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The Evolution and Importance of Force Majeure Clauses in Commercial Real Estate Lease Agreements: A Focus on the Post-COVID-19 Era and the Arizona Market

The Evolution and Importance of Force Majeure Clauses in Commercial Real Estate Lease Agreements: A Focus on the Post-COVID-19 Era and the Arizona Market 2254 1282 Gottlieb Law

Force majeure clauses have been a part of commercial real estate lease agreements for as long as anyone can remember. These crucial provisions, often regarded as the “act of God” clauses, allow parties to a lease agreement to suspend or terminate their obligations when certain unforeseen, uncontrollable events occur, rendering performance impracticable, illegal, or impossible.

Historically, force majeure clauses have covered events like war, civil unrest, natural disasters, or terrorism. However, the landscape of these clauses has seen a profound shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pivotal event that has caused significant disruption in the commercial real estate sector worldwide, including in Arizona.

The Post-COVID-19 Shift in Force Majeure Clauses

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, many commercial tenants found themselves unable to fulfill their lease obligations due to the government-imposed restrictions on businesses and drastic shifts in consumer behavior. The result was a wave of disputes and litigation cases, with both tenants and landlords looking to force majeure clauses for relief.

Many traditional force majeure clauses did not expressly account for pandemics or government-ordered shutdowns. This ambiguity led to varying interpretations, creating legal uncertainty. Consequently, many tenants found it challenging to prove that COVID-19-related disruptions fell under a force majeure clause, leading to significant financial burdens.

Recognizing this deficiency, real estate attorneys and contract parties began to revise and expand force majeure clauses to expressly include pandemics, government-imposed lockdowns, or related events. In 2023 and beyond, this trend of providing greater clarity and inclusivity in force majeure clauses is expected to continue, not just in response to the recent pandemic, but also to cater to future unforeseen global disruptions.

Force Majeure Clause Considerations for Landlords

For landlords, the critical concern is to manage risk and ensure continuity of income. The recent trend towards more inclusive force majeure clauses may seem unfavorable, as it opens up more opportunities for tenants to invoke force majeure and potentially evade lease obligations. However, it’s crucial to remember that an overly restrictive or ambiguous clause might not stand up in court, or may be subject to multiple interpretations, especially given the legal precedent set during COVID-19.

Landlords should focus on crafting balanced force majeure clauses, which explicitly state the scenarios that would allow for suspension or termination of lease obligations. It may also be prudent to require tenants to prove that they’ve exhausted all reasonable alternatives before invoking force majeure.  It is advisable for any landlord to revisit force majeure clauses in their lease agreements with an experienced real estate attorney.  Even if you did not run into specific issues during the pandemic, it is a good time to work with an attorney that did handle legal issues related to any real or perceived lack of clarity in these clauses so you can be confident your lease agreement will be enforceable. 

Considerations for Commercial Tenants

For tenants, a well-defined force majeure clause can provide valuable protection in unpredictable times. It is essential to ensure that the clause is broad enough to cover events that could significantly impact your ability to fulfill lease obligations, such as pandemics or government-imposed restrictions.  Tenants should also pay attention to notice requirements, as many force majeure clauses require tenants to promptly notify landlords upon the occurrence of a force majeure event.

Any commercial tenant should use the lessons learned from the pandemic related to contractual obligations and unforeseen circumstances to make sure they feel comfortable with the protections granted in lease agreements.  It is always advisable to review a commercial lease agreement with a real estate attorney in your state before executing.  You can also use the issues that arose for other tenants as an opportunity to review existing agreements and pursue potential amendments to update any clauses that might be too vague.  

The Arizona Commercial Real Estate Market

The Arizona commercial real estate market, particularly in major cities like Phoenix and Tucson, experienced notable disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the economy is in recovery mode, and businesses are redefining their workspace needs, the interpretation and application of force majeure clauses in commercial lease agreements have become more critical than ever.

