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Suing a landlord may not be as easy as a commercial tenant hopes

| Jan 19, 2020 | Landlord/Tenant |

Some rental relationships do not work out as the parties intended. One of them may not fulfill the obligations outlined in the lease. If a commercial tenant believes the landlord has breached the lease agreement, the first inclination may be to file a lawsuit pursuing monetary and/or non-monetary restitution. However, litigation may not be an option — at least not right away. 

The odds are high that an Orange County business owner’s commercial lease contains either an arbitration or mediation clause. These clauses usually require the parties to participate in an alternative method of dispute resolution before heading to court. Some of these clauses require participation in binding arbitration, which precludes filing a lawsuit at all.

Even if filing a lawsuit is an option at some point, it may not necessarily be the right move. First, the landlord must breach the lease in a way that causes the tenant harm. Simply wanting out of a lease or not liking the property owner are not good enough reasons for litigation. Moreover, pursuing litigation could prove an expensive and time-consuming process that may not provide the expected outcome.

The first order of business when something goes wrong between a landlord and tenant is to consult the lease since it governs the contractual relationship between the parties. If a commercial tenant reaches a point where suing the landlord comes to mind, it would be wise to consult with an Orange County attorney first. Understanding all of the available legal remedies can help make the right choice under the circumstances.