Dealing With a Difficult Commercial Landlord

Commercial landlords can make renting a building for your business a joy or misery. Most entrepreneurs aren’t the least bit interested in wasting precious time in a dispute with their landlord. They want to focus their energy on helping their business to thrive instead. However, sometimes stressful situations arise unexpectedly for commercial tenants, and you will need some strategies to deal with them.

Understand the Terms of Your Lease to Avoid Future Problems

Be sure to read over the terms of your lease carefully before you sign. If you have any doubts or concerns, ask a professional, such as a real estate lawyer, to look over the lease and explain all points of interest or conflict. Seeking counsel because of lack of experience or knowledge with a commercial rental agreement helps entrepreneurs avoid any serious mistakes. A lawyer will discuss all of the limitations of your lease and plan to renegotiate the lease if necessary.

If you consider the conditions in the lease to be unfair or somehow undesirable, you need to negotiate with your landlord for better terms. Negotiating can eliminate potential problems and future disagreements. If you are concerned about some aspect of the lease, such as the repair of some part of the building that isn’t up to code, don’t sign until this issue is addressed.

Don’t Lose Your Temper

Some landlords are the nicest people you will ever meet, while some behave like immature bullies.  If you suspect your commercial landlord enjoys antagonizing people to feel more powerful, tread carefully. Your best tactic if confronted by an aggressive landlord would be to not lash out in anger. Losing your temper can make a tense situation much worse. However, at the same time, you don’t want to appear like a pushover either, and you need to stand your ground.

Always assume a professional attitude and demeanor with your landlord and don’t raise your voice. State your opinion firmly but without any element of anger or sarcasm. You don’t want to antagonize your landlord further and make matters worse. Compromise is the objective to strive for in such situation and to find an amicable solution to existing problems. If an agreeable solution cannot be reached between both parties, you should seek legal aid to explore your options.

In Case of Legal Action

Keep records of all communications that pass between you and your landlord. Save all emails and texts and take notes during phone calls. If your landlord has been verbally abusive in the past, it’s important to document the evidence in the event you wind up in court. If you need to send your landlord any important documents or letters of complaint, send them by registered mail. Not only will you have evidence your landlord received the letter or document, but you will also know the date as well.

If you are asking your landlord to make repairs to remedy a potentially dangerous condition in the building you are renting, it’s essential to take a multitude of photos for visual evidence. These photos will strengthen your case if someone gets hurt and tries to sue you instead of the landlord.

“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer

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