Business Law

Ask a business lLawyer. Get business law questions answered ASAP.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I currently am in a lease for a commercial property and a…

I currently am in...

I currently am in a lease for a commercial property and a trust took over the company that owns the property. Recently the landlord has been calling me and threatening me that he is going to kick me out for not being open yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No paperwork and they have not sent anything in writing to me yet, but has been threating me that i do not want it to get to the point where they have to write anything out, because i will not like the outcome.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

Memphis TN

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I would like what I can do, and if they are allowed to kick me out of the property although i have always made rent payments on time.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Business Law Question
Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/20/2018
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 476
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. The key to this question will be the terms of the lease you signed with the prior owner (before the trust took over). In some commercial leases, there is an open by provision as well as provisions indicating that a business will be open certain hours or minimum hours. These provisions are a landlord's way to ensure that a business leasing a property will be open and operating in a capacity that there should be no cash flow problems. That said, what the remedy is to the landlord if you breach one of these provisions is also lease specific. If you are familiar with your lease terms and nothing like this appears in it, then as long as you pay your rent on time and pay or fulfill all other requirements (e.g., insurance requirements, common area fees, etc.) then you can only be removed as prescribed in the lease or at the end of the lease term. If you have a copy of the lease, I am happy to take a look at it for you to provide a more thorough response.

This is a tough situation, as it is always preferable to have a good working relationship with your landlord. It may be worth inquiring what concerns trust has about your tenancy and how they can be resolved. You will have to evaluate, based on your interaction with the relevant person/people if you think this would be helpful.

If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Ask Your Own Business Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I am trying to upload the pdf but the website it not letting me upload. It is under 5mb but not sure why it wont upload. The landlord and me had an agreement that he would loan us the remainder of the money to open the location for a loan and a rent of 5% sales from a fixed $3500/month. He has recently has mental issues and is not able to handle his business anymore and that is way a trust has taken over the company. They are taking over the company on April 1st. They have stop funding the restaurant since Jan 1st and have been ignoring my calls since last week when they told me i have till April 1st to open or "i wont like what happens" is what he said. And is now requiring me to give him a key and access code to the alarm as well as I cannot take any of my equipment out of the premise without his approval. I would just like to know if he is able to do this and if not what can i legally do about it. He is now harrising me and Isabel every day for new items he wants me to do and if i don't pick up the calls right away he cusses me out on the phone. Please any help would be appreciated.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OK, i figured out i cant upload a pdf so i got it converted to a jpg and zip the file.

Wow - that is a bad situation. If the landlord loaned you money to start the business, the trust may be able to do what it is doing, though perhaps not exactly how it is doing it. It may be worth offering some sort of additional monthly payment for some period of time to make up for the fact that until the restaurant opens 5% of sales = $0. That said, opening a restaurant is never as easy a path as it seems it should be and I have rarely if ever seen a restaurant open on the date expected.

I see you got the lease uploaded. Is the loan included in that document or another written document or was it verbal? I am going to take a look at the lease and be back with you in a bit.

Ask Your Own Business Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The loan is included. The rent is 5% of sales but has a base rent of $3500, which it was currently before he loaned the business money. We have been paying the $3500/month since the business is not open yet every month on time as well as we have started paying back the loan since Feb of this year. So in total the monthly payment is $3948/month that i have been paying on time before the 5th of each month.

Okay, here are some key points for your consideration. First, I do not see anywhere in the lease where you are required to open by a set date or that you are required to open at all or that you are even expressly required to operate a business at any point during the lease term. You may want to read through the lease again to be sure I didn't miss something as some of the page were a little hard to read; but I certainly didn't see any of the normal provisions that might exist in a commercial lease that would require a business to operate or to open by a set date. Instead, the protection for the landlord if you do not open is that you are to pay 5% sales or $3500, whichever is more. For the period of time you are still not open, that $3500 protects the landlord and provides the lease amount. Now, in the addendum that was signed last August the loan for improvement is described and it requires payment over 180 months at 6% interest and that payment is to be separate from the base rent. It also indicates that a Promissory Note was going to be drafted evidencing this loan; was that ever done? Regardless, the loan is spelled out here and does require monthly payments and it looks like you have been making those payments as well. If you have been making those payments, you likely have no issue. I do not, however, see anyway you can be forced to open by April 1.

As a caveat, though, do know that two legally educated people can view the same language very differently. But if any claim was made to try to take over the business or remove you from the premises, the argument would go something like this:

1. The lease clearly contemplates a $3500 minimum rent or 5% sales, whichever is greater. We have paid the $3500 required as until we open that is greater than 5% of sales, which would be $0.

2. We will be repaying the improvement loan over 180 months and acknowledge monthly payments are to be made but the addendum expressly states that a note is to be drawn (prepared) to be signed by the parties and we are still waiting for that note (this is if you have not yet repaid any loaned amounts).

3. The only actions or conduct that constitute tenant default under the lease are non-payment, bankruptcy, abandonment of the property, having a trustee appointed over your affairs (not landlords), and doing something that causes a lien on the property. Only if you are in default can you be removed.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Ask Your Own Business Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you, ***** ***** help a lot. I do have another question. The landlord is requiring me to give him a key to the building and access to the alarm code to enter the property when he would like to since he lost his master key. Are we required by law to give his a copy of a key as well as let him enter the property whenever he wants to?

I did not specifically see an obligation on your part to provide a copy of the key or alarm code. That said, it is pretty common for a landlord to have access in case of emergency since he is the building owner and may need to enter rented premises to take action to protect the property (e.g., storm damage with water leaking in) and you would want the landlord to be able to do that in your absence. That said, there are a couple of provisions in the lease that come into play:

Section 21 - The landlord's right to inspect the premises but only "at reasonable times" and only for the purpose of examine the condition of the premises, not just whenever to check on the business.

