Real Estate Matters

Real Estate Ventures

Including the purchase and sale of land and structures thereon, have grown exponentially. The intricacies of real estate acquisitions and sales include analysis of agreements with brokers including a listing agreement, and the review and due diligence of the property subject to sale. There are then the issues related to the sales contract and financing. Title insurance is nearly always a necessity and needs to be issued correctly after a thorough review of the property and any variances and liens thereupon, among other matters that arise in a search. The remedying of any variances are essential for a closing to occur.

The F&H Law Firm attorneys provide representation to clients related to commercial and residential sales and purchases of real estate and real property.
That representation includes:
  • Preparation and negotiation of the real estate and real property agreements
  • Preparation and negotiation of financing documents
  • Tax deferrals such as 1031 exchanges
  • Use of trusts in real estate transactions
  • Construction and building agreements
  • Tenant in Common / Asset Management Agreements
  • Tell Tower Leases and Easements
Real estate leases in the commercial settings

For tenants it can often be one of the greatest challenges to starting a business or growing it. Whether starting a new business, more space is needed for growth or a further business location desired, commercial leases pose unique challenges. Similar issues exist for landlords, with the addition of the possibility of eviction of commercial tenants that fail to pay rent or violate other terms of the lease agreement.

Related areas of practice include litigation matters, corporate transactions, residential communities and associations, and estate planning.
We Prepare Leases and Negotiate Leases for Our Clients
Types of Leases:

Short Form – Covers the essential terms.

Medium Form – Covers the essential terms and addresses unique issues about the rental property.

Long Form – Detailed lease that covers the essential terms and non-essential terms to clarify all the conditions of the rental relationship between the landlord and tenant.

Lease Agreements

Generally, a lease is an agreement for a tenant to have possession and use of real property in exchange for giving consideration, usually money, to a landlord who owns the property. Parties can enter into leases for many reasons:

  • Lease of commercial office space
  • Rent of an apartment unit
  • Rent a single family house
  • Lease space for a restaurant
  • Rent a unit in a strip mall or shopping center
  • Lease mining rights to dig for minerals or precious metals
  • Oil leasing rights to exploit oil wells
Common Lease Terms

Lease Term – The length of time the tenant has the right to rent the rental property; most residential leases are for one year, commercial leases are typically for several years.

Lease Commencement – The date when the Lease Term will start.

Lease Expiration – The date when the Lease Term ends.

Rent – A recurring amount of consideration, usually money, which the tenant gives to the landlord for the right to remain in the rental property.

Sub-Lease – When the tenant leases the rental property to another tenant.

Tenants – Who will be the person(s) or entities that are renting the rental property.

Hold Over Tenant – A tenant that remains in the rental property after the Lease Term expires.

Security Deposit – Amount of money the tenant pays to the landlord at the beginning of the Lease Term which is used by the landlord to cover any money the tenant owes the landlord after the Lease Term expires, such as for unpaid rent or property damage to the rental property.

Pet Deposit – An amount of money paid to the landlord by the tenant for the right to have a pet in the rental property; which may be non-refundable regardless whether the pet causes any damage or refundable depending on if the pet causes any damage.

Property Leased – The description of the property that the tenant is renting/leasing from the landlord, whether a house, apartment, office suite, vacant land, or unit in a shopping center.

Late Fees – A charge the tenant owes the landlord, in addition, to rent for not paying sums due the landlord such as rent on time; can be a flat amount such as $50 or a percentage of the amount originally due such as 5% of the monthly rent.

Rental Property Condition – A description of the rental property that explains if there is damage or not to the rental property; can be obtained at the beginning of the Lease Term or at the Lease Expiration.

Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Expenses /Charges /Fees – Expenses the landlord incurs for the maintenance of the larger complex within with the Property Leased is located and includes Common Areas such as parking garages or lots, security guards, grounds maintenance such as landscaping, and utilities, and is typically in Commercial Leases and not Residential Leases.

Common Areas – Areas of the larger complex within which the Property Leased is located, such as the hallways of a condominium that lead to the front door of the individual units, the lobby on the first floor, and the parking garage or lot.

Limited Common Areas – Areas of the property upon which the Property Leased is situated that are significantly related to the Leased Premises but because of their location are not the responsibility of the tenant, such as a balcony of a condominium, or parking space within the parking lot of a condominium.

Commercial Lease – A lease for businesses, such as a restaurant lease, office space leased in an office building, or a lease to rent vacant land so the tenant can grow agricultural products for harvesting and sale.

Residential Lease – A lease of a dwelling for the purpose of living in the dwelling.

Property Manager – A person or company hired by the landlord to operate the Rental Property by performing services for the landlord such as collecting rents from tenants, accounting for the collection of rents and payment of expenses, and hiring people to perform repairs to the Rental Property.

Broom Swept Condition – When the tenant vacates the rental property, leaving it in a condition that is reasonably clean, though not necessarily re-carpeted or repainted, and with the tenant’s property having been removed without appreciable damage to the rental property.

Normal Wear and Tear Excepted – When vacating the property, it is expected that depending on how long the tenant occupied the rental property, there will be some blemishes to the rental property such as wearing on the carpet or reasonable scuffs on tile and walls; but does not include significant damage such as holes in walls greater than small nail holes for hanging pictures, or shredded carpet such as when the pet dog was looking for his bone 2 feet underneath the rental property.

Right to Enter for Inspection – The landlord often has the right, after giving the tenant reasonable notice, to enter the rental property for purposes of inspecting it for damage or repairs that may be needed or to perform maintenance.

Lease Renewal – The right of the landlord and/or the tenant to continue the Lease Term after the Lease Expiration for a specific period of time agreed upon.

Rules and Regulations – In addition to the Lease, the landlord may promulgate additional things the tenant much due while on the Leased Premises or Common Areas such as the pool or gym.