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Be careful if you wish to sublet your commercial lease

Commercial tenants in California face many specific difficulties that can strain the landlord/tenant relationship or even lead to lawful eviction. One of the most common points of contention between landlords and commercial tenants in California is subletting. If you currently lease a commercial property in California, then it behooves you to read your lease agreement very carefully before you attempt to sublet your space -- failing to do so could land you in hot water, legally speaking.

Under state law, a landlord can often evict a tenant if they find the tenant has sublet a commercial space without specific permission from the owner. If you choose to sublet your commercial space without first properly requesting permission from your landlord, you will have a difficult time finding a legal leg to stand on when an eviction notice shows up.

However, it is important to note that the landlord is generally expected to allow a tenant to sublet if there is no valid reason to refuse. Still, the law places the burden of proof on the tenant for demonstrating that the landlord was unreasonably withholding approval of a sublease. A good place to start for most tenants who wish to sublease is to request permission in writing. If the sublease is denied, then the tenant may be able to use the written request and denial to prove the denial was unfair.

Whatever your commercial lease situation may be, it is important to make sure that you are operating within the law and within your lease. If you believe that you are the victim of unfair treatment at the hands of your landlord, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you fight for your rights and use the law on your behalf.

Source: San Francisco Gate, "California Laws Regarding Tenants in a Commercial Building," accessed April 21, 2017

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