Commercial Leasing

Commercial Leasing

A well negotiated lease should enhance a business and help both the Landlord and the Tenant prosper. The lease should articulate the improvements made by the Tenant or the Landlord; it should address a non-disturbance agreement in the event the property is foreclosed on by the Landlord’s lender, and it should discuss personal exposure and prepare both parties in the event of default. Guarantees can take several shapes. For example, it may have a financial cap, or it may limit an individual to only fulfill certain covenants as opposed to only monetary covenants. The lease should also address assignment and sublet of all or a portion of the leases premises and prevents the right of recapture. A well drafted lease is essential for a commercial Landlord.

What is the common form of eviction proceeding for a commercial Tenant and what is the customary length of time for that proceeding?

An action for eviction is brought as a summary dispossession proceeding in the Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:18-53. The time frame for such proceedings varies but is usually completed 30 to 60 days after commencement.

Am I required to hold a commercial security deposit in a separate account?

New Jersey’s Security Deposit Law governs security deposits for residential leases. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 46:8-19 et seq. No such statute governs commercial leases. Commercial lease provisions regarding security deposits are negotiable.

Is there any limitation on the ability of Landlords to exercise self-help in a commercial lease?

A Landlord may not use force when exercising self-help. Where a lease permits the Landlord to re-enter and take possession of the demised premises upon the Tenant’s breach of any of the covenants of the lease, the Landlord may not re-enter and re-take possession by force, even if such force is only used as is necessary to expel the lessee. If the lessee will not leave the premises voluntarily, commercial Landlords are usually limited to summary dispossession actions. See N.J. Stat. Ann.§ 2A:18-53.

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