In the State of New York, commercial tenants have a narrower scope of protections than residential tenants, so as a wise tenant, you should know your rights and have excellent legal representation to protect them. You should have an experienced commercial tenant lawyer review and negotiate your lease and interpret it when you have questions.
Landlord failing to comply?
If your landlord fails to comply with the terms of the lease, you may want to withhold your rent, which will likely trigger a lawsuit. However, you may have defenses or a cause of action (counterclaim) against your landlord under certain circumstances, if he/she:
- Fails to provide a functional space, even if space becomes unusable due to causes out of the landlord’s control, such as the 9/11 attacks.
- Interferes with building services, as in the case where the elevator breaks or the lights in the corridor go out, and he/she fails to repair these items.
- Allows the building to deteriorate, “commits waste” or fails to make the required repairs.
- Fails to provide essential services and maintenance, such as utility connections, heat, and air conditioning, access to an entry door, or the ability to use a parking lot.
- Delivers a short notice of eviction, especially when it suits the landlord’s aim to evict you so he/she can pursue a better business opportunity.
Contact your Legal Counsel
Whether you are dealing with a Notice to Cure, where the landlord claims you are in violation of the lease, non-payment, eviction, or a situation in which you think your landlord is not fulfilling the terms of the lease, or any other situation, contact your legal counsel at once. An experienced commercial landlord-tenant attorney can help preserve your rights and may help you get money from your landlord.