Can I get out of my lease?
“My lease is killing me, I want out, what can I do?”
The pandemic decimated the lives of many in many ways, and businesses have been no exception to the detrimental effects. Despite the comeback that we’re seeing, especially here in New York City, many business owners are still struggling to stay afloat and figure out the best path forward. If you (like many others) are saying to yourself “My lease is killing me, I want out, what can I do?”, you’re not alone. We want to make sure that you’re exploring your options if and when you decide to get out of your lease.
It’s possible to terminate your lease for a fraction of the remaining obligation – and now is the time to do it.
Right now, the office market is coming back to life after a tumultuous time during the pandemic, and landlords know it too. So for many of them, it makes more sense to re-rent your space to a new tenant willing to pay top dollar for your space than it does to spend years in court fighting (and likely failing) to be made whole.
So what does this mean for you? Well, we’ve negotiated termination agreements where landlords have agreed to accept 20% – 50% of the remaining lease obligation. As one Landlord we know succinctly put it: “I don’t want to spend 5 pennies to try to make 1”. But it’s all about strategy and communication, and so we want to share what’s worked.
My Landlord won’t work with me. What can I do?
Move out. We know it sounds extreme (and we’re not lawyers, so talk to your lawyer before taking any actions) but a ‘last resort’ strategy we’ve seen work for tenants is to physically vacate their space. Some landlords believe that the longer a tenant stays put in their space, the more likely they will be to start or keep paying rent and land or stay on their feet – which for some landlords is a reason not to negotiate. Demonstrating that you are willing to leave sends a powerful message and can be the jolt needed to bring even the most resistant landlords to the table.
Because we only represent tenants and never landlords, we have both a perspective on and experience with lease terminations that few are willing to articulate.