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Commercial Litigation Landlord Tenant Law Litigation

Early Termination Provisions: A Landlord’s Saving Grace … If Done Right

The focus of this article is the “early termination provision,” a lease provision that affords landlords the tactical advantage they need. Specifically, this article seeks to: 1) guide the practitioner through the pitfalls of a poorly drafted termination provision; and 2) advise the practitioner how to craft a proper and effective termination provision.

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To commercial landlords, the ideal lawyer is one that can predict the future. And in the context of buying and selling New York City real estate, that means lawyers who can craft lease provisions to pre-emptively thwart tenant-holdouts seeking cash buyouts in exchange for surrendering and vacating their premises. The scenario usually plays out like this: landlord markets the building for sale; buyer tenders an offer on the condition that the building be conveyed vacant on the closing date; tenant demands an exorbitant amount of money from landlord in exchange for vacatur; landlord scours the lease for any possible tactical advantage in its negotiation with tenant; landlord finds none and capitulates to tenant’s demand or loses the deal. A win/win for the tenant.

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