TBJ Asks Wayne Maiorano What Landlords, Tenants Should Know About Commercial Leases During Pandemic

Triangle Business Journal

Wayne Maiorano discussed with Triangle Business Journal Managing Editor Dane Huffman what advice he is providing to landlord clients as the coronavirus threat continues. In the article, “Triangle attorneys detail what landlords, tenants need to know about leases,” Wayne specified that the first piece of advice he and firm colleagues are giving landlords is to not act rashly.  

“From a landlord's perspective, not to sound flip, but landlords should not be picking winners and losers,” said Wayne. “Right now they have the tenants they have. And they have to figure out what shape the tenants are in, and that comes from communicating with tenants.”

Wayne also noted that landlords and tenants should carefully review their leases and insurance policies, especially when it comes to any business interruption provisions, and landlords should make sure they are “clear of their obligations under a lease.”

“Any changes between lenders, landlords and tenants should be ‘properly papered’ so that both landlords and tenants are clear about the changes going forward,” Wayne added.

The article also noted that Wayne is in favor of confidentiality agreements, as a landlord might make concessions for a particular business that they might not otherwise make (i.e., a popular restaurant that brings business to a shopping center). 

When asked about advice for tenants, Wayne emphasized staying out of default and added “if you can avoid being in default - as in stop paying rent - the better off you will be.”

“If tenants fail to pay rent, they lose leverage in later discussions,” said Wayne. “Once they are in breach, it's a very different conversation. I really believe landlords are going to really try hard to work this out. They don't want to have dark spaces.”

TBJ subscribers can read the full article here.

The Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) is the leading source of business news and events covering all industries in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. The Business Journals report on local and national issues that impact businesses and are a division of the American City Business Journals (ACBJ), the largest publisher of metropolitan business newsweeklies in the United States.


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