Arizona law generally requires a strict interpretation of force majeure clauses. In other words, if the clause doesn’t specifically list a certain event, such as a pandemic, courts may be unlikely to find that the event qualifies for force majeure relief. Therefore, both landlords and tenants in Arizona should work closely with an experienced real estate attorney to ensure their interests are adequately protected in lease agreements.

Always Review Commercial Lease Agreements with an Experienced Real Estate Attorney

Force majeure clauses are evolving to reflect the realities of an increasingly unpredictable world. As we navigate these challenging times, landlords and tenants in the commercial real estate sector must adapt and proactively address potential disruptions in their lease agreements.

At Gottlieb Law, we are committed to guiding our clients through this new legal landscape. We bring our expertise to bear in helping you draft, review, and negotiate commercial lease agreements, ensuring that your interests are thoroughly protected in the face of evolving force majeure clauses. Whether you are a landlord seeking to minimize risk or a commercial tenant looking for adequate protection, our seasoned attorneys are ready to assist you.  Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.

Tips for Structuring Building Upgrade Requests & Other Key Amendments for Existing Commercial Lease Agreements in Arizona

Tips for Structuring Building Upgrade Requests & Other Key Amendments for Existing Commercial Lease Agreements in Arizona 2043 1362 Gottlieb Law

Landlords and tenants alike understand the importance of a lease agreement in Arizona, which governs the use of a property during a set period of time and establishes a working relationship between parties. This is common knowledge, but what is lesser known is that any party named in a commercial lease is able to request amendments to the agreement.

For commercial properties especially, building upgrades and property expansions can significantly impact the terms of a lease. Any planned changes to the premises itself requires revisiting existing agreements, so landlords and tenants should be familiar with the amendment process. It is also wise to work with an experienced real estate attorney who can help with navigating Arizona commercial lease amendments and protecting your interests.

Commercial Lease Amendments vs Addendums

There are two types of changes most commonly made to commercial lease agreements in Arizona: amendments and addendums. An amendment is a modification or change made to an existing lease agreement. It typically alters specific terms or provisions of the lease, such as rent amount, lease duration or permitted use of the premises. An amendment requires the consent of all parties involved and is usually signed as a separate document to be attached to the original lease.

On the other hand, an Arizona commercial lease addendum is an additional document that supplements the original lease agreement. It introduces new provisions or terms that are not included in the original lease. An addendum can address various aspects, such as additional tenants or legislation that requires additional legal disclosures. Like an amendment, an addendum is also typically signed by all parties involved and becomes part of the lease agreement.

While both a lease amendment and addendum involve modifications to a commercial lease agreement, an amendment changes existing terms, while an addendum introduces new provisions or terms.

When to Amend a Commercial Lease

Over the course of a commercial lease term, one or more parties who signed the agreement may find themselves in different circumstances that make certain provisions within the lease unfavorable. Rather than drafting an entirely new lease agreement, the parties can simply create an amendment to the original document.

The following are common examples of when to amend a commercial lease:

  •       To change the amount of rent
  •       To address any changes on the premises, such as expansions or building upgrades
  •       To extend the length of the lease
  •       To adjust terms, such as use provisions

As long as all parties agree to the proposed amendments of the lease agreement, any details can be changed.

Tips for Structuring a Lease Amendment Request

When structuring building upgrade requests or other key amendments for existing commercial lease agreements, it’s important to be clear, concise and professional in your communication. Here are some tips to help you structure such requests effectively:

