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lwpat, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Attorney with over 35 years of business experience.
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I have a commercial lease that the lessee has questioned the

Customer Question

I have a commercial lease that the lessee has questioned the square footage on the lease. We agreed to a new square footage and she marked this in writing on her next rent check in the memo line "New Square Footage" and has paid this for over a year. She now wants the rent adjusted again because she does not feel obligated to the agreed upon adjusted square footage becasue she did not sign the ammendment to the lease of the adjusted square footage. Is she obligated to the adjusted square footage or not?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
Normally the exterior of the building comes with the lease unless specifically excluded. Here it depends on the type and extent of the usage and whether that is reasonable and if there are any terms in the lease addressing the usage.

You can always agree to change a contract afterwards by mutual agreement. Here you agreed to a change and you have proof that she also agreed. It does not matter that she did not sign. Here you do not have to agree to another change.but you have to consider whether she will move if you do not agree to the new rate.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Please let me clarify, when I did the first commercial lease I based it on the entire square footage of the building not just the interior because she was rent the whole building plus was going to be using the exterior for additional seating for her restaurant.

She first requested the square footage be lowered to the interior space only of 3205 but I tried to meet her half way by using the square footage on file with the county. She agreede by paying the new rent based on this amount of sq ft of 3392. She even identified it on the check as the new sq ft rent. She is now claiming the sq ft interior is only 3000. I know this wrong based on the appraisals I have done on the building. Her lawyer friend says she has no obligatiuon to paying for anything except the interior even though we have pictures with the exterior set-up with tables, etc. We are struggling to hold onto this real estate & don't have th emoney to hire a lawyer to fight this for us. The other lawyer knows this and I want to have the right ammo to fight her game. Please help

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
let me further clarify, when you do a commercial lease, like I did, I can included the entire square footage of the building because she was using both the interior & exterior for her restaurant. This acceptable? I want to be fair to both of us but I can not go any lower on the rent & be able to keep paying the bills on this real estate. Secondly, she is doing very well and feel she is just trying to bully us into a cheaper rent for her botXXXXX XXXXXne.
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
Here it is your choice and it depends on the exact wording of the lease. If she is paying by the square foot then if depends on how "square foot" is defined and whether it includes the exterior. I can't address the exterior since I do not know how the lease is worded. For the interior, the easy way is to have it measured. Usually the square footage is everything inside the outside walls.with no deductions for unusable space. Here you can agree to measure it together and verify the square footage.

Normally the renter only pays for the interior of the building but can use the exterior if the renter has the entire building but there is no extra square footage charge. You have to build it into the interior square footage.

Edited by lwpat on 10/2/2009 at 2:55 AM EST