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Documentation is key to resolving tenant-landlord confilcts

There are many reasons why the relationship between a commercial landlord and a commercial tenant may sour. It could be because the landlord is not doing their part of the upkeep and maintenance of the space. It might be simply because a particular landlord has changed the strategy for how he or she would like to fill the space. There are countless other scenarios that can lead to to tenant-landlord conflict, but all of them make for a tense work environment where tenants must be vigilant to ensure that their rights are not violated by a negligent or over-zealous landlord.

If you find yourself in a conflict with your landlord, it is vitally important to get as much of the conflict documented as possible. If you can, conduct your correspondence with your landlord through email. These are especially useful because they are very difficult to destroy, and they feature an electronic time and date stamp. If there is an issue with maintenance or upkeep of the property, take many pictures of the problem area. Saving these to cloud storage instead of only keeping physical copies can also help you if you are forced to provide proof.

It is also wise to check through your lease and make sure that you have a complete understanding of your obligations and rights, as well as the landlord's obligations and rights. It is always best to have a working understanding of the lease before you sign it, since negotiating changes later on can be quite difficult.

If you are unable to reasonably resolve the conflict with your commercial landlord, it may need to become a legal matter. If you are in this situation, the guidance of a lawyer with experience in commercial tenant rights can greatly help you protect yourself while you explore your options to resolve the conflict.

Source: Smart Business Online, "How to deal with a commercial landlord and what to do if you end up in a dispute," Heather Tunstall, accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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