Dealing with a Tenant’s Default

Landlord speaking with occupantsThe trouble begins when a tenant defaults and attempts to work out a solution are failing. Most of the time you’ll find yourself on the losing end the whole way. Aside from lost income, eviction and recovery can be tedious and full of pitfalls.

Is it really a default?

Check the conditions of your contract, just in case there are terms in the lease that you may have forgotten. These conditions include the need to serve notice before forfeiture of the commercial lease, or that the tenant may still redeem their default by paying penalty fees. Make sure that your tenant is really defaulting before you take action so you have a firm legal standing.

Should You Do it Yourself?

You can evict your tenant on your own if it is clear that doing so is appropriate. This is in cases when the tenant is cooperative and willing to pay any arrears and damages. Otherwise, it is best to hire a professional company to deal with any trouble during and after the eviction and debt collection process. Note that the laws regarding tenant eviction need to be followed strictly, so you will need to seek legal advice.

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Repossession and Recovery

Managing a commercial lease forfeiture is difficult enough, so be wary of any other potential hitches. While you are within your rights to sell any items left on your property, make sure these assets really belong to your tenant. Commercial lease tenants may sometimes rent equipment from a third party. Selling such chattels may get you in trouble with the rightful owner, so exercise due diligence before proceeding.


While you are processing the eviction, try to remain open to the idea of an informal resolution. Formal eviction procedures can be expensive. At best, your tenant may wish to exit the contract gracefully or, perhaps, find some way to resuscitate the lease. In such cases, agreeing to an informal resolution can be a better and cheaper choice.

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Tenants who default can be highly problematic but also remember to keep a level head during the situation. Open lines of communication between tenant and landlord always make things a little easier to manage.