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Commercial Landlord’s Rights and Duties

It is rare for a commercial lease not to be contained in a written document. To determine the rights and duties of a landlord, the provisions of the written lease agreement should be examined by experienced counsel.

A landlord of commercial property who is not paid for rent may initiate a detainer action to recover possession of its property and to obtain a money judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent as well as for any other amounts owed by the tenant pursuant to the commercial lease agreement.

Many commercial leases require the tenant to repair and to maintain the premises or the premises less certain specifically identified structural elements of the premises (e.g., walls, roof, and plumbing systems). In the unlikely event that there is no contract or agreement between the landlord and tenant related to maintenance and repairs, in Tennessee, the tenant is responsible for all repairs and maintenance required for the leased property.

Besides complying with the terms of the lease, a tenant of commercial property in Tennessee must not allow waste of the leased property. For example, unless a lease provides to the contrary, the tenant must not permit trees on the property to be cut and removed. A tenant is under a duty not to create a nuisance by its use of the leased property. For example, a tenant, absent a contrary provision in the lease, may not allow noxious orders, water, or unruly customers to go onto the property of other tenants or property owners and disturb them. Lastly, a tenant must not negligently damage the leased property, although in most commercial leases, a tenant is not responsible for damage that falls in the category of ordinary wear and tear.

Client Reviews
Ross Pepper is indeed a "lawyer's lawyer." He quickly gets to the heart of the matter and does not waste time on trifles. His knowledge of the attorneys on the opposing side and the judge hearing our matter gave me comfort. Ron Erickson Chairman and CEO eCharge Corporation
Mr. Pepper did such a thorough job that I never had to go to trial. He obtained an excellent settlement for me and one that was far more than what was originally offered. Kenneth Casey President KHCV TV Seattle, Washington
I am writing in regard to Ross Pepper at Pepper Law. I was a 1099 Representative. My company was a large independent representative company for a very large national service company. As a long time business owner, it was very hard to turn over control to Ross and his firm. In a short time, I recognized I could not only trust Ross, but could be dependent on his direction and control. Through my experience, Ross was dependable and pragmatic. Ross took great conscious of my legal expenses through the entire process. I have had the experience of working with many and attorneys on several complicated matters through my career, but none as great as this case. I could not recommend Ross more as a critical asset. Tom N.