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A lease is one of the most common forms of real estate contracts. Ideally, the relationship between a landlord and a tenant should be cooperative, not adversarial. Much like a shopkeeper and his customer, a landlord and his tenant want to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. It must be based on respect for each other’s property, privacy, and the landlord’s right to profit. Tenants have a legal obligation to keep the premises in good condition and pay the agreed upon rent on time and in full. Failure to do so may result in eviction or forfeiture of security deposit funds.


Leases are used in residential, commercial and industrial settings. Here at Winsten Law Group, we typically get involved only with commercial or industrial leases or sub-leases.

A commercial or industrial lease is a detailed written agreement for rental by a tenant of commercial or industrial property owned by the landlord. Commercial property differs from residential property in that the property's primary or only use is commercial or industrial (business oriented), rather than serving as a residence. Commercial leases are usually more complex than residential leases, have longer lease terms, and may provide for the rental price to be tied to the tenant business' profitability or other factors, rather than a uniform monthly payment (though this is also quite ordinary in commercial or industrial leases). There are many types of commercial or industrial leases which pass through certain expenses from the landlord to the tenant. For example, a "triple net" lease includes both taxes and insurance in the rent. There are many other types of commercial or industrial lease arrangements.

When leases are breached, litigation often results. Landlords may sue to evict a tenant, and/or to collect unpaid rent or other damages, in a lawsuit called unlawful detainer. Tenants may sue landlords for damages or to invalidate a lease breached by a landlord. Tenants may also sue a landlord for retaliatory or wrongful eviction, if the landlord wrongfully prevents the tenants from receiving the benefits of the lease. All of these lawsuits often depend on whether the alleged breach of the lease is “material”, which is a contract law term which refers to a failure of performance under the contract which is significant enough to give the aggrieved party the right to sue for breach of contract. When there has been a material breach, the aggrieved party is also relieved of a duty of further performance under the contract. However, a minor divergence from the terms of the contract is not a material breach. A material breach is one that is significant enough to destroy the value of the contract.

Winsten Law Group has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting commercial and industrial leases and sub-leases for many different types of properties, for both tenants and landlords. We have also successfully litigated and settled numerous lawsuits involving leases, some involving evictions and other involving only claims for damages.

For more information about your commercial and industrial lease questions, please fill out this brief form:

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