  1. Start with a polite and professional salutation, addressing the appropriate party or parties involved in the lease agreement.
  2. Clearly state the purpose of the request. For example, if you are requesting building upgrades, specify the nature of the upgrades and their significance.
  3. Provide a detailed explanation that explains why the requested amendment or upgrade is necessary. Outline the benefits it will bring, such as improved functionality, energy efficiency, safety or compliance with regulations. Include any relevant data or documentation to support your request.
  4. Specify the desired terms. This may include the scope of the upgrades, estimated costs, timeframe, responsibility for expenses and any other relevant details. Be as specific as possible to avoid ambiguity.
  5. Justify the financial implications. If the requested amendments or upgrades will involve additional costs, provide a reason for these expenses. Explain how the upgrades will enhance the value of the property, attract more tenants or improve overall profitability.
  6. Propose a meeting or discussion to further explain your request and address any questions or concerns. This shows your willingness to collaborate and find mutually beneficial solutions.
  7. Express willingness to negotiate the terms of the requested amendments. This demonstrates a cooperative approach and can help foster a positive working relationship.
  8. Conclude your request by showing appreciation for the recipient’s attention to your request.
  9. Offer your contact information so that the recipient can reach back up with you to follow up on your request.
  10. Follow up with an email or phone call if you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe to ensure your request has been received and to discuss next steps.

It’s important to keep in mind that all Arizona commercial lease agreements vary — and each has its own set of clauses. This is why you should consult with qualified legal counsel, which can help you navigate the complex process of making significant amendments to commercial lease agreements in Arizona.

Review Your Commercial Lease Amendments with an Experience Real Estate Attorney

Negotiating any proposed adjustments to a commercial lease in Arizona can be a complex and time-consuming process. Remember to assemble a strong team of professionals who can understand your needs, negotiate key terms and protect your interests.

The attorneys at Gottlieb Law are prepared to assist your company with negotiating a favorable commercial lease agreement. Contact us today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.

Pop Up Shops and Restaurants: What are the Most Important Things to Know About Short Term Commercial Leases in Arizona?

Pop Up Shops and Restaurants: What are the Most Important Things to Know About Short Term Commercial Leases in Arizona? 2231 1489 Gottlieb Law

You’ve seen them at the mall and in your favorite commercial outlets. Pop up shops, the stores that used to be regional and holiday focused are now becoming the next big trend in this space. It gives new and upcoming retailers a way to showcase brands and even test appeal.

Now, short-term leases are becoming more common across many types of businesses. 

When setting up pop up stores, pop up restaurants are essentially engaging in a short-term commercial lease in Arizona, and there are several legal considerations to keep in mind. While specific requirements may vary, depending on the jurisdiction and type of establishment, here are the most important things to know about short term leases in Arizona.

Permits and Licenses Are Usually Required

Start by making sure that you have obtained any of the necessary permits and or licenses that will be typically required to operate your pop-up store or restaurant. This may include business licenses, food service permits, health and safety permits, liquor licenses (if applicable) and any specific permits for temporary or mobile businesses.

The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) has published a guide to tax and licensing compliance with all necessary information.

At minimum, pop up business owners should be prepared to register with ADOR and obtain the following licenses:

  •       Transaction Privilege Tax License
  •       Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  •       Regulatory (Professional/Special) Licensing/Permits
  •       Local Business/Occupational License/Permit(s) 

Not every type of Arizona business requires licenses and permits, but there are significant penalties for operating without necessary licenses. Be sure to confer with qualified legal counsel in advance to assure that you are abiding by the current laws and regulations that are in place.

Lease Agreements Determine When/How Your Pop-up Operates 

Spend time reviewing and also trying to negotiate the lease agreement carefully before you sign or agree to anything. You’ll want to make sure you consider aspects such as the duration of the lease, any rental terms, the liability provisions, insurance requirements and any possible restrictions on the use of the space that may apply. Commercial leases, in particular, often have broader use provisions, which provide clarity on the permissible activities on a property. These are designed with transparency in mind as well as serving to protect property values and facilitate a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship by setting clear expectations for both parties.

It’s important to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions before signing the lease, no matter how long your business plans to operate.

Zoning and Land Use Regulations Can Impact Your Operations

Verify that the location you intend to use for your pop up store or restaurant is zoned for commercial activities. Check local zoning regulations to ensure compliance with permitted land uses, occupancy limits, parking requirements, and signage restrictions.

