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Category: Real Property Law

Be Ambiguous at Your Own Risk: Sloppy Draftsmanship Bites Again!

Ambiguous or vague contract provisions are an invitation for a court to undo the actual intentions of parties to an agreement. Be careful to write what you mean because failing to do so will upset the predicabilty of your contract or lease and allow a court to rewrite your agreement after the fact.

  • Published: November 2, 2009
  • By Mark Morfopoulos

Crafting Letters of Intent in Purchase Contracts

A letter of intent or “LOI” is a valuable tool to be used when negotiating a deal for the purchase or sale of commercial property. It can clarify the key terms, making it easier to draft the contract. Here are some common items to address when preparing an LOI. Remember that each deal is different, so the LOI must be tailored to your specific deal.

Exclusive Use Clauses

When a retail tenant signs a lease, it does so with the intention of operating a particular business. In order to be successful, a tenant needs to maintain a competitive advantage over other tenants in the same center. With this in mind, many commercial retail leases include a very thorny and hotly-negotiated provision, called the “exclusive use” clause. The inclusion of an exclusive use clause, or a decision not to do so, is a critical issue, and is one that is commonly glossed over by the parties.

“Development Rights” As “Like-Kind” Property As Part of a 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchange

Development rights qualify as real property interests in a “like-kind” exchange if: (a) the development rights are “in perpetuity”; (b) the development rights are directly related to the taxpayer’s use and enjoyment of the underlying real property; and (c) the sale of development rights is done as part of an arms-length transaction.

Lease Audits: Adding Value in Troubled Times

Keep costs under control is to perform an audit of your landlord’s compliance with various provisions under your lease. Tenants should carefully examine the operating expense provision or common area cost provision within all of their leases and then use their audit rights to verify that they have been properly charged.

  • Published: June 26, 2009
  • By Mark Morfopoulos

Helping Tenants Survive by Relocating or Reducing Their Space Needs: 7 Key Provisions

Tenants are struggling to survive and are doing whatever they can to cut costs. One way is to relocate to smaller, less expensive space or to reduce the size of the space they are currently leasing. Agreements to substitute or reduce space can usually be accomplished with a simple and straightforward amendment to an existing lease. Here are seven key provisions that should be included in all such lease amendments.

Negotiating Garage Leases in the Big City

Parking garage leases in apartment or commercial buildings within cities are specialty leases and tenants and landlord need to know how to negotiate them

  • Published: April 26, 2009
  • By Mark Morfopoulos

Tenants Watch Out! Seven Ways SNDA Agreements Can Modify Your Lease

Subordination, Non-Disturbance, and Attornment Agreements (an SNDA) can serve to amend a tenant’s retail, office or industrial space or ground lease and affect the rights of a tenant, landlord or lender.

Owners of Multiple Dwellings Beware! File On-Line Or Incur Penalties

New Jersey Multiple Dwelling landlords and Owners must file annual reports online or face penalties

  • Published: February 12, 2009
  • By Mark Morfopoulos

Tenants Beware! Lenders Rewrite Leases Through SNDA Agreements

Lenders use Subordination, Non Disturbance and Attornment Agreements to rewrite or amend leases and tenants, when a lawyer or attorney negotiates an SNDA for a retail, office or industrial lease should watch out for how the lender to its landlord uses the loan to make changes to the real property lease.

  • Published: January 18, 2009
  • By Mark Morfopoulos
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