I am disolving a business and breaking my commercial lease

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I am disolving a business and breaking my commercial lease

my question is my landlord re-rented our space. Are we responsible for rent payments to the date the new lease with new tenant was signed, or when that new tenant starts paying rent? Landlord gave them 3 months with no rent to build out.

Thank you.

Asked on January 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible to when the new tenant starts paying rent. IF you believe the amount of free rent (e.g. 3 months) was unnecessary to rent the space or excessive, you could refuse to pay for some or all of that time and force your landlord to sue you for the money (if they choose to); in court, you'd then have the chance to try to show that the amount of free rent was excessive and unreasonable. Since a landlord must act reasonbly in re-renting the space, if you can show it was unreasonable, you would not have to pay them for some or all of the free rent period. However, to prove this, you'd have to have expert testimony (e.g. from a realtor with relevant local experience) about what incentives (e.g. free rent) were appropriate and reasonable, and you'd have to pay for the expert's time most likely; between that and the fact that you may not win (i.e. it may be that 3 months rent for this type of rental in this area is reasonable), it might be better to pay than challenge.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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