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Orange County Legal Blog

Finding tenants for shopping centers can be a challenge

When you signed up to be part of a project, you more than likely had high hopes for its success. Then, in what may be best described as an uncertain economy here in California, you discover that finding tenants for your project is a challenge. Attracting tenants for shopping centers may require sweetening the pot with some additional benefits and amenities that may be attractive to them.

For instance, in this electronic age, providing an already installed superior internet infrastructure may be enticing. Combining this with options to maximize energy efficiency may draw more tenants. Both of these improvements could be sold as money-saving options that would increase a tenant's bottom line.

Evicting a commercial tenant in California

Even with a lease, a landlord cannot always trust the other party to follow through. Perhaps you have a commercial tenant in a property here in California who owes back rent or otherwise violated the terms of the lease you and the tenant signed. You may already know that you have grounds for eviction, but need help with the process.

First, you need to know that you cannot just change the locks. Sheriff's Departments across California are the ones who do the evicting. You must go through a legal process in order to avoid ending up in litigation for violating your tenant's rights.

'You gotta settle,' says mediator to house flipper in construction defects case

The Bravo television series Flipping Out depicts Jeff Lewis as a house flipper and designer with obsessive-compulsive tendencies who brings extraordinary attention to detail to every project he undertakes. More accurately (because this is reality TV), it's Lewis who depicts himself that way.

Either way, in a case that involved construction defects and conspiracy in a flip, the seller of a house our clients bought certainly did not have Lewis' attention to detail.

Will the CEQA affect your new development?

The California Environmental Quality Act enforced by the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife provides guidelines regarding the protection of the environment. You may be required to apply for licenses and permits for your new development project through this agency. As a result, your request will more than likely involve a review to make sure it does not violate the act.

The goal of the CEQA is to limit, or at least mitigate, any potential damage to the environment your project could potentially cause. This is done through either a Negative Declaration, an Initial Study or an Environmental Impact Report. The circumstances more than likely dictate which method is used. The agency may publish the results for the public to see. 

What provisions should you include in a commercial lease?

After constructing a new shopping center here in California, you may already have tenants lined up to occupy the space. As you work toward the official opening of the property, you will more than likely need to negotiate a commercial lease with each tenant. Even though there may be certain items specific to each tenant, each lease may need to include some standard provisions.

An important issue for both you and your tenants probably surrounds the issues of liability and insurance. You may be required to carry a certain insurance and accept a certain amount of liability for common areas, but it may be in your best interest to specify the amount of coverage and liability that the tenant must assume. The same could be said for any repairs and maintenance that the rented space will need during the time the tenant remains in it. The tenant may also want to know what responsibility, if any, it will have regarding the common areas of the shopping center.

California developers could benefit from some legal help

Starting a new commercial venture can be an exciting time, but also a frustrating one. With so many decisions to make, both business and legal, what looks like an easy shopping center project on paper could quickly become complex. This is why California developers could benefit from some legal help with projects.

Making one wrong choice could derail a project. Even short delays could end up costing valuable time, resources and money. Potential problems can begin with the acquisition of the real estate for the project. Due diligence is an important and crucial part of the process since you want to make sure that the purchase goes smoothly and that you have a clear title at the end of the process. In addition, you more than likely want to make sure that you receive the best deal possible. 

Pre- and post-occupancy study finds chemicals in green buildings

Are you a developer who is working to meet green building standards? Are you considering leasing a green building? If so, you may be interested to know about a recent study in the journal Environmental Institute that indicates that building "green" doesn't necessarily mean building healthy. Indoor air pollution often isn't considered when taking buildings green for other purposes, yet it can lead to a range of health issues.

"Most buildings aren't designed with people's health in mind," said the study's lead author, an environmental exposure scientist at the Silent Spring Institute.

Could San Juan Capistrano fit the bill for Amazon's second HQ?

According to the Los Angeles Times, in its search, Amazon will prioritize areas with more than one million people, as well as those that are within 45 minutes of an international airport. 

Amazon has outgrown itself, and the 30+ buildings with 40,000 employees that make up its headquarters in Seattle no longer suffice.   

The company is making the rounds to several different cities on the hunt for the right location for "HQ2," which would bring an estimated $5 billion in construction and 50,000 new jobs.

Common commercial lease mistakes to avoid

As an entrepreneur, you understand how important it is for you to find the right building for your business. Besides location, you need a property that is in good condition. As you shop for commercial properties in the San Juan Capistrano area, you should take into consideration the leasing requirements each property has. All commercial leases are not the same. If you are not careful, you could end up with a lease that puts you at a big disadvantage. 

It is vital for you to carefully review every lease contract offered. Look past the amount of rent you will pay every month. Instead, think about your business goals and how a commercial lease could impact them. Take some time to review the following mistakes people make with commercial leases so you can avoid them: 

Tenants win bedbug protections in new law

Tenants throughout California received another win in with strong legislation protections recently. According to a new state law that took effect on July 1, landlords are now required to inform tenants of instances of bedbugs. It also offers guidelines for how tenants should report infestations to landlords. The law does not take effect for existing leases until Jan. 1, 2018.

Bedbugs are a particularly troublesome pest because they can easily move between multiple apartments or units, so they must be addressed quickly to avoid further trouble. Under the new law, landlords may not rent any unit that actively contains a bedbug infestation. However, it does not require landlords to perform bedbug inspections on units if no bedbugs have been sighted there, or if no tenants have reported them.