How to get out of a commercial lease without loosing everything?

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2011

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How to get out of a commercial lease without loosing everything?

LLC gas station that con no longer sustain itself. 50 months left on lease. The lease is in the business name and does not have a personal guarantee in the contract. Business has no assets. Landlord will not reduce the rent. Tried to find new tenant but no one wants the station. Landlord has an attorney. Do we need an attorney and, if so, what type of attorney – real estate? How will this affect us? Can they come after us personally for the balance of the lease? My husband is the only one listed on the business. In Middlesex County, NJ.

Asked on January 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

One of the benefits of a Limited Liability Company is that it can protect the parties that formed it from personal liability.  Creditors are limited to collect from the assets of the corporation.  I would say that you do indeed need an attorney to help you here.  Not necessarily a real estate attorney but one that is familiar with commercial leases and litigates them.  Maybe the attorney can help you re-negotiate the lease.  Sometimes attorney to attorney is better than landlord to tenant or vice versa.  Your landlord's attorney can try and help the landlord see the light that reducing the rent can save him having to litigate the lease and losing money in the long run with a vacant property.  Good luck to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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