Business-Minded Legal Solutions

Ambiguities in commercial lease terms for landlords

Leasing commercial space is a pivotal aspect of running your business. However, when lease terms become unclear, it can result in disputes that may impact your livelihood.

Understanding how to resolve such issues legally is crucial for commercial landlords.


When lease terms are ambiguous, the first step is to revisit your lease agreement and meticulously document all relevant details. Make a comprehensive list of the disputed terms, highlighting the areas that lack clarity. This step sets the groundwork for a clearer understanding of the issues.


Initiate open and transparent communication with your tenant. Clearly express your concerns about the ambiguous terms and seek their perspective. Encourage them to provide any documentation or evidence supporting their interpretation of the disputed clauses. Establishing a dialogue can lead to a mutual resolution without escalating the matter.


If direct communication does not yield a resolution, consider mediation. A neutral third party assists both parties in exploring potential compromises. Mediation provides a structured environment for discussion. It helps avoid the formalities of legal proceedings. This process can be a cost-effective and efficient way to address disputes.


Understand the applicable landlord-tenant laws in your jurisdiction, as regulations vary. Knowing your rights and responsibilities can facilitate effective negotiation. It also ensures that any resolutions align with legal standards.

Alternative dispute resolution

You can explore arbitration or other forms of alternative dispute resolution if direct negotiation or mediation does not produce satisfactory results. These processes offer a more formal structure than mediation and are possibly quicker and less expensive than court litigation.

According to the National Law Review, lease disputes are increasing in frequency and creativity, with tenants looking for ways out of their leases. Resolving these disputes as a commercial landlord requires a proactive approach and professional guidance. Knowing how to navigate the complexities of unclear lease terms safeguards the stability of your commercial property investment.