Updated October 15, 2020:

A commercial lease eviction occurs when a landlord wants to remove their tenant from a piece of commercial property.

Overview of Commercial Lease Evictions

A landlord may seek a commercial lease eviction for countless reasons. For instance, the tenant may have stopped paying rent, or they may have broken their lease agreement in some way. A commercial lease eviction should be a last resort after other efforts to resolve the issue have failed. Going through an eviction can be very unpleasant, and it is usually very difficult to evict a tenant from a commercial property.

In addition to being time-consuming and costly, commercial lease evictions can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. If you are a landlord who needs to evict a commercial tenant, you should be sure to get help from a knowledgeable attorney. Also, by making sure that the terms of your lease agreement are clear and strong, eviction should be much easier.

Commercial tenants generally do not have access to the same protections as residential tenants. When evicting a commercial tenant, however, you are still required to follow the legal procedures in your state. You will also need to follow the terms in your lease agreement related to eviction.

If your tenant does not follow the conditions of the lease, this can provide you with grounds for eviction. On the other hand, if your tenant is abiding by the lease agreement and is paying their rent on time, they cannot be evicted and will remain on your property until the lease ends.

What Commercial Landlords Should Know About Eviction

The most important part of being a landlord is to make sure that your lease agreements are written in such a way that it would be difficult for a tenant to dispute an eviction. When a lease agreement is unclear, it can easily result in a dispute between a tenant and a landlord. Because lease agreements will define the landlord-tenant relationship for long periods of time, it's best to consult an attorney before signing an agreement. This is true whether you're a landlord or a prospective tenant.

When writing a commercial lease agreement, several crucial questions must be kept in mind:

  • Will the lease be a triple net lease or an all-inclusive lease?
  • Will the tenant be offered the ability to extend or renew their lease, and if so, what rate will be charged?
  • Will there be a rent escalation clause in the lease?

These are questions that must be answered by the landlord. Tenants also must be very careful about reviewing what the terms of the lease will be. For example, the tenant needs some assurance that the landlord won't rent another property to a competitor of the tenant. The tenant should also make sure that there is some language that defines what will happen if the property is not ready to be occupied on the commencement date of the lease.

It's also important that a lease agreement defines what counts as a default and what will happen if the default occurs.

Steps of a Commercial Lease Eviction

When a landlord needs to evict a commercial tenant, they are required to abide by the rules of the Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) statute. The same eviction process can be used for commercial and residential tenants. If you are evicting a commercial tenant in Colorado, you should be aware that self-help evictions are not allowed.

This means that commercial tenants can only be evicted if there has been a default of the lease agreement, and they have been notified of the default and been given a chance to fix the problem. A three-day notice is the most common term for an eviction notice. These notices can either be delivered to the tenant personally or can be posted on the commercial property.

Most commercial lease evictions will follow the same basic steps:

  • A notice will be provided to the tenant.
  • Once the notice has expired, the landlord can file a complaint with the court, which will then issue a summons that starts the process of judicial eviction. A disinterested party must deliver the summons to the tenant.
  • The tenant must respond to the summons based on the deadline within. They will need to explain why they are not at default. If the tenant does not respond, the court will usually judge that they can be evicted.

If you need help with a commercial lease eviction, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.