What to do if I’m buying a hair salon and I agreed to their rental rate and terms but at the last minute they want to add a annual 3 increase for a 5 year lease?

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What to do if I’m buying a hair salon and I agreed to their rental rate and terms but at the last minute they want to add a annual 3 increase for a 5 year lease?

I want the lease without this increase.

Asked on May 9, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the lease was signed, they are locked into what was signed. But if there was no signed written lease yet, then there were no contractially enforceable terms. Or to be more accurate: IF the situation was such that you and they could be said to have entered into an oral, or unwritten, lease, those terms were locked in--for one month. An oral lease is always month-to-month, which means that the landlord can alter its terms after a month, and the tenant then can decide whether to accept the new terms or move out. There is no way to lock in lease terms for more than one month without a signed written lease. So either the terms were not locked in at all, if you and they were still negotiating; or at most, you had a one-month oral lease at those terms, then they could change the terms. There is no way to commit them to those terms for more than one month without a signed written lease.


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