How to Handle Commercial Lease Disputes

It can be uncomfortable having a disagreement with your landlord. Financial matters can be stressful, particularly when you don’t feel that you’re in control of the situation. This short guide is for you if you are wondering how to proceed when you are embroiled in a commercial lease dispute.

Alabama has specific laws in place governing tenants, landlords, and the agreements or disputes between each other. You should consider working with an experienced attorney if a legal matter comes up to ensure that your interests and rights are fully protected.

Commercial Lease Disputes in Alabama

Commercial leases are considered more complicated than the agreements made between a residential tenant and a landlord. Commercial leases contain numerous potential pitfalls. You should have your agreement reviewed by a seasoned attorney before you enter such an agreement. It is best to have an attorney draft the agreement to minimize the risk of deadlock if a dispute does arise.

Here are some helpful tips for dealing with a commercial lease dispute:

  1. Go over the lease again

The first step you should do when involved in a commercial lease dispute is to read the contract again. You should ask yourself if the contract says anything about your particular concern. You should check for any clause that outlined your liability to pay for the landlord’s cost in case of a dispute.

  1. Try to arrive at an agreement

It helps to approach the landlord in most situations to try to work things out. You can ask for a healthy discussion about your concerns. Good negotiation can help you prevent expensive legal fees.

Discussions can also help preserve the professional relationship you have with the landlord. You should make accurate notes about the communication, including dates and records of things that were said in case the dispute doesn’t go your way.

  1. Seek advice

You should seek advice about the reasonability of the clauses mentioned within the rent agreement. This is particularly true if you are required to pay for the lessor’s fee in case of a dispute. Getting legal advice is one of the most important elements of commercial lease disputes.

  1. Seek alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

You may need to bring the dispute to the relevant venue if your informal attempts towards arriving at a resolution don’t materialize. You may be required to take part in formal mediation with the landlord in most instances. Mediation makes use of negotiation and discussion for arriving at an agreeable resolution for both parties.

Mediation is cheaper than litigation. Hence, it is an option that is worth your time. You should keep an open mind about the results you can achieve through mediation. You may find that mediation helps you discuss the issues in a positive environment with better results. It will also help in improving the relations between you and the landlord.

Another form of alternative dispute resolution involves arbitration. Speak to your attorney about which form of ADR is most suitable for your particular situation.

  1. Legal compliance

Commercial spaces are required to be in compliance with state, federal, and local laws and regulations. Generally, it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure the property remains legally compliant. However, you should check the agreement to determine who is responsible for the lease agreement.

Commercial Evictions in Alabama

Landlords are required to follow proper procedures for evicting a commercial tenant. The eviction process may differ depending on the specific conditions mentioned in the lease agreement. However, there are a few general guidelines:

  • Tenants must be provided with a written note explaining the eviction reason
  • Notice may be issued with two timelines:
    • Unpaid rent – 7 days
    • Other breaches of lease – 14 days
  • The landlord is required to file eviction paperwork with the local court after proper notice is issued
  • The landlord may request the assistance of the sheriff to carry out the eviction if the tenant refuses to leave voluntarily

These are a few common reasons why disputes arise between landlords and tenants in Alabama:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Term of the lease has expired
  • Space is not being used as per the lease agreement
  • Subletting concerns
  • Issues with upgrades and modifications

Call an Experienced Business and Real Estate Lawyer in Alabama Today

Landlord-tenant laws in Alabama can be complicated. You should consider seeking strong legal counsel if you are involved in these issues. This will help you navigate the complexities of real estate issues and avoid any pitfalls that may cost you in both financial and legal terms.

The attorneys at BHM Law Group are here to assist you in all your landlord-tenant legal matters. We will give advice and take the necessary legal steps after reflecting on all aspects of your particular situation so that you are covered. Give us a call today at 205-994-0902 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our accomplished attorneys.


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