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Why Do You Need A Commercial Real Estate Attorney?

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When they think of commercial real estate, most people think of offices or hotels or large-scale rental properties, but any property that generates an income (at least theoretically) or is used for business purposes is a commercial property. For example, if you rent your home out to vacationers on a temporary basis, you have a commercial property, and you may benefit from a consultation with a real estate attorney. 

Lawyers who have experience with real estate and commercial properties can help you evaluate your insurance needs, assess potential liabilities, and prepare legal paperwork, such as commercial leases or releases. These attorneys can help you avoid problems before they happen, not just deal with them after the fact. A properly drafted commercial lease protects all of the parties involved, so your lawyer will ask you questions to determine what needs to be addressed in the lease. 

Things Your Lawyer Will Consider

  • Are you renting out all of the property or just a part of it?
  • If the rental only applies to part of the property, what areas does the tenant have access to?
  • Which areas are off limits? 
  • Who is responsible for maintenance of the common areas?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning?

All of these questions seem simple, but the landlord and the tenant may have reasonable but very different answers to them. The attorney's job is to make sure that everyone is on the same page and to reduce the chance that you end up in court over a misunderstanding.  Making sure that everyone understands the agreement is usually more cost effective for everyone than litigating the matter down the road.

When you have a relationship with your real estate attorney, they are more familiar with your business property, and they will be in a better position to advise you about your options, should something bad happen. Bad things are not limited to court cases alone, unfortunately. If your property is struck by a tornado or another natural disaster, you have to deal with your insurance claims, but you may have a responsibility to your tenants as well.  Your lease agreement should address what happens in the event of a disaster and what obligations, if any, you have to your tenant for their property damage, as well as your obligations under the laws of your state. Your real estate/commercial property attorney will know what the law requires in these circumstances and will be able to advise you so that your property is an asset, not a liability.

Contact a commercial property real estate attorney for more information.