Commercial Leases

Business property landlords revel in placing terms into their leases that allow them to increase renewal rates exponentially, to move tenants into other spaces at their whim, to mandate the joining of tenant associations that may or may not exist in the future, to require tenants to be fully responsible for all interior repairs, to waive important rights as stated in the Property Code, and provide all manner of financial records at very burdensome times, among many others.

Just remember, everything in a lease is negotiable, and don’t just sign on the dotted line. Seek professional advice and have redrafting performed, if possible. Don’t get stuck in a five year lease without fallback provisions protecting your interests.

Basic Contracts

In Texas, a contract must be in writing if it is:
1. A promise by an administrator or executor of an estate to pay for the debt of his estate from his own pocket.
2. A promise of any person to act as surety for another.
3. A promise made in exchange for marriage or merely taking up residence with another.
4. A sale of real estate.
5. A lease of real estate for longer than one year.
6. Any agreement which may not be performed within 1 year from date of execution.
7. An agreement pertaining to oil and gas commissions.
8. A promise or warranty of a cure or results made by a health care provider pertaining to medical treatment.

Mediate Don’t Litigate

Have a dispute? Want to sue? Try mediation. This is a process wherein a neutral party, such an attorney, become the medium for communication between the disputing parties. The mediator will probe each side’s case/claim and assess the willingness to compromise. Each party moves little by little toward a position agreeable to both sides, and a settlement agreement is signed. The mediator does not represent either side, although each party is permitted to obtain their own legal representation.

A mediation is successful when neither side completely gets what they want, although the costs in time, monetary outlay, stress, and uncertainty of litigation are all eliminated. A mediation can take half a day or a full day, more in extreme cases. The parties should be made aware that they must be willing to compromise prior to engaging in mediation.