Collection of Unpaid Rent in Commercial Property
While I represent both tenants and landlords in various residential and commercial landlord/tenant matters, one of the more frustrating scenarios that I encounter is a Landlord who lets unpaid rent get out of hand. While I understand the hardships of operating a business, the bottom line is that a rental agreement is a contract obligating both parties to give something of value to the other; the landlord’s obligation is to provide quiet enjoyment and use of the property free of many defects, the tenant’s obligation is to not destroy the premises and pay rent when due.
This article is mainly directed at landlords of commercial property. As I have seen many times, scenarios exist where a tenant, although with the best of intentions, cannot make their business financially successful. Oftentimes, a landlord will make concessions, which is great; however, many times, these same landlords will allow rent to go unpaid for months on end. At some point they get fed up and will go to the magistrate, get an order of ejectment, and have the tenant removed. The problem comes when they show up at my office and have tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent that they want to collect. Think about it, if the tenant had the money to collect, wouldn’t they have just paid their rent on time? The fact is, that even though you may get a judgment entitling you to a monetary award from the tenant, the collectability of hat judgment is usually very difficult.
This is a word of caution, if a tenant falls behind by more than three months, it is time to get serious about eviction and collection. Your best bet would be contact a lawyer and begin the dual process of ejectment proceeds and collection for non-payment of rent in tandem. If you do so, you will not only be able to get your unit rented to a solvent tenant more quickly, but your damages may be minimal and even collectible.
If you own commercial property, and have issues with collecting rent, please contact us today for a free consultation. As always were are here to help.
Dennis J. DiSabato, Jr.
The Law Office of Dennis J. DiSabato, Jr., LLC
3888 Renee Drive, Suite 201
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579