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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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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New Landlords Should Not Ignore Arizona’s Requirement To Register With The County Assessor’s Office

By: Cory L. Braddock

With ongoing price volatility in Arizona’s residential real estate market, homeowners may be tempted to become recreational landlords. Anyone considering renting their home, however, should be aware that Arizona law requires residential rental property owners to register their residential rental property with the county assessor’s office, presumably so that assessor can assess the appropriate taxes to the property owner. See A.R.S. § 33-1902.

The owner of a residential rental property is required to maintain the following information with the county assessor:

  1.  The name, address, and telephone number of the property owner;
  2. The street address and parcel number of the property; and
  3. The year the property was built.
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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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Landlords Need Not Deny Puppy Love

By: Erica Stutman

Dog-lovers will be happy to know they may rent property to a tenant and the tenant’s dog without necessarily being subject to strict liability if man’s best friend turns out to be not-so-friendly after all.  In Spirlong v. Browne, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided that the strict liability for injuries or damages caused by a dog that is imposed upon a person “keeping” a dog requires that the person exercises care, custody, or control of the dog, and that merely allowing a dog to live in your property does not alone subject a person to liability.  … Read More »

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Bona Fide Tenancies for a Term Remain Protected

By:  Julie E. Maurer

A recent California Court of Appeals decision determined that the federal Protecting Tenants Against Foreclosure Act (“PTFA”) impliedly overrides state laws that provide less protection to tenants, but expressly allows states to retain the authority to enact greater protection.  The PTFA was enacted by Congress in May 2009 (Pub.L. 111-22, Div. A, Title VII, §§ 702-704, May 20, 2009, 123 Stat. 1660) and, in 2010, the Congress amended it (Pub.L. 111-203), Title XIV, § 1484, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 2204).  The PTFA provides protections for bona fide tenants of residential real property at foreclosure until the PTFA is scheduled to sunset at the end of 2014.… 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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