Some Ways to Avoid Commercial Landlord Tenant Litigation

If you’re a business owner, you likely operate that business out of a commercial rental space.  Commercial leases may be lengthy and complex so it is important that you take the time review the terms so that you understand the entire document in order to avoid commercial landlord tenant litigation.

From time to time, disputes can occur between landlords and tenants. Some of the most common problems that arise in landlord-tenant litigation include eviction, withholding of security deposit, non-payment of rent, and breach of lease agreement. Here are some practical tips to help avoid these disputes:

Take Photos

When you want to prove the condition of a rental space upon move-in or move-out, pictures are the best option. Take photos of every room of the space including bathrooms, kitchens, and foyers or reception areas. Be sure to view all areas, including telephone closets and computer rooms. Note any damage that is present when you move in and report it to the landlord for repairs.

Report Problems

It is important that you report any problems that occur in a timely manner. Make sure that you follow up a phone call with a written message to document the report. Indeed, many lease agreements require notices to be made in writing. A simple email message helps to prove the problem was reported, along with exactly when the landlord was notified. This can help later if the landlord indicates that the situation was not brought to his or her attention.

Understand the Lease

Disagreements may arise when the tenant does not understand the terms of the lease agreement. Review the lease thoroughly before you sign it. If there are any areas that you are unsure of or do not agree with, you must voice your dissatisfaction and make changes to the document before it is executed. There may be some hidden fees that you need to be aware of. For example, special cleaning fees may be assessed for businesses after they move out of a commercial space.

Make Changes Properly

Many companies need to make modifications to their commercial space in order to better accommodate their business requirements. Find out in advance how the changes should be handled. In some cases, the tenant may be required to remove the additions and repair the space back to its original condition. Other times, the tenant must leave the modifications in place. If you do the wrong thing you could end up in a dispute after you move.

Resolving Disputes

When a disagreement happens, the first thing to do is refer to the lease since this is the legal document that covers the situation. If the lease is unclear or does not address the type of problem you have, the problem could become more difficult to resolve. If so, you need help from a skilled legal team to protect your rights. Your lawyer will help you gather the documents and information you need to defend your position. Contact Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation to talk about your case.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Commercial Landlord Tenant Litigation, or any other litigation matters, please feel free to contact Udall Shumway PLC at 480.461.5300, or log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.