L ease renegotiation is a grey area, since it goes against the contract law. A signed contract is a binding agreement meant to be followed through the term of the lease. Yet, circumstances change.
It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time operator, or you have a number of locations, between the time you signed the lease and today a lot could be different – the economy, the demand for your product, even a change in an egress and ingress could prevent customers from coming through your door as originally planned. The business is usually based on a business plan, on the projections. As things change, so does the business’s affordability of the lease rates.
If you are put in a situation, where your cash flow is below your operating expenses, and the two remaining options are renegotiating the lease or closing your doors, a renegotiation would be a much preferred option from any landlord’s viewpoint. Since lease renegotiation is subject to the landlord’s willingness to work with the tenant, it is in tenant’s interests to effectively demonstrate their current need for more suitable terms.
Inexperienced tenants might try to get out of the lease by looking for loopholes and hoping that a default on a lease, followed by litigation would get them out of the contract. In reality, it is extremely rare for the judge or arbitrator to rule outside of the signed contract – the tenant still owes the landlord the money for the remainder of the lease, despite the circumstances.
On the other hand, the landlord doesn’t want the aggrevation and expenses of litigation and replacing the tenant. Most landlords will consider lending a hand to the hardworking tenants to get them out of a short bind. Often a middle ground could be reached by changing the terms of the lease that are hindering tenant’s going concern and future success.
A renegotiation is a sensitive subject, especially when both the tenant’s and the landlord’s financial wellness is concerned. We recommend delegating this job to an attorney experienced in landlord-tenant negotiations. It is helpful to have someone on your side who not only understands the legal issues, but also financial implications involved. Building a strong case to present to the landlord could save the tenant’s business, as well as save landlord the expenses of replacing the tenant.
We cannot guarantee that the landlord will agree to your requests. But we can guarantee that by removing yourself from the emotional situation and letting facts and objective solutions take the lead, you will have the highest chance of achieving your renegotiation goals.
Moschetti Law Group has been representing tenants in lease renegotiations for over fifteen years. Our goal is to help the tenants in need stay in business. Please find the offer of our services below.