Lease Drafting & Review

Commercial

Most small business owners lease space from a landlord.  When the landlord presents the business tenant with the lease, few tenants know what to look out for, and end up getting stuck with terms they did not understand or even knew existed.  Also, since many small businesses do not have established business credit, these leases contain personal guarantees that are extremely one-sided and give the guarantor little recourse in the event of a dispute.

Even if your landlord is fair and ethical, business tenants still need an attorney to review initial drafts of their leases.  In many cases, we can negotiate terms and conditions that are reasonable and balanced for all involved.

If you are a landlord, are you still using CAR or AIR forms?  They only address basic issues of tenancy, and do not cover many other contingent events that landlords need to address at the start of a lease.  Every landlord should have an attorney review, and if needed, re‑draft their leases for each unique situation.

Residential

In residential tenancy matters, our firm represents only the landlord.  Unfortunately, many landlords use boilerplate forms for their leases, many of which do not comply with laws specific to California residential tenancies.  For example, does your lease contain a provision for late fees if the residential tenant does not pay their rent timely?  Sorry, but an important case (Orozco v. Casimiro, 121 Cal. App. 4th Supp. 7 (2004)) holds late fees to be unenforceable.  If you’ve already collected late fees, a savvy tenant can simply deduct them from their last month’s rental payment, leaving the landlord with little recourse.  However, liquidated damages are enforceable, if properly drafted at the start of the tenancy.

Our firm can properly draft a residential lease that’s up to date and offers the landlord maximum protection from tenant disputes (including non-payment of rent).  A small investment today with an attorney can save you thousands later should you ever end up in court with your tenant.

Please visit any of our drop-down menu pages to the right for more specific information on your topic of interest.