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I am a new business owner. I signed a lease with a $7.50/sq

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I am a new business owner. I signed a lease with a $7.50/sq foot triple net (estimate). They have gone up in their first assessment to 11.00/sq foot. All tenants are upset and feel this is much higher than is appropriate. This is an established "landlord" with many new builds in the community. We feel they were misleading all of us with the 7.50 to get tenants, but knew they were going and their estimate was dishonest. Even the most recent tenant was told 7.50 only to find out 3 months later it was 11.00. We are all wanting to audit and fight the CAM increases. The landlord is trying to bully and threaten everyone into signing a form so they can refinance their loan. What can we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

As you know, a triple net lease means that the tenant or lessee agrees to pay all real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance (the three "Nets") on the property in addition to any normal fees that are expected under the agreement (rent, utilities, etc.).

The real estate taxes and building insurance should be pretty constant, and the maintenance is also fairly constant, so to have an assessment almost double the price is a little difficult to understand.

However, the bad news is that if your lease allows the landlord to make this increase, then you can't make the landlord refrain from making this assessment, but you can refuse to continue the lease (hopefully your lease gives you the right to accept or deny the amount).

IF the lease requires the increases to be justified, then you can request an accounting to make sure that the landlord is actually incurring new costs to justify the increase instead of just padding his botXXXXX XXXXXne.

The only saving grace would be is if your area has a rent control ordinance to keep renters from being run off by high rents - - this is less common today than in years past, but it's likely something you can consider.
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27061
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 2 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The taxes went up 90 K. That is understandable. But the CAM went up 120K. We think they are gouging us. Do we have to sign Estopple. They say if we don't there could be irreparable damage to the relationship and 40K fee.
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
You can't be forced to sign anything if you don't want to, and I certainly would not sign anything without first consulting a local attorney to review the documents.

I'm not sure where the $40k fee is coming from......IF there's a provision in the lease that speaks to this, you may have an issue to address; but if there is no provision that calls for this type of fee, you should not have to pay it.

Your rights, obligations and duties are going to be outlined in the lease agreement, so just be sure to review it and/or have an attorney do so to make sure what you've agreed to do already.

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