Section 23 - This section guarantees you "quiet enjoyment" of the premises "without hindrance or molestation from Landlord ...."

And, finally, I did find the Purpose clause and all it says is "Unless otherwise consented to in writing by the Landlord, the Leased Premises are to be used solely for the purpose of operation of a restaurant which specializes in the sale of tacos and related food products." It says nothing more; nothing about when you are open either as to initial opening date or hours of operation. Meaning possibly you could ultimately open and just be open on Mondays and the $3500 minimum rent protects the landlord from the fact that Monday 5% of sales would likely be small over a month's time. There is the counter argument that with the addendum it is clear that the Landlord would not have loaned the money or asked for 5% of sales if he hadn't believed there was an agreement affirmatively to open the restaurant, but there still appears to be no deadline for doing so, especially where you are using your due diligence and best efforts to get it open.

Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 476
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
Attorney Wendy and 87 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Attorney Wendy Your Own Question
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 476
476 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC

Attorney Wendy is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Attorney

1,851 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

1,611 satisfied customers

Run my own successful business/contract law practice.

MShore Law

MShore Law

Attorney

1,233 satisfied customers

Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements

RGMacEsq

RGMacEsq

Attorney

751 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Barrister

Barrister

Attorney

646 satisfied customers

17 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA

Ely

Ely

Attorney

577 satisfied customers

Counselor at Law.

J.Hazelbaker

J.Hazelbaker

Attorney

393 satisfied customers

Experienced and trained in the area of business law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Business Law Questions
Can we start a business with a name that use to exist but is
Can we start a business with a name that use to exist but is no longer in business … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I have a question about a chapter 7 bankruptcy for a limited
I have a question about a chapter 7 bankruptcy for a limited liability company in Florida … read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,041 satisfied customers
I have a freight brokerage business that we may have to
I have a freight brokerage business that we may have to close.We owe money on lines of Credit such as: Bank of america $35,000 Kabbage $26,000 Behalf $9,000we also owe on 2 cardas Chase $19,800 Bank o… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
We are thinking of starting a very small side business of
We are thinking of starting a very small side business of selling homemade dog treats by various venues such as craft fairs, Facebook, etc. We see other families and individuals with similar items for… read more
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney
476 satisfied customers
A business cannot sue another business if the amount of the
A business cannot sue another business if the amount of the suit is over $5K. But, can a business owner represent against a suit if a suit is filed against the business. Basically, if I own my busines… read more
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney
476 satisfied customers
I own a business. When I do a search online for my business,
I own a business. When I do a search online for my business, information pops up about us, but also shows a listing for mapquest with a really low star rating. When I click on the reviews to read them… read more
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney
476 satisfied customers
If two businesses are interested in working on a project
If two businesses are interested in working on a project together, at which stage should they sign NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? Thanks.… read more
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco
4,124 satisfied customers
If a business owner has two businesses: business A and
If a business owner has two businesses: business A and business B. He is trying to take some profit from A to: ***** ***** B as well as paying some personal purchase. What this business owner should d… read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,041 satisfied customers
How do I file bankruptcy for my Corp, sub chapter S. Few
How do I file bankruptcy for my Corp, sub chapter S. Few tangible assets. Desks, computers etc. main asset is monthly revenue from existing clients, no contracts, month-to-month. I have state and fede… read more
DanLegal
DanLegal
Law Partner
Juris Doctor
299 satisfied customers
A partner and I started a business in 2014, but the business
A partner and I started a business in 2014, but the business never started up. We have no revenues or expenses we want to claim. We never filled 1065's but have a Tax ID, and a Business Certificate fo… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,395 satisfied customers
Does an LLC business pay the new business tax rates? If not
Does an LLC business pay the new business tax rates? If not what business types could I form to pay the new rates and not my personal tax rate? How is the 20% deduction calculated?… read more
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney
476 satisfied customers
I was the bookkeeper for a small business that is now
I was the bookkeeper for a small business that is now closed. I recently learned that an error was made regarding payment to a credit card provider for lease equipment. Payment to the provider continu… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2 satisfied customers
My business partner sold are llc 50/50 owned business with
my business partner sold are llc 50/50 owned business with out my consent. or knowledge is there legal action i can take? … read more
Ely
Ely
Attorney
Juris Doctor
577 satisfied customers
Our business rented equipment. Two of the Llc partners
Our business rented equipment. Two of the Llc partners signed a personal guarantee on the credit check. We lost absolutely everything in the hurricane and even though we provided the insurance they re… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
1,851 satisfied customers
When a partnership owns a business and one of the partners
When a partnership owns a business and one of the partners works in the business is that partner considered an employee?… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,585 satisfied customers
Second opinion] Would bankruptcy be a good solution to halt
Second opinion] Would bankruptcy be a good solution to halt a suing opponent from trying to pierce the corporate veil against my LLC? Specifically they are trying to serve a Subpoena to provide my LLC… read more
PhillipsEsq.
PhillipsEsq.
Attorney
JD
804 satisfied customers
Would bankruptcy be a good solution to halt a suing opponent
Would bankruptcy be a good solution to halt a suing opponent from trying to pierce the corporate veil against my LLC? Yes my company really is bankrupt, only I havent had money to even file until rece… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
1,851 satisfied customers
A question about contract consideration. Hypothetical.
A question about contract consideration. Hypothetical.Please take at face value.Landlord and tenant enter into a commercial lease for 24 months for a commercial suite. Landlord obtains a personal guar… read more
RGMacEsq
RGMacEsq
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
751 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x