I represent a lot of commercial building owners in the north metro and surrounding areas. I never interject on pricing issues, but the legal issues are where I provide more value. There lately has been a rash of absconding tenants who have left landlords with tens of thousands of dollars of damage. Here are some clauses that can help landlords efficiently recover from this type of tenant:
1. Venue provision. Ensure any disputes related to the lease are to be heard in the county where the property is located. This keeps you, the landlord, from going to Minneapolis for a hearing when you and your property live in, say Stillwater or Hugo.
2. Attorney fee and cost provision. Have the leverage to get your attorney's fees and costs back if you have to start a suit.
3. Excess damage clause. Expressly identify that excessive damage, odors, and the like constitute additional, compensable amounts from the tenants.
4. A service address. Identify an address other than the subject property's address where the tenant can be served with papers.
These four provisions are not wildly ingenious by any stretch. By including them in your lease they can save you substantial time and money.
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