Stop Wasting Your Business’ Money

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In his latest Huffington Post article, attorney Jack Garson explains how to find an "escape hatch" in your lease.

Jack Garson, Founder of Garson | Claxton LLC

There is always a way out of a lease, but you have to know where to look for it.

Most people view business leases as something they can never get out of. Thankfully, with a little ingenuity and a good attorney, there are ways to plot your escape from an otherwise binding property lease. In his latest Huffington Post article, “How to Get Out of a Bad Lease," attorney and author Jack Garson provides three lease extraction strategies to get you out of a bad situation. There is always a way out of a lease, Garson suggests, but you have to know where to look for it.

Consider these lease-busting strategies:

  • Find a technicality. You’d be surprised how many landlords cue up a seemingly solid lease but then leave out a critical piece of information, i.e. failing to include a space plan or even establishing a start date. This is one time that reading the fine print really can work in your favor.
  • If something smells rotten, it probably is. If you are subjected to unacceptable working conditions – unreasonably loud construction nearby, water leaking into your place of business, erratic heating and cooling systems that result in your employees wearing their winter coats inside the office – simply take out your iPhone and record what’s going on. Evidence of unacceptable conditions, when coupled with solid case law, can be just the right combination for terminating your lease.
  • Cut your losses. Feel like you’ve got nothing left to lose? Then leave. Garson sometimes advises clients to shut down their current business and form a new business elsewhere. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s an option when all else fails.

Bankruptcy, of course, provides a well known escape hatch. Generally, a tenant can terminate a lease in bankruptcy and limit its liability to one year's rent - sometimes less but it’s an expensive and intrusive option. The tenant spends a small fortune and needs approval for most business decisions - paralyzing operations and putting the company in a death spiral.

There are other techniques for extracting your company from a bad lease. In fact, with advanced planning and skillful legal advice, you can dramatically enhance your ability to build escape hatches into your leases and engineer a pain free exit, if it comes to that.

You can read Jack Garson’s entire article “How to Get Out of a Bad Lease" in the Huffington Post.

For media interviews with Jack Garson on this and other business related topics, please contact Marc Silverstein at 202-716-9123 or at marc(at)onthemarcmedia(dot)com.

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