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What to do when a tenant violates a lease

Dealing with a noncompliant tenant can be challenging for any landlord, but the stakes are often higher in commercial rentals. Commercial rentals can be harder to find tenants for, and moving one tenant out and another in is a much bigger process than with residential rentals. Because of the larger rent amounts, having an empty unit can create serious financial stress on the property management company while waiting for a new tenant.

Despite these complications, it is important to ensure that tenants understand the terms of their leases and act accordingly. When a tenant is in violation of the lease, there are several options. A good first step is to send a letter or other type of written communication to the tenant, letting the appropriate person know about the lease violation and the possible consequences as spelled out in the lease.

If that doesn't yield results, you will have to decide whether the lease violation is serious enough to warrant an eviction. In some cases, it may be possible to come to a compromise and adjust the terms of the lease accordingly. If you choose this option, though, make sure to get a new copy of the updated lease as soon as possible and ensure all parties have signed.

When a commercial tenant needs to be evicted, an attorney can help you navigate the process. Most commercial tenants will have their own legal representation to fight for them in court, and it is important for you to protect your investments the same way. If a dispute over whether the eviction is allowed under the lease terms ensues, a Michigan commercial real estate attorney can help you understand your options and next steps.

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