Commercial Landlord-Tenant Litigation
Commercial landlord-tenant litigation can become complicated. Often, commercial landlords are trying to protect their property, while the company leasing the space may be trying to protect the business, and much may be financially at stake for both parties. Common issues in commercial landlord-tenant litigation include failures to pay rent, breaches of leases, damaged property, disputes over personal guarantees, and contract disputes. Bergen County landlord-tenant litigation lawyer Howard Leopold understands what is at stake and can represent you in these matters.Commercial Landlord-Tenant Litigation in New Jersey
Our firm represents commercial landlords and tenants in claims involving eviction property damage, habitability, suitability, unpaid rent, and lease interpretation. Sometimes leases are drafted with ambiguous or unclear language. There are various considerations when drafting these leases, including how much foot traffic there will be based on the use, the use itself, and how common spaces when there are multiple tenants will be navigated. Limits on use should be clearly expressed in the lease. Commercial tenants should be able to know whether they can establish a business at a commercial property without fearing that they will soon need to relocate. They should know if there are limits on using a parking lot or other potentially common areas at the commercial property. Moreover, there must be compliance with any applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. Errors in drafting can result in conflicts between the lease language and the law.Evictions
Grounds for eviction from commercial property in New Jersey include a tenant’s failure to pay rent, a tenant’s willful destruction of the property, a tenant’s holdover after the expiration of the lease term, and a violation of the lease terms. A landlord-tenant litigation attorney in Bergen County can assist a landlord with pursuing an eviction on any of these grounds.
Landlords need to take certain steps in order to evict a commercial tenant through a summary dispossession action. To initiate a summary dispossession action, the landlord petitions in Landlord-Tenant Court of the Special Civil Part of the New Jersey Superior Court in the county where the rental property sits. The petition needs to set forth multiple central facts, including the details of the arrearage owed by the tenant, the existence of a lease, the rental property’s address, late fees, and common area maintenance charges.
When a tenant fails to answer, the court will issue a default judgment in the landlord’s favor and award possession to the landlord, pending the filing of a certification document setting forth how much rent is due. When a tenant responds, the court will set the issue for mediation, and if that fails, it will set the case for trial. A landlord should hire a Bergen County landlord-tenant litigation attorney to represent them at trial. When a tenant does not have a valid defense for not paying the rent owed, the court will probably award possession of the premises to the landlord and decide how much rent is due. When the landlord is awarded possession, the tenant retains a right to redeem. The right to redeem can be exercised through payment of the rent that is owed either on the certification or as the court decides. When there is a timely redemption, the tenant gets to stay on the property. The tenant is also entitled to appeal the judgment of dispossession.
After it has a judgment, the landlord must get a warrant of removal. This needs to be sought within 30 days of the court issuing a judgment. The constable executes the warrant and puts the commercial property back into the landlord’s possession.Breach by the Landlord
Remedies available to a commercial tenant when a commercial landlord does not satisfy its obligations under the lease vary. It is important to consult the language of your lease if you believe that your landlord has tried to prematurely terminate a commercial lease in violation of the lease terms, or if your landlord tries to collect sums not covered in the lease, limit the space that you leased, or alter the lease terms without your agreement. Other reasons for a tenant to seek remedies may include a commercial landlord’s failure to make repairs, a failure to offer additional services specified under the lease, or a failure to make modifications to which it agreed in the lease.Retain a Landlord-Tenant Litigation Lawyer in Bergen County
At Leopold Law, LLC, we believe in providing representation with the utmost care and attention. Our firm has more than 30 years’ experience handling many different kinds of legal matters. Call us at 201-345-5907 or contact us via our online form. Mr. Leopold represents clients throughout Northern New Jersey, including in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex Counties. He is available for daytime, evening, and even weekend appointments for client convenience.