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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Can a Baton Rouge, LA landlord invoke an automatic lease

Customer Question

Can a Baton Rouge, LA landlord invoke an automatic lease extension on an office space wherein the lease was signed for a 3-yr period in 2007, automatically extended in 2010 and 2013 and now 2016....without ANY notice? Tenant thought they were on month to month, didn't pay attention, and now wants out. The new lease extension is for March 1, 2016 and the original lease had 120 day notice provision for notifying landlord not to extend. That would have been Nov 1st, 2015 for March 1, 2016.
Bot***** *****ne: He wants out because he sold the assets of the business to me and now this wrench in the deal since he and I both thought he was on a month-to-month.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

A party exercising a renewal option (or preventing an automatic renewal from occurring) must not only meet the deadline, but must also be sure to provide proper notice as required under the lease. For example, leases tend to require that notice be properly addressed through specific means, such as personal delivery, overnight courier, etc. Obviously this deadline has not been met. Courts strictly construe these provisions (commercial tenants are considered to have a higher standard than residential tenants as these contracts normally are an arms length agreement that has been reviewed by all parties that are experienced with business transactions) where the contract language is clear and unambiguous. If the contract language is not followed and notice is not given within the required time to terminate, the contract extends for another term automatically.

There is no way to say if you have a way out without reading the lease. Generally, though, you are stuck. If you need to break the lease, work with the landlord to find a new tenant. The landlord must take reasonable steps to re-rent the premises if you breach the lease, and can only hold you responsible for rent for as long as it takes to find a qualified replacement tenant. Further the qualifications must not be different from yours, and the steps taken to find a new tenant must be commercially reasonable, though you are responsible for the cost of it. In that situation, it is best for all concerned for you to work closely with the landlord to find a new suitable tenant.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please please positively rate my answer (there should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, a good or excellent rating would be fantastic) as that is the only way I will be compensated by the site for my work. This will not cost you anything extra and this extra step would be appreciated.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

any chance for a positive rating?

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