Q: I have a commercial property with a tenant that has a written lease. They have failed to provide proof of insurance. What can I do?
A: Assuming your lease is written well, you actually have more options than you would if this were a residential property. The law assumes that in a commercial context, the parties are in equal negotiating positions and therefore does not put as many restrictions on what is permissible in a lease. This is very beneficial for a commercial landlord because, after the tenant defaults and proper notice has been given, a commercial landlord not only has the ability to complete an eviction but they also have the right to simply lock out the tenant. A.R.S. § 33-361, which is a part of the general/commercial Landlord and Tenant Act, allows a landlord to “enter and take possession” after proper notice has been given. The notice that the landlord must serve is to be specified in the lease. Usually, for violations relating to rent, a tenant is to receive a 5 or 10-day notice, while a 10 or 15-day notice is common for other violations, such as failing to provide insurance. The benefit of a lock out is that it is quick and inexpensive; the benefit of an eviction is that you get a court to approve the lock out and you get a monetary judgment.
Mark B. Zinman, Williams, Zinman & Parham P.C
Information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should always contact an attorney for legal advice and not rely on information published here.