A recent law was passed that prohibits the harassment of commercial tenants. A real estate attorney in Bay Shore New York can explain what the rule means for commercial landlords. Additionally, a real estate attorney in Bay Shore New York can explain practical ways to protect against possible liability in this regard.
The new law prohibits commercial landlords from using force, interrupting services, changing locks or filing unfounded court proceedings in an attempt to cause the commercial tenant to vacate the property, waive rights under the lease or to surrender the property. The law opens commercial landlords to a fine up to $10,000, plus the costs to pursue a lawsuit based on the new law and possible punitive damages.
Despite the new law, landlords and tenants can expressly waive the law in a new lease or an amendment to the lease. Additionally, landlords should keep continued records that indicate why services had to be interrupted or why they needed entry into a unit to make repairs or carry out other contractual duties. Documents should also be kept to show what steps were taken to fix problems. Evidence that may be supplied in court includes photographs, reports, invoices and bills. Landlords may also want to give tenants a written copy of any such reports or other documents that showcase attempts to cure a problem.
All tenants should be treated similarly even if the amount of rent they pay is very different. The landlord’s employees should also be made aware of the law.