Landlord in a Commercial Lease: When do I file my Landlord/Tenant Complaint ?
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
The longer you wait the more rent revenue you risk losing because a Landlord/ Tenant Court Judge will not order a commercial tenant to pay the landlord for unpaid rent. Of course, this is why attorneys negotiate to reach an amicable resolution in lieu of trial. But, it is important to note that a Landlord/Tenant Judge will only issue a judgment of possession for you to reclaim your property.
Among many grounds to evict your tenant, "non-payment" is the most common in a commercial landlord tenant matter.
Common mistakes in a Commercial Landlord/Tenant case?
If you accept payment from your commercial tenant, then you will likely have to re-file the eviction petition with the Court. So, if the ultimate goal is to evict your commercial tenant- wait till you go to Court with an attorney.
How long does an eviction process take ?
It depends on the County. For the most part, your matter will be listed on the Court's calendar within a month (by that I mean four weeks). Once you obtain either a default judgment or a judgment for possession, it would take about one to two weeks for the Court to process the petition for removal and have the special civil part court officer finalize the process at your property.
Landlord/Tenant Courts are often congested. This is why in your Landlord/Tenant Complaint you include the amount that will be due for the next month.This figure is purely for settlement purposes because, as mentioned above, a Judge in Landlord/Tenant Court will not compel a commercial tenant to pay the rent that is owed. You need to sue separately for that.
For a commercial tenant, a court officer can serve the warrant of removal and evict the him or her at the same time. The three business day notice requirement does not apply to commercial landlord/tenant matters.
I have a non-payment case, would this be clear cut?
Not necessarily. Let's say that your commercial tenant owns a restaurant and that restaurant has employees. A Judge will not evict everyone from the premise because this tenant was only one month behind in rent, and is also now willing to be current on the payments.
On the flip side, there are creative and interesting ways for a commercial tenant to adjourn his or her Landlord /Tenant matter.
An attorney I know managed to do this for a full year. I have yet to hear any duration longer than this.
How much does cost to evict a Commercial tenant ?
Filing fee is $50 for one defendant plus $5 for each additional defendants.
After you obtain a default judgment or a judgement for possession, you must pay for the court officer's time to finalize your eviction proceeding. Typically this ranges from $75- $79. In addition, you have to pay for a locksmith. Most instances, the officer can recommend you a locksmith for a better-than-market rate. Otherwise, you're free to obtain your own. Either case, the locksmith must be licensed and certified to remove and replace the locks at your commercial property.
I reclaimed my commercial property, what now ?
Now, you should retain counsel to sue for the unpaid rent and the remainder of the potential revenue on your lease. But there are very important things for you to strategically consider prior to filing your Complaint. That's another blog for another day.
For any questions, do not hesitate to call (201) 800-4564.
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