Of all of the legal documents in the purchase and sale of a business, none have the long-term ramifications of the lease. The value of your business is largely determined by its leasehold commitments: the highest profit margin in the industry may be rendered worthless if the landlord can evict you, deny an assignment, or raise your rent without restriction. The lease defines and controls your relationship with the landlord for several years or decades, and it is the contract we are most requested to review years after the deal has been closed.
Many of our successful clients have diversified their assets and invested in residential rental property, as well. Residential landlords in Massachusetts are held to strict standards when dealing with tenants. Many landlords start the eviction process against tenants who fail to pay rent, but due to a technical violation of the law – at the beginning of the tenancy, long before an attorney is consulted - find themselves faced with a long and expensive legal battle. In some cases, the landlord is required to pay the tenant money when the trial is over, with the tenant allowed to stay in the apartment.
The law governing the security deposit is a good example of the pitfalls a landlord faces. Failure to precisely follow the law may result in the landlord's having to return the security deposit or pay the tenant three times the security deposit and attorney's fees in court. If that amount equals or exceeds the rent owed, the tenant remains in the apartment.
At Demakis Law Offices, P.C., we have decades of experience in negotiating, drafting and enforcing the relationships between a landlord and tenant. Through our work with large and successful national companies, we have the experience and training to handle negotiations with or for the largest commercial entities. However, as a small, family owned business with many local business clients, we are very familiar with the issues relevant to small businesses and owners of residential rental property. This experience with businesses large and small gives us a perspective unlike many other law firms.