REALWorld Law

Commercial leases

Early termination

Can a lessee be forced to leave prior to the date originally agreed and, if so, how long will this process take?

United States

United States

A well drafted lease will always grant the landlord the right to recover possession of the premises if the tenant defaults under its material lease obligations. However, leases will generally grant the tenant a grace period in which to cure most instances of default before the lease can be terminated and possession recovered by the landlord. State law will govern the process for recovering possession and certain States grant tenants additional statutory rights affording the tenant an opportunity to cure the default. Please consult a lawyer qualified in the state in question for details of how long the process typically takes in a particular locality.

In addition, sometimes leases explicitly grant the landlord a right to terminate the lease prior to expiration of the term. Such special termination rights are not common to any particular locality or property type – their inclusion is entirely dependent upon the deal negotiated between the parties.