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The Jensen Litigation Firm, PLLC represents businesses and individuals in commercial lease disputes. People hire us to understand their rights as a commercial landlord or tenant, and to fight for those rights. If you need an attorney for a commercial lease dispute, we can help. Contact us now to preserve any legal remedies.

What are common types of commercial leases?

Commercial leases cover a wide range of office, retail, industrial, or other business properties. They are often complex. Parties must be careful in drafting these leases and it may be necessary to hire an attorney resolve any dispute under the lease. 

What are sources of commercial lease disputes?

Commercial lease disputes are common, and there are many sources of dispute. We often see commercial leases that are very general templates without customized changes that fit the particular tenant and space. Disputes may arise because:

  • Rent formulas may be complex and subject to interpretation.
  • The lease may not adequately describe responsibility for various costs, even if the lease is stated as a “gross” or “net” lease.
  • The lease may not address improvement issues or fixtures.
  • There may not be clear remedies for a breach of the lease.
  • There may be a fire or flooding, construction defects, structural concerns, personal injuries on site, lack of proper insurance, zoning issues, or other problems.

Any of these issues may lead to a dispute. You will need to promptly resolve any lease issues because any later interruptions to your business may be costly.

What claims can I make in a commercial lease dispute in Minnesota?

The most likely claim for a commercial lease dispute is for breach of contract, which will be governed by general contract principles and possibly statutes. For more questions about breach of contract issues, see 50 FAQs About Breach of Contract in Minnesota

There may also be claims for misrepresentation, fraud, unjust enrichment, and tort claims. The landlord may have eviction remedies available under Chapter 504B of Minnesota Statutes, while the tenant may have habitability remedies. It is important to note that commercial tenants receive less protection under Chapter 504B than residential tenants.

How high can damages be in a commercial lease dispute?

Parties to civil litigation over a commercial lease must understand their rights before acting in a dispute. These can be high-damage cases because damages that accrue over several months or years can be significant.

For example, a breach in the first year of a 5-year lease could have damages spanning up to 4 years. If base rent was $10,000 per month, damages could have a ceiling of $500,000 or more.

Damages depend significantly on the lease terms, and a plaintiff has a duty to mitigate damages by, for instance, re-leasing the property to a new tenant.  However, there is significant risk to one or both parties. For that reason, it can be important to hire an experienced litigation attorney early in the dispute. 

We have the knowledge and experience to handle commercial lease disputes. Do not hesitate to contact us if:

  • You are a party to a commercial lease and there is a lease dispute or lawsuit.
  • You are being impacted by an assignment of a lease or a sale of the building.

With offices in Shakopee (Scott County) and Litchfield (Meeker County), we handle commercial lease disputes throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. 

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