Estoppel Certificate? Estop and Check Your Lease

By:  Lauren Podgorski

If you are leasing space in a building, there may come a time when you receive a request from your landlord to fill out and sign an estoppel certificate. Estoppel certificates are usually sent to tenants in connection with the sale or refinance of a building, and a third party may rely on the accuracy of the statements and information contained in the estoppel certificate in connection with that transaction. Estoppel certificates can range from a very simple, one-page document, to several pages.

I’ve received an estoppel certificate in the mail. What do I do now?

Consider the following:

Check your lease.… Read More »

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“Bee” Careful: Unique Considerations When Negotiating a Bee Storage Lease Agreement

By: Colton Addy

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As demand for commercial bees used to pollinate crops (such as almond trees) has grown, so has the demand for facilities to store bees.  Entering a lease agreement for the storage of live bees presents some unique issues the parties need to consider when negotiating the lease agreement.

Don’t Bee Short-Sighted:  Bees are often transported to different areas depending on the time of year, which means bees are not stored in the same facility all year.  The lease agreement will often only provide for the storage of bees during the season when the bees are used for pollination in that particular area, but that does not mean the parties must limit the term of the lease agreement to a single season.  … Read More »

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Green Energy Can Complicate Real Estate Foreclosures

Bob L. Olson

A quick drive through almost any newer residential community in the Southwest will show that a lot of residents are embracing “Green Energy” or renewable energy by placing solar panels on their properties. While most people would agree that increasing the use of alternative energy is socially responsible, there are a number of real estate investors that may view it as an opportunity to make additional profits by purchasing distressed properties with solar panels and then reselling those properties for more than they would be worth without solar panels. The theory is relatively straight forward as many believe that foreclosure of a deed of trust that was recorded before the solar panels were installed would extinguish any liens in favor of the vendor that sold or financed the sale of the solar panels. … Read More »

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Franchisors Should Consider Signing a Conditional Lease Assignment Rather Than a Franchisee’s Lease

By:  Richard H. Herold

In Franchise & High Properties, LLC v. Happy’s Franchise, LLC, a 2015 decision issued by the Court of Appeals in Michigan, the franchisor, Happy’s Pizza Franchise, LLC, signed a five-year lease for the commercial space to be occupied by its franchisee, Happy’s Pizza #19, Inc.  The franchisor did so to secure a right of first refusal to purchase the property and to enforce the franchise agreement to have the lease assigned to the franchisor if the franchisee defaulted.

The issue in the case was whether the term “tenant” referred solely to Happy’s Pizza #19 or whether it also included Happy’s Franchise as a co-tenant. … Read More »

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Landlords Must Not be Arbitrary When Denying a Tenant’s Request To Sublease or Assign

By:  Richard Herold

So, you’re a landlord who’s entered into a 30-year lease, the lease has rent escalation clauses which are dramatically out of step with the market, and it’s your view that you are therefore losing money every month. The tenant is closing its business and wants to sublet or assign the lease to a similar business for the final seven years of the lease.  While these cases are fact-sensitive, some of the following rules may apply where the lease provides the tenant with an opportunity to ask the landlord to consent to an assignment of the lease or a sublease.… Read More »

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Nevada Supreme Court adds New Elements to Constructive Eviction Claims.

By Bob L. Olson

Nevada, like many jurisdictions, has recognized the ability of a tenant to vacate property if it becomes unfit for occupancy for the purpose for which it was leased.  This is commonly known as a “constructive eviction.”  Traditionally, to establish a claim for or defense of constructive eviction, the tenant had to prove the following three elements:

1.         The landlord either acted or failed to act;

2.         The landlord’s action or inaction rendered the whole or a substantial part of the premises unfit of occupancy for the purpose for which it was leased; and

3.         The tenant must actually vacate the property within a reasonable time.… Read More »

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Arizona Residential Landlords in Foreclosure – Expanding the Duty to Notify Tenants

By: Bob Henry

The Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, A.R.S. § 33-1301 et seq., already requires landlords to provide written notice (with specific language) to tenants of a “potential foreclosure” on the property if a “foreclosure action” has been “initiated” at the time the parties enter into the rental agreement. A.R.S. § 33-1331. This obligation was added by the Arizona Legislature in 2010 in reaction to the flurry of foreclosures arising out of the recent real estate crash to protect tenants from entering into leases on properties that were already in significant financial distress and, indeed, in the process of being foreclosed on.… Read More »

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