Commercial Leasing: Surrender and Termination

In the current recession, commercial landlord’s are just beginning to feel the pressure from tenants seeking rent concession or the outright elimination of their rent obligation. See Wall Street Journal, “Struggling Retailers Press Struggling Landlords on Rent”, January 2009. There is also a rapidly shrinking pool of high-quality “anchor” as major retail chains file bankruptcy seemingly one after the other. As a commercial property owner, what should you do to protect your interest?

Surrender or Termination or Both.

A lessee cannot effect a surrender and termination of a lease unilaterally. The landlord must accept the offer of termination for it to be in effect. Under California law, an abandonment of the premises by the tenant is merely an offer to surrender their lease. See Miller & Starr, 3rd. Ed., Vol 7, Sec. 19.

Upon receiving an offer of termination from a tenant, a commercial landlord must make an election of his remedy: (1) Ignore the offer to terminate, treat the lease as continuing and sue to recover rent as it becomes due provided that the lease permits the lessee to sublease or assign its interest; or (2) Accept the offer to terminate, and pursue remedies under CCC §1951.2.

How well companies and individuals managing real estate assets through an economic downturn is critical to long term success in real estate.

About Adishian Law Group, P.C.

Adishian Law Group is a California law firm with a statewide practice in the areas of Corporate law, Employment law, Real Estate law and Mediation Services. is one of the oldest continually operating law firm websites on the Internet. The firm serves its clientele

via three offices located in the major business hubs of El Segundo, Palo Alto and San Francisco. As of March 2013, Adishian Law Group, P.C. has represented individual and corporate clients located across 20 California counties, 4 States outside of California and 9 foreign countries — in over 340 legal matters.

For more information about this topic or to speak with Chris Adishian:

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