Avoiding litigation when breaking a commercial lease

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Business Law

Sometimes a Georgia business is started with the best of intentions, but it experiences unexpected financial obstacles. As a result, its need for a large commercial space diminishes, and there is a desire to break the lease. In some cases, a business may be doing better than expected. Their leased space may no longer be adequate, making a break of the rental contract desirable. Perhaps a family emergency has happened. A business owner may need to sell their business and break their lease as a result.

Every commercial lease has certain provisions as to what circumstances are justifiable to break the lease. If a person breaks the lease for any other reason, they can be subject to litigation to force them to live up to or pay the remaining balance owed on the lease. If a landlord fails to uphold their obligations, such as failing to maintain their grounds or adequate safety, a tenant may be able to terminate their lease and avoid litigation.

Depending on the circumstances, a landlord may welcome ending the lease early. For example, if the office space is in an area with limited vacancies, terminating the lease may allow them to secure a new tenant at a higher rental amount. Perhaps a sublease is possible, particularly if you’re nearing the end of your contract term. Your landlord would have to agree to the lease assignment, though.

If those options don’t work, you may have to consider negotiating a buyout, where you pay the landlord a certain percentage of what you owe. They get the opportunity to recoup some of what they would have made from the rent, plus the opportunity to lease the unit again. Most Georgia lease contracts have termination or exit clauses, which allows a renter to end the rental agreement for cause such as landlord negligence or breach of contract.

If you have become the holder of an undesirable commercial lease here in Augusta, then there may be some lawful options for breaking your contract. An attorney may be able to help you negotiate a mutual parting of the ways that is satisfactory for both parties and helps you avoid time-intensive and costly litigation.