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Evidence commercial landlords need to prevail during evictions

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Business Litigation

Commercial landlords often benefit from having more reliable clients than residential landlords. Businesses require commercial spaces in which to operate and tend to treat their facility costs as priority expenses when budgeting.

That being said, commercial landlords do sometimes need to evict business tenants. Prevailing during eviction proceedings is necessary to legally remove attendance property from a commercial space and change the locks. Commercial landlords attempting to evict business tenants typically need certain evidence present to the judge hearing their case.

What documentation is usually necessary to prevail in a commercial eviction case?

Copies of the lease and other relevant agreements

Oftentimes, a landlord’s right to evict a commercial tenant depends on the terms established in the commercial lease. Producing the signed lease so that a judge can verify its terms and confirm its validity is a key opponent of a successful eviction.

Financial records

Many commercial evictions occur due to non-payment by a tenant. The landlord needs proof that they have not received payments in full or on time. Financial records showing that a tenant has consistently paid rent late for months or has failed to cover maintenance fees despite paying their base rent could convince the courts that an eviction is an appropriate response to the tenant’s failure to fulfill their financial obligations.

Property use and maintenance records

Some tenants may try to blame the condition of facilities for their non-payment of rent or the reduction of rental payments. The escrow procedure often used by residential tenants is not a viable solution for maintenance concerns in a commercial lease. Landlords can push back on claims that the property is in poor condition by providing records of maintenance efforts at the property.

In scenarios where an eviction relates to the conduct of the tenants, rather than financial matters, documentation of inappropriate activity is crucial. Witness statements, video footage and photographs could all help affirm that the tenant has done something inappropriate at the rental space. Perhaps they have had clients coming in and out of a facility despite their lease only allowing for employees to occupy the space. Maybe they have allowed workers to bring their pets to the building or have changed the focus of the company’s operations in a manner that violates the lease. When commercial landlords intend to evict business tenants because of misconduct or technical lease violations, having evidence of those violations is key to the landlord’s success.

Having the right support during a commercial eviction can speed up the process and reduce the likelihood of a landlord making mistakes that could allow their tenant to linger at the property, possibly costing them money or causing more damage in the meantime. Landlords who take the time to gather adequate documentation may increase their chances of prevailing during a commercial eviction.