Los Angeles (PRWEB) February 23, 2009
Many tenants are facing a huge risk and they don't even know it. If their landlord cannot pay the mortgage, they could face losing their lease, even though they paid their rent. Los Angeles attorney Erin Tenner helps business owners protect their leases from loss due to foreclosure by negotiating agreements with mortgage lenders that will allow the tenant to stay in the property if the landlord defaults on the mortgage.
"The agreement benefits landlords too because it includes a provision allowing the landlord to collect rent directly from the tenant in the event of a default by the landowner" says attorney Tenner. The agreement is known as a Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement. Without such an agreement any lender who took the land as security for a loan will generally have the right to terminate the lease if the loan pre-dates the lease.
Here are some other recommendations provided by Attorney Tenner to protect business owners during this economic crisis:
1. Protect Your Assets. Whether you are buying an entire business or just a few assets from a business that has folded, make sure you are buying them free and clear of liens and encumbrances, including tax liens. Certain liens will "follow the assets" unless they are released. That means you could lose the assets you bought if the lienholder forecloses. Liens are often public records.
2. Negotiate For Better Terms. A win-win is always possible in negotiations if you find out the needs of the person with whom you are negotiating. Make sure you are dealing with a person who has the authority to make decisions and ask a lot of questions. Especially in times like these, there are many ways to sweeten the pot for yourself and for those you are dealing with.
3. Think Outside The Box. Do not limit yourself to what everyone else does. Think outside the box when it comes to negotiations. For example, if you are asked to provide a personal guaranty, carve out exceptions for your house and your car, limit the length of time the guaranty will continue, or have another entity you own provide the guaranty.
4. Protect Your Corporation's Limited Liability. If you own a corporation, make sure you do not inadvertently destroy the limit on liability provided by the corporate existence. Do not run personal expenses through your corporation. Do not make distributions to shareholders if you do not have the earnings to support it. Make sure that corporate shareholders elect the correct number of directors at least annually and that directors elect officers at least annually. Make sure directors authorize decisions outside the ordinary course of business.
Erin Tenner is a partner at TennerJohnson LLP and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Business Law Section. She can be reached at 818-707-8410 or toll free at 888-501-0040. © Law Offices of Erin K. Tenner, a professional corporation 2009.