Five Important Duties of a Commercial Landlord

leasing, Wheaton commercial real estate attorneysWhen you own and lease out commercial property, such a venture could be extremely profitable. However, you could also face serious risks, especially if you are not properly prepared to handle the responsibilities associated with being a commercial landlord. Some of these risks include the possibility of financial loss or being sued for failing to meet your obligations as the property owner. It is important to understand what these responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. A qualified commercial leasing attorney can help.

Duty #1: Comply With All Applicable Laws

There many different federal, state, and local laws that apply to all property owners who rent out their properties, including commercial landlords. For example, as a commercial landlord, you are not permitted to discriminate against would-be tenants on the basis of certain criteria, including religion, race, and national origin. You must also follow all zoning laws and building codes. If you fail to comply with any applicable law, you could face serious consequences, including legal action.

Duty #2: Use Clear Language in Your Contracts

If your lease agreements are not clear and concise, your tenants might not understand what is expected of them. Your contracts could also be more difficult to enforce if there is confusion about what they contain. Commercial leasing contracts should clearly address all of the relevant concerns, including matters of rent, repairs, alterations to the property, and communication expectations.

Duty #3: Keep Your End of the Agreement

In addition to using clear language, your leasing contracts should only include provisions that you are willing and able to meet. You should also familiarize yourself with your responsibilities for making certain types of repairs, such as those involving heating and cooling systems, electrical work, and plumbing. This can help ensure that the property is maintained properly and in accordance with applicable laws.

Duty #4: Mitigate Risks and Limit Liability

Proper maintenance will go a long way toward protecting yourself and your property. However, limiting risk means more than fixing a broken water heater. You might also consider installing a security system, additional lighting, or doors and windows that can be locked securely. It is also a good idea to identify and address potential environmental hazards, such as uneven walkways where water could pool or roof overhangs from which snow or ice could fall.

Duty #5: Be Fully Insured

Despite taking all the precautions in the world, you could still suffer losses due to fires, floods, falling trees, or other “acts of God.” Comprehensive insurance coverage is a good way to protect yourself and your property. Similarly, you should also carry insurance policies on any vehicles or equipment that you may own and use in connection with leasing the property.

Call a DuPage County Commercial Real Estate Attorney

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, our team is dedicated to helping commercial landlords maximize the return on their real estate investments. Our experienced Wheaton commercial leasing lawyers can guide you through the entire leasing process and will assist you in managing any issues that may arise. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-tenants-rights-67257.html

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15101-commercial-lease-guide.html

The Holidays Could Provide the Chance to Discuss Your Estate Plans

holidays, Wheaton estate planning attorneysIt is hard to believe that the winter holiday season is here again already. By this time next week, you may be getting ready to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with your family, loved ones, and friends. A few weeks later, many families will get together to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the upcoming New Year. If your family members live in various parts of the country, the winter holidays could be the only time during the year that your entire family is able to be together. Therefore, I might also be the only chance you have to talk about important subjects such as estate planning.

Prepare for the Conversation

It can certainly be difficult to start a discussion about your estate plans. In fact, even just thinking about estate planning can be uncomfortable because doing so requires confronting your eventual death. The conversation, however, is too important to skip completely. There is no need for your estate plan discussion to take many hours, nor does it need to prevent your family from enjoying the holidays. You can control the situation and keep the tone light and positive, but you will need to do a few things in advance, such as:

  • Talk to certain people before everyone else is involved. It not the best idea to surprise your children or family members in front of everybody during the holidays by asking them to take on estate-related responsibilities. If you want your daughter to be your executor, for example, speak to her about it in private beforehand. When everyone is together, you can let them know that your daughter has agreed to take on the role.
  • Make a brief outline. If you do not have any set direction, your estate planning discussion could go on for a very long time—to the point where it takes over the whole holiday experience. To prevent this, make a short list of the key things that you want to talk about. Then, stick to the list! Other related topics will almost certainly be brought up, but do your best to limit tangents.
  • Cover the big things. The holiday discussion is probably not the place to spend time on the minor details. It really does not matter who is going to keep your bedroom television. What does matter is where your important documents are kept and how your plan accounts for the possibility of mental or physical incapacitation.
  • Let your family speak, not decide. Feedback from your family regarding your estate plan can certainly be helpful, but in the end, the decisions are yours to make. Some of your plans might not be open to debate, and that is fine, but tell your loved ones that. On other subjects, you might invite thoughts and ideas that could contribute to your ultimate decision.

