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We have been paying faithfully for one year on a commercial…

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We have been paying faithfully...
We have been paying faithfully for one year on a commercial lease. We closed our business a year ago last april and have been trying to sublet our space. The land lord will not let us out of the lease and will not drop the price of rent or CAMS to help rent out the space. We closed mainly because our Cams doubled the first year we were in business and he did not let us know they would go this high. We signed a personal guarantee but he is not doing any thing on his part to sublet it by negotiating with potential renters. If we tell him we are only paying until January of 2011 do we have any chance of getting out of the lease. We would have one year left.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
6/13/2010
Real Estate Lawyer: Dave Kennett, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience
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Dear JACUSTOMER - A commercial lease is a private contract and does not fall under the residential landlord tenant statues. In any lease there is an affirmative duty for the landlord to mitigate damages and to try to re-let the property so that would be a viable defense if you decide to breach the lease.

 

I'm not certain why you would continue to throw more money at this if you plan to stop paying anyway in 6 months. You cannot get out of the lease if you stop paying now or later so I don't see the point in continuing as you will owe the same amount. You can't force him to try to re let the property but you can use this as an affirmative defense in any lawsuit he might file.

 

Obviously I don't know your overall financial situation but if you signed on this personally you will be ultimately liable for the entire lease unless you make a case for mitigation of damages. You can argue the CAMS issue if you are sued but anything at this point is just verbal negotiation and has no legal effect.

 

Once you stop paying rent you will either have to defend a suit or come to some settlement agreement so you may want to consider starting the process sooner than later. So long as you are paying rent the landlord isn't about to talk a reasonable settlement since he continues to receive his rent.

 

The other option would be to get a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to see if there are any possibilities in that area.

 

Dave Kennett

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
If we stop paying now and he sues us will we have to pay his court costs if he wins? Would you recommend not paying and trying to negotiate after he is not getting his 1400 dollars a month rent?
Real Estate Lawyer: Dave Kennett, Lawyer replied 8 years ago

I am not permitted to give specific legal advice in specific cases since I do not have the ability to review all the documents of a lease or to know all the details as if I were representing a client. I can tell you that courts costs are the least of your worries since they are relatively minor. Unless there is something in the lease about attorney fees you would have no obligation to pay his attorney fees.

 

Personally I see no point in continuing to pay if you don't intend to pay the entire lease. You are going to have to settle at some point and he is not going to make any reasonable offers if he is continuing to receive the full rent. You may want to spend some of that rent money on a consultation with a local attorney who could review all of the documents and offer some specific advice.

 

Dave

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