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Commercial Lease Disputes Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Commercial real estate in the Pittsburgh region is big business, and by most accounts, is stronger than much of the country. For example, according to data put out by Colliers, Pittsburgh’s vacancy rate for commercial retail space is currently only 4.3% compared with the national average of 6.1%. This means retail and commercial spaces are at a premium, and whenever you sign a commercial lease either as the landlord or the tenant, you should always do so under the guidance of a real estate attorney

If you have questions or concerns about a commercial lease dispute you’re involved in and would like to consult with a professional about your options, call me at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. I’m able to help those in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area as well as throughout Allegheny County and all of the surrounding counties, including Butler, Westmoreland, Beaver, Armstrong, and Washington. 

Commercial Leases in Pennsylvania  

Because the majority of townships in Pennsylvania impose their own ordinances regarding zoning, keeping up with all the laws that govern a commercial lease in your particular area can be quite complicated. For instance, most municipalities enforce the state’s Uniform Construction Code (UCC) that governs building codes, but each will enforce it differently.

Additionally, there may be different zoning ordinances about which buildings can and can’t be used for commercial purposes, and if you don’t thoroughly investigate this, it could pose a real obstacle if you’re trying to run a business in your leased space. This, in addition to required permits and testing, means that no matter what side of the lease you’re on, you’ll want to work with someone who truly understands how state and local laws intersect and will safeguard your best interests.



Common Lease Disputes  

Lease disputes can occur for a number of reasons and not all of them will result in legal action. In fact, if you’ve done your due diligence and have already been working with a qualified attorney, you should be able to address and resolve most disputes before they get out of hand. Some common examples of commercial lease disputes may include:  

  • Late payment of rent or non-payment of rent. 

  • Conflicts about which party is responsible for making repairs or maintaining the property. 

  • Sub-leasing (for example, the original lessee may wish to have another tenant in the space but this is not approved of by the landlord or property owner). 

  • Disagreement over renewal or termination of the lease. 

  • Failure to return security deposits. 

  • The required insurance policies and who’s responsible for paying for them. 

  • Common Area Maintenance (CAM) disagreements (If the leased space is part of a larger complex or building, there will likely be obligations for both the tenants and landlord to maintain any common areas such as courtyards, bathrooms, or waiting areas.) 

Requirements for Tenant Removal  

One of the most common concerns I get from landlords revolves around commercial tenant rights and specifically eviction of a commercial tenant. This is definitely one area where you want to stay on the right side of the law and ensure you’re following every provision of the lease agreement to avoid legal trouble. This can typically be done in one of three ways: 

  • Taking possession of the space and filing a complaint with the courts to demand any unpaid rent from the tenant. 

  • Allowing the tenant to remain in the space while pursuing lawsuits for unpaid rent or other damages. 

  • Evicting the treatment immediately and risk losing reimbursement for unpaid rent or damages. 

Whatever method is right for you, know that you can never evict a tenant without just cause. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law offers landlords the option of eviction once rent is late, and this is usually done by issuing a “Notice to Quit” after which the tenant has ten days to either move out or pay their rent. 

Resolving Disputes  

The best way to resolve a commercial lease dispute is to be proactive and contact an attorney right away who can educate you on your options and advise you on the best steps to take. They will analyze the available evidence and then evaluate your specific situation before providing legal guidance. Furthermore, an effective lawyer will have a thorough understanding of both commercial lease landlord rights and tenant rights.

Hopefully, your lease lays out the protocol for resolving disputes, and this often involves the required use of a mediator before any legal action can be taken by either party. This is not to say, however, that you shouldn’t consult with an attorney during this process. It will always be up to you to make sure your rights are protected. 

Commercial Lease Disputes Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you live in or around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area and you’re concerned about an issue with a current or potential commercial lease agreement, reach out to me at Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C.