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Avoiding unintended commercial lease termination: work with experienced legal counsel

One of the important issues businesses need to carefully consider when negotiating a commercial lease is the terms related to default and remedies available to the landlord in the event of default. Landlords can naturally be expected to demand terms which favor an aggressive right to terminate the lease, so businesses negotiating commercial leases have a need to advocate for their own rights and interests.

Under North Carolina state law, the rights and duties of commercial landlords and tenants are dictated by the terms of the lease.  Unlike residential landlord tenant law, there is no specific statute that establishes a landlord's or tenants obligations. Landlords will give themselves the right to terminate a commercial lease for nonpayment, provided they give the tenant the specific notice. Most leases give the tenant a time period within which to "cure" the failure to pay on time.  The notice requirement can vary depending on the term of the lease, though. 

Termination based on violating the terms of the lease, unlike termination based on nonpayment, can legally occur without notice of termination. The lease will usually give the tenant the right, though, to receive written notice of any breaches of these obligations from the landlord.  However, this is never a guarantee so always check the terms of the lease.

There are a variety of ways a tenant can violate the terms of a commercial lease, and it is important for tenants to be aware of.  The requirements of their obligations under state law and the terms of the lease. Performing repairs, keeping the premises clean and safe, properly disposing of waste, keeping plumbing fixtures clean, are some of these requirements.

There are a number of aspects of lease payment and termination that are not governed by state law, and businesses should be careful to negotiate these terms with their interests in mind. Businesses which work with experienced legal counsel can make sure that they do everything possible to balance the landlord's right to declare default and terminate the lease with the tenant's interest in avoiding unintended lease termination. Working with an experienced advocate also helps ensure that any disputes which arise regarding the lease after it is signed are fully and fairly addressed.   

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