Philadelphia Lease Lawyer

While commercial leases tend to be more complicated than residential leases, the highly competent lease lawyers of Cooper Schall & Levy handle both. Where there is typically more to discuss and negotiate when a business is leasing space, for a private individual or family dealing with a dispute or a threat of eviction, the problem can be more urgent. 

Why Cooper Schall & Levy Is the Right Lease Attorney for You

Our practice has served clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including adjacent counties of New Jersey, and has a well-earned reputation for strong legal skills and excellent client service. With decades of experience among us, we understand the laws and intricacies surrounding all kinds of leases and are familiar with the multiple issues that may arise.

What We Can Do for You and/or Your Business

Our legal and logistical knowledge makes us adept at negotiating, drafting, reviewing, and executing all types of leases for you whether you are: a landlord, tenant, property owner, developer, lender, or property manager. Our familiarity with the matters that surface in both commercial and residential real estate leases, makes us able to provide efficient and empathic service. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work. 

We Handle a Broad Range of Commercial Real Estate Leasing Transactions 

These include:

  • Office leases
  • Ground leases
  • Large-scale retail leases
  • Triple-net (NNN) leases 
  • Sale-leaseback agreements
  • Capital leases
  • Operating leases
  • Master leases, subleases

Although triple-net leases are the most commonly used, if you are dealing with another type, we will explain the factors that distinguish one from the other and the pros and cons of each. Whichever type of lease you’re dealing with, we will keep you well-informed about current fluctuations in real estate prices in your location.

How Commercial and Residential Leases Differ 

  • Commercial leases typically are for 5 years or longer, whereas residential leases are usually for 1 or 2 years.
  • Commercial leases involve a much more significant financial investment
  • Commercial leases are usually more open to negotiations concerning modifications, renovations, etc. Commercial property may be required to accommodate disabilities

Words That Define Commercial Real Estate Leasing

Commercial leasing has its own vocabulary. Our lease lawyers will help you understand language that includes such terms as:

  • Usable square feet —the actual size of the space being leased
  • Rentable square feet — a percentage of common areas, like lobbies, 
  • on which commercial rent is based
  • Permitted use  — the type of business permitted to operate under present zoning laws
  • Buildouts  — renovations to accommodate the tenant’s business needs 
  • Estoppel certificates — documents that support the principle that neither party
  • may contradict their own previous actions or statements or a previous judicial determination.
  • Exclusive use  in which the landlord agrees not to lease space business that would compete with the signing tenant  
  • Personal guarantees  — ensure that anyone who owns 20 percent or more of the business is responsible for paying off the lease, if necessary, from their personal assets

We Handle All Kinds of Commercial Lease Disputes

Our lease lawyers not only have a history of settling commercial lease disputes [1] between landlords and tenants, [2] concerning zoning and land use, and [3] about bankruptcies and restructurings. We also have a history of preventing such disputes by drafting proactive documents, like 

  • Term sheets
  • Estoppel certificates
  • Subordination agreements
  • Lease termination/surrender agreements
  • Non-disturbance agreements
  • Property management agreements

Our legal team has a track record of successful outcomes through negotiations, mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Residential Leases

Although residential leases are generally simpler than commercial leases, it is wise to have a knowledgeable lawyer review the lease before signing it. At Cooper Schall & Levy, signing a residential lease for a house, apartment, condo, or co-op rental is a serious commitment and we will advise you of any wording in the document that may cause you trouble in the future.

Types of Residential Leases

There are three types of residential leases:

  • Fixed-term leases are most common. These leases require monthly payments and are usually set for a period of one or two years. They assure both landlord and tenant of security and ensure the tenant that the rent won’t be raised during the fixed term. There may be, however, a penalty for a tenant who leaves the residence before the term is up.
  • Month-to-month leases are useful for tenants who believe that their circumstances may change in the near future and therefore require flexibility. However, such leases do not provide long-term security for either party and a rent increase, with proper notice, may occur at any time.
  • Sublease agreements, where allowed, permit the tenant to sublet. In a sublease agreement, the original leaseholder, the new tenant, and the landlord agree that the new tenant will now be residing in the residence and will now be the one responsible for paying rent and maintaining the rental unit. Even with this agreement in place, the original tenant may still ultimately be held liable for debts the new tenant accrues.
  • Roommate Leases may be joint or individual. In the former, the roommates are held equally responsible for the terms of the lease which means that if one party fails to uphold the contract, the other is responsible. In the latter, each roommate is responsible for their own space. In this type of lease, neither roommate can be held liable for the other’s failure to meet its terms. Individual leases are more common when there are several roommates.

Common Lease Disputes

Both residential and commercial lease disputes arise more often than you might imagine and when they do it is essential to have a strong lease lawyer at your side. Common disputes involve:

  • Withholding of rent
  • Upkeep and maintenance
  • Conflicts with other tenants
  • Providing the landlord reasonable access to the property and the tenant with reasonable notice
  • Failure to abide by community codes or HOA bylaws 
  • Evictions
  • Inappropriate use of premises
  • Unlawful subletting

The capable lease lawyers of Cooper Schall & Levy are well-equipped to settle disputes through negotiation, arbitration, mediation or, as a last resort, litigation. We always work to settle your dispute in the most cost-effective and timely manner possible.

Contact Our Experienced Lease Lawyers Today

Whatever your position is in regard to a real estate lease, our attorneys are dedicated to seeing to it that your best interests are protected. Our in-depth knowledge of real estate law gives you the opportunity to make a deal that will serve you well. Contact us now so we can discuss your lease and clarify your options.