Release the Lease

A topic that is tangential to the construction industry is property law. Just recently here at Wolfe Law Group, I had a client come to me with some ownership issues involving leases. Typically after a construction project is complete, especially in the commercial realm, there will be a lease of some type. Many times owners will complete the construction project and then get involve in complex leases with tenants. Landlord / Tenant issues happen often because there are natural opposing positions created by the document and the occupancy. There are many types of leases out there and it is very important to know the difference and to make sure that you have the power or at least have a fair shake. There are residential, commercial, industrial, green, month-to-month, oral, and a host of others. Just as in any legal contract, the devil is in the details. I have clients who have disputes over 30 year commercial leases all the way down to those with month-to-month residential leases and the key to successfully getting what you want is to anticipate any issues when drafting the lease and before it is executed. The Louisiana Civil Code has an entire section on leases which starts with article 2668. The State of Louisiana publishes this helpful brochure for parties to a lease. There are a number of hot button topics contained in leases, such as notice clauses, termination clauses, lessor responsibilities, lessee responsibilities and duty clauses. If the lease is silent to such matters then the Civil Code will govern. This may or may not be favorable to your position. I write this blog article because I see so many disputes out there when it comes to leases. As with all contracts (and medicine) an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you get your documents reviewed before entering into them, you will be in a much better position if a dispute arises.
About the Author: Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page. Follow Seth on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

One comment on “Release the Lease”

  • Contracts can get messy all the time. Leases can be tricky for sure; even those not involving a great deal of money.

    The trouble with leases is that even though the concept of a lease has been around for a long time, each situation can be unique and present unanticipated situations not accounted for in the lease. I think the same can be said for contracts in general in pretty much any jurisdiction (I’m in British Columbia, Canada).

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