Contact a Wheaton Estate Planning Attorney

If you are in the process of creating an estate plan, or if you would like to get started on one, contact an experienced DuPage County estate planning lawyer. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule an initial consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/retirement/thanksgiving-good-time-talk-turkey-about-estate-planning/

https://www.fa-mag.com/news/discussing-the-issue-of-aging-parents-41779.html

How Business Owners Can Motivate Employees Without Breaking the Bank

employees, Wheaton business law attorneysAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably do not have unlimited money to do the things you would like to do. After paying your bills, honoring your contracts with suppliers, and covering payroll, you might not have a whole lot left at the end of each month. This is especially true of companies in their fledgling stages. Without extra money, you may find it difficult to think of ways to motivate your staff and to keep your employees working hard. While it is true that workers appreciate financial incentives like bonuses or gift cards, you may be surprised to learn that there are other effective strategies for motivating your staff that cost far less than you might expect.

Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss

Have you have ever been to a restaurant that was obviously short-staffed? It might have been obvious by the frazzled look on your server’s face, not to mention longer-than-usual wait times and other indications. Can you remember what you saw the manager or owner doing? If he or she was cleaning off tables, carrying trays, or mopping up spills in the bathroom, there is a good chance you were seeing a solid leader, not merely the boss. A “boss” might have been content to give directions and tell others how to handle the problem while the “leader” was not afraid to get dirty and help.

The same idea could be applied to your business, and the way in which you lead matters. When you treat your staff as if they are stupid and replaceable, you will probably see that type of work from them. If you assume that your employees are intelligent, focused, and capable of doing their jobs—to the point where you are willing to dig in alongside them and help out—your attitude is likely to spread. Productivity will probably increase, as well.

Maintain a Positive Environment

Your full-time employees may spend almost as many waking hours at work as they do in their own homes. Most people would not choose work over home, but that is no reason to maintain an atmosphere of tension and unreasonable expectations. Allow and encourage your team to bring things in to make their workspace comfortable and “theirs.” Talk with your employees, and truly listen to their concerns, needs, and accomplishments. If a staff member makes an error, do not be too critical—especially if the mistake was a result of your employee trying to help the business. You should obviously correct the mistake, but avoid berating or embarrassing the person. Chance are good that he or she feels bad enough already.

Remember That Employees Are People Too

Work should certainly be your staff’s top priority while they are on the clock, but some jobs are simply tedious. Give your employees the opportunity to think of new ideas for how to their jobs better. If the ideas have merit, try them, and see what happens. Those who are closest to the task often have valuable insight on improving productivity.

You should also be sure that your employees have sufficient breaks throughout the workday. Nobody should be expected to go hard for many hours at a time without a chance to relax for a few minutes. A short break every couple of hours allows your staff the chance to check in with their families, have casual conversations, and simply feel human for a little bit before getting back to work.

Seek Qualified Help from a Wheaton Small Business Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, we offer trusted advice and skilled representation to business owners in a wide range of business matters. If you have additional questions about keeping your staff motivated, addressing issues with your staff, or any related concerns, contact an experienced DuPage County business law attorney. Call 630-665-2500 for consultation at our law firm today.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/08/21/37-ways-to-keep-your-employees-motivated-from-a-37-year-old-entrepreneur/

https://www.inc.com/bubba-page/7-motivations-at-work-beyond-money.html