How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31733
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im on a one year commercial lease with someone who operates

This answer was rated:

I'm on a one year commercial lease with someone who operates outside the law. No business license he is on Disability and can't make money, sells pot to the neighbors, no permits or code inspections on building repairs, pays workers under table. Says he spent 15k on Tenat inprovement and that the money was for his resident repairs something to do with his disability settlement..told me he committed fraud by spending money on commercial. one day he just quit. now he is back He is very hostile to me. I can't open my side of the building and have an employee subject to his Ranting. I building is old, I want to separate myself from him..I sell clothing and he is going to open a smoke shop in the back.. In order for me to registar with the state of California I have to sign an application for a new business license. states just above signature ' I declare under penalty of perjury all is true and advised to check compliance and building codes are all up and up. How do I distance myself from this guy? can I opt out of my lease? I do not fill comfortable applying for my licence because I don't know if its up to code.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

The best way to get out without the threat of being sued or penalized is to try and find some provision of the lease that the landlord has breached, and give him notice of the breach and of the fact that you have grounds to cancel the lease based on the breach.

If the person doesn't have a license and if you can find any other provision that the landlord isn't in compliance with, you can use that as grounds.

Also, the lease likely gives a time frame for notice, but the general default is 3 days.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I am on the lease with someone who operates out side the law. Is it implied that I am an accompolice?

No, you're not breaking the law as a result of his actions that you have no control over.

HOWEVER, if your license requires that the building must be up to code and it's not, then you can't misrepresent that on your application. Thus, the fact that the landlord has a building that is not in compliance with the law should be a very good reason for you to be able to cancel the lease. Essentially, you can't use the property for it's intended purposes because your license is held up due to building code issues violations.

Again you should not be liable for his actions, but you also can't misrepresent anything on your application - - because you cannot get a license, the lease is no good to you. Thus, that should be your grounds to cancel the lease.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I can get a business license, I need to separate myself from him, he is very hostile to me and i can't do business in that enviroment can I have a document drawn up that disassociates me from him?
Hi - if you need to reply, you don't have to negatively rate the responses in order to do so. Also, issuing negative ratings causes me problems as well, so please don't use them if you just need to reply.

As for disassociating yourself from the landlord, what do you mean? Do you want out of the lease or something else?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would love to be out of the lease that would be great. I don't see a way out. I went to the building inspectors office code informent and zoning. Again I am on a lease with another person. Vince Valdez ( not the Landlord) I share the same building he is in the back and I am in the front half. I want to open a clothing btq. he is going to sell pipes and pot smoking items. I want to disassociate myself from him.He has become very hostile towards me.sending Vial text messages. Again I can't do business in that enviroment. Would an affidavit stating those reasons be a good idea? He operates outside the Law and being on the lease with him when he does get into trouble and he will I do not want to be implicated.
Thanks for the post, and I now understand what you're trying to do - - I thought that the landlord was the culprit - - not your co-tenant.

In this case, an affidavit likely won't do much good because they're not admissible in court. However, you certainly can and should write a letter a week to your landlord complaining about this person's actions and tell the landlord that this is interfering with your business and that you are also in fear that criminal activity is going on.

Also, if you see criminal activity, you should contact the police about that.

In terms of canceling the lease, IF you can prove that this co-tenant's activities are killing your business and your ability to operate, you may have a claim to get out.

The first thing would be to talk to the landlord and try to get a resolution. If you can't, then you definitely want to create a paper trail (such as letters to the landlord) to make sure that if something illegal is found to be occurring that you have solid proof that you have nothing to do with it.

I understand that this is a tough situation, but you should be able to establish that you are not involved with this other person's actions. In addition to writing letters, you can keep a log of anything this person does that you believe is illegal or questionable.

Also, if you actually do see something criminal, a call to the police is the first thing to do.
Roger and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Real Estate Law Questions