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Commercial lease disputes arise for a number of reasons

Renting retail space here in Orange County may have been the best choice for your company. After negotiating a commercial lease you felt worked well for your situation, you settled in and opened your doors. When you signed your lease, you relied on the fact that you and your landlord would fulfill your separate obligations without question. However, that might not always be the case.

Your lease is the controlling document should you and your landlord have any disagreements, which can arise out of a number of situations. Perhaps you included a noncompetition clause in your lease, but the landlord either has, or will, rent out space to another business that violates this provision. Maybe you find that customers with disabilities have trouble getting to you because the building fails to meet rules and regulations provided through the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Developers may consider numerous factors when purchasing land

Finding the right location in Orange County for a particular project involves numerous factors. The characteristics of the land in question are a big factor that developers consider. What may attract you to a certain piece of land may make it unsuitable for another.

For instance, your project obviously has a purpose. This means that you are probably looking for a piece of land that not only suits your purposes, but also already has the zoning you need. Zoning issues can cause delays that you may not want.

More medical professionals are moving into shopping centers

In order to better serve their patients, and potentially increase their walk-in traffic, many in the medical field are looking to lease in what some may call an unusual place. Shopping centers are becoming popular with California specialists (such as allergists and dermatologists) and family practitioners alike. If you are considering moving into a more retail centered location, you may need to be ready for some surprises as you negotiate your commercial lease.

First, consider the neighbors you could end up with in a shopping center. Restaurants and retail stores may play  loud music. You could end up next to a children's store, which may come with plenty of noise as well. The point is that when you lease in a retail center, you may not know who your neighbors will be. There is often a mixed bag of establishments, so giving careful consideration to your location within the center may be a good idea. 

Before signing a commercial lease, think about the future

When you start looking for places here in Orange County to set up shop, the realization that you are starting your own business may hit you. In your excitement to get the ball rolling, you may be tempted to rush into a commercial lease for the space you believe is perfect. The problem is that failing to take the future of your business into account could limit its possibilities.

Of course, you expect your business to grow. You may even have outlined how you believe that can happen in your business plan. Did you consider the possibility that the space you rent now may not be in line with your projections for growth?

3 things for a commercial tenant to watch for in a lease

Unless you intend to purchase property for your new business here in Orange County, you will need to sign a lease for the space you need. Like any other commercial tenant, your lease will more than likely be about much more than just the rent and term of the lease. Below are three issues you may want to watch for when negotiating your lease.

First, some landlords attempt to retain the right to move your location as desired. You may want to make sure that your landlord is prohibited from doing this. After scouting out the perfect location, it could be detrimental to your business to move to another location.

Developers may need to put more emphasis on tax ramifications

California voters could change the way that commercial properties are taxed. The proposed overhaul of Proposition 13 could mean that developers need to place more emphasis on the tax ramifications of their projects. The major selling point for the initiative lies in providing billions more dollars for schools, along with other services and programs throughout the state.

The primary change would involve taxing industrial and commercial properties at market value. Currently, Proposition 13 places a limit on the amount of tax attributed to a particular piece of property. The current tax is 1 percent of the purchase price with increases year over year of up to 2 percent regardless of how much the property may appreciate during any given year.

Are stadiums good for downtown development?

In many ways, the death of downtowns as shopping districts came long before the death of shopping malls. Some may say malls triggered this decline. However, innovative California cities have revitalized their downtowns by making them multi-purpose, combining business, work and entertainment to create a hub of social interaction. Now, a new idea to encourage development is gaining traction, and that is bringing professional sports stadiums into the heart of the city.

Building stadiums in the downtown districts has many benefits. First, it attracts other developers to bring their projects to the city. This encourages new investment in the area and boosts employment; in one city, employment grew 38 percent during the construction of a new stadium. Cities with convenient, quality public transit systems may benefit most from this, drawing visitors who will then stay in local hotels and spend money in downtown retail and restaurant establishments. Stadiums also increase pedestrian traffic, in some areas as much as 10 percent, which is good for surrounding businesses.

Starbucks finds out that a commercial tenant can't just walk away

Landlords here in Orange County enter into lease agreements expecting each party to fulfill the terms of those contracts. When a commercial tenant attempts to walk away from the lease without paying, the landlord may need to take that tenant to court. This is what happened when Starbucks broke numerous leases for its Teavana stores across the country.

One landlord, Simon Property Group, held approximately 77 of the leases for Teavana stores in various locations. One of the biggest fears the landlord had was that it would cause a chain reaction of stores leaving those shopping centers, which would jeopardize its business as a whole, along with the communities in which they operate. That fear may be founded since Starbucks's closure of all 379 stores nationwide put 3,300 people out of work.

Settlement shows how development can impact individual cities

When planning for the start of a new project, it is important to take the time to figure out the impact it may have on affected California cities. A new development could require expensive changes to infrastructure. In a state already plagued by high costs, cities may take issue with having to spend millions of dollars to accommodate a project.

This was the crux of lawsuits between two California cities that recently settled. A $6.5 billion development taking place in one city was objected to by a neighboring city because of a lack of housing that could push more people into an already overburdened housing market in the second city. In the meantime, a development in the second city will impact traffic congestion and other issues in the first city.

Commercial tenant and landlord issues: Premises liability

Owning an Orange County business often comes with plenty of satisfaction, but it also comes with plenty of responsibility. One of those responsibilities is to take reasonable measures to keep the premises safe for those who frequent the business, but accidents do happen. Whether you are the landlord or the commercial tenant, dealing with premises liability issues can be tricky.

Whether you are responsible for any injuries that occur on the property often depends on the classification of the individual who suffered the injuries. Clients and customers are considered invitees to whom you owe a duty of care. The same can often be said for licensees such as delivery people, vendors and the like. The third category includes trespassers, which includes those people not allowed onto the property such as burglars or vandals. The degree of responsibility for the safety of a particular individual varies depending on under which category he or she falls.