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How a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer Can Help You Navigate Tenant Rights

Jun 24, 2024

In commercial real estate, understanding tenant rights is essential for building a positive landlord-tenant relationship and ensuring legal compliance. However, this subject is filled with complexities that require a nuanced approach. Learn how a commercial real estate lawyer can help you navigate through the maze of tenant rights and create an ideal commercial lease.

What Tenant Rights Are And What They Entail

When entering into a commercial lease agreement, tenants have specific rights and responsibilities that must be adhered to. It’s crucial for tenants to understand their rights to ensure they are protected throughout the leasing process. Among the various rights afforded to commercial tenants, some of the most common include:

  • The Right to Habitable Premises: This encompasses the tenant’s right to a space that meets specific safety, health, and structural standards. Landlords must ensure the leased premises adhere to all relevant codes and regulations.
  • Transparency About Rent Payments: Tenants have the right to know the amount of rent due, when it is due, and any penalties for late payments.
  • Property Maintenance: Landlords are responsible for keeping the property safe and habitable, and tenants have the right to request repairs and upgrades.
  • Right to Renewal and Exclusivity Clauses (if stipulated in the lease): Some leases offer renewal options or exclusivity clauses, which can significantly impact a tenant’s business prospects. These clauses must be clearly defined and understood by both parties.
  • Eviction Procedures: Landlords must follow legal procedures if they wish to evict a tenant, including providing proper notice and reasons for eviction.
  • Protection Under Anti-Discrimination Laws: Tenants have the right to occupy their leased premises without facing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, and in some instances, sexual orientation or identity.

While this is not an exhaustive list, these rights underline the complexity and scope of considerations landlords must navigate. Additionally, specific rights can vary by location, as state and local laws play a critical role in defining the landlord-tenant relationship in the commercial context.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Understanding tenant rights in commercial real estate can be overwhelming due to the complexities of lease agreements and regulations. To start, commercial lease agreements are often lengthy documents full of legal jargon that can be difficult for the average individual to decipher. Without proper guidance, tenants may unknowingly agree to terms that are not in their best interest or could potentially lead to legal disputes down the line.


Do you know what a proper commercial lease agreement should entail? Learn what your contract should look like and how a commercial real estate attorney can help.

Learn More


The Role of a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer

Working with a commercial real estate attorney can provide invaluable support in navigating the intricacies of tenant rights. These professionals have the expertise and knowledge to decipher complex lease agreements, ensuring that tenants fully understand their rights and obligations.

Their role can be broken down into several key areas:

1. Legal Guidance and Compliance

Lawyers provide landlords with invaluable guidance on state and federal laws governing commercial leases and tenant rights. They help ensure compliance with these regulations, mitigating the risk of legal disputes and potential litigation down the line. This is particularly important for landlords who are unsure about their abilities to make decisions like eviction or lease termination, as these actions are heavily regulated.

2. Drafting and Reviewing Leases

A well-drafted lease is the best defense against future misunderstandings and disputes. Commercial real estate lawyers have the expertise to create comprehensive lease agreements that clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties. They ensure that the lease complies with all applicable laws while protecting the landlord’s interests.

3. Review and Negotiation

Negotiating lease terms can be a nuanced process, with both parties seeking favorable conditions. Lawyers can represent landlords during these negotiations, leveraging their understanding of commercial real estate law to secure advantageous terms. They can also ensure that any negotiated terms do not infringe upon the tenant’s legal rights, thus maintaining a balance between the landlord’s objectives and legal requirements.

4. Dispute Resolution and Litigation

When disputes arise, having legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome. Lawyers can offer strategies for dispute resolution that avoid the courtroom, saving both time and money. However, if litigation becomes necessary, an experienced commercial real estate lawyer can advocate effectively on the landlord’s behalf, drawing upon their knowledge of tenant rights and lease agreements.

How You Can Benefit By Working With a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer

Given the various roles commercial property lawyers can take, landlords can experience the following benefits:

  • Expertise and Experience: Commercial real estate lawyers are well-versed in property law and have a deep understanding of tenant rights. Their expertise and experience can help property managers navigate complex legal issues with confidence.
  • Legal Protection: A commercial real estate lawyer can ensure that property managers are protected legally in all aspects of tenant rights. They can help draft and review lease agreements, negotiate terms, and handle disputes effectively.
  • Risk Mitigation: By working with a commercial real estate lawyer, property managers can minimize the risk of legal disputes and potential liabilities. Lawyers can identify potential issues in advance and provide proactive solutions to mitigate risks.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that a knowledgeable legal professional is handling tenant rights matters can give property managers peace of mind. They can focus on running their businesses smoothly without worrying about legal complications.

Key Takeaways

  • For commercial property managers, having a comprehensive understanding of tenant rights and how they are solidified in commercial lease agreements is essential.
  • Without a comprehensive understanding of tenant rights, landlords risk inadvertently infringing upon them, leading to legal challenges that can be costly and damaging to their reputation.
  • Working with a commercial real estate attorney can help property managers navigate these legal pitfalls and foster a productive landlord-tenant relationship.

Expertly Navigate Tenant Rights With Belkin Burden Goldman, LLP

With BBG on your side, you can get the full scope of even more tenant rights. Our firm combines decades of expertise with a proactive approach to safeguarding landlords and property owners in NYC. From commercial leases to human rights and complex tenant disputes, let us guide you through every legal intricacy with confidence and clarity.

Connect with us today to ensure your properties and your peace of mind are well-protected.

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