As a commercial landlord, one of the worst things that can happen to you is having a tenant default on their lease. Lease contracts are a good thing because it protects both parties. They protect the landlord if the commercial tenant stops paying rent or does not pay all of the rent.
If your lease contract does not have a liquidated damages provision, then it is assumed that if your tenant defaults they will be responsible for all rent and taxes as they accrue over time and as they become due. For commercial landlords, this is not an ideal situation because they would rather receive the remainder of the rent balance in one lump sum rather than having to make sure they receive the smaller rent amounts every month for the remainder of the lease term.
Because of this potential issue, we suggest that commercial landlords consider including a rent acceleration clause in their lease contracts so that they will be able to declare all amounts due immediately. Under a rent acceleration clause, the commercial tenant will be required to pay the entire remaining amount of the lease if he or she fails to make even a single installment.
Including a clause like this in a lease contract could save you a lot of fuss in the long run. It will also make it easier for you to recover the remaining balance of the lease term. Drafting and enforcing rent acceleration clauses need to be done by experienced attorneys who are on your side and who understand commercial debt collection laws in Massachusetts. Lease contracts are a highly-specialized area, so this needs to be handled by a legal professional who knows what they are doing.
Another potential issue that could arise is if the tenant tries to fight against the rent acceleration clause, even if it was included in the lease contract. The tenant can claim that the damages accrued are disproportionate to the actual damages that are enforceable under the liquidated damages provision. Depending on how your lease is written, this “penalty” defense can be defeated in court.
Alan M. Cohen has been practicing law since 1983, and along with his expert legal team, he can help you pursue your commercial debtor and will fight to get you the money you are rightfully owed.
Call our office today at (508) 620 – 6900 so we can schedule your initial consultation and begin drafting your rent acceleration clause!