This typically is not an issue with pop up shops in Arizona, as established brick-and-mortar businesses tend to share their space with temporary stores and restaurants. As such, this means that general commercial activities are already allowed within these zones, so opening a pop up business is a more seamless process.

Complying with Health and Safety Regulations 

Research the industry your pop up will be registered under and take the time to research any health and safety regulations that currently exist. This includes proper food handling and storage practices, fire safety measures, accessibility requirements, and adherence to building codes. Health inspections and permits may be necessary for food-related businesses.

Insurance Coverage Will Vary

You’re going to also need the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your business and mitigate potential risks. Make sure to review your options with general liability insurance, property insurance, product liability insurance (for restaurants), and workers’ compensation insurance (if you have employees). The specific coverage needed will depend on the nature of your business.

Per Arizona state law, all businesses with at least one employee are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance with the exception of independent contractors and domestic workers. Though other types of insurance are not legally required, most businesses carry policies that can help them limit liabilities.

Using Intellectual Property Rights Requires Permissions 

If you plan to use trademarks, logos, or copyrighted materials in your pop up store or restaurant, ensure that you have the necessary permissions or licenses to use those assets. The U.S. Copyright Office offers automatic protection for any published works, and any copyrighted work cannot be duplicated or used as the basis for new work without the permission of the original owner. Be mindful of potential infringement issues and protect your own intellectual property, if applicable.

Consult with an Experienced Arizona Real Estate Attorney 

It’s important to consult with a local attorney who specializes in business and commercial law to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and local requirements specific to your jurisdiction before engaging in any short-term commercial lease in Arizona.

Gottlieb Law has significant experiences with commercial real estate in Arizona and can assist you and your business with any short- or long-term endeavors. Contact us today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online

Straightforward Tips to Recognize Common Real Estate Scams and Frauds

Straightforward Tips to Recognize Common Real Estate Scams and Frauds 1555 1166 Gottlieb Law

Whether you’re a prospective homebuyer, a tenant looking for a rental property, or an investor seeking lucrative opportunities, it’s essential to be aware of the risks and pitfalls that can accompany real estate transactions. Scammers have become more and more sophisticated  with how they operate, which means that you should always be diligent in your approach. 

Due to the high rate of real estate scams and real estate fraud that currently exists, it is always wiser to work with an experienced real estate attorney before signing any paperwork. In the meantime, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you identify common real estate scams, empowering you to make informed decisions and protect yourself from financial losses and legal troubles.

Tip #1: Research and verify.

Due diligence is an important step in all major transactions, and it can help any prospective property owner or tenant avoid common real estate scams. Always research and verify the legitimacy of individuals, companies, or agencies involved in the transaction. Check their credentials, licenses and reputation through reliable sources like government registries and real estate associations.

Tip #2: If the price is too low, it’s questionable.

The saying, “You get what you pay for,” may apply here. If you come across a property that’s priced too far below other comps in the area, it could be a red flag. Oftentimes, scammers lure in unsuspecting buyers by posting hard to believe prices that are almost too good to be true. On top of researching the parties involved in the transaction, be sure to investigate market rates in the neighborhood to ensure the price you’re offered is within the range.

Tip #3: Request documentation.

It’s always better to have a paper trail in case you need it, than to have no proof if anything does go awry. Ask for copies of legal documents related to the property, such as title deeds, land surveys and property tax receipts. Take your time to carefully review any and all of these documents and make sure that you also consult with a real estate professional or lawyer if you have any doubts to be sure.

Tip #4: Visit the property in person.

Make sure you tour the property before you sign off on any documents to confirm that the seller is legitimate. Scammers often use fake listings or misleading photographs to trick buyers or renters. Insist on inspecting the property personally, or send a trusted representative. For those purchasing a property, professional inspections happen during the escrow process, but renters can also hire an inspector for peace of mind.

Tip #5: Be cautious with wire transfers.

Scammers commonly request payments through wire transfers or unconventional methods (such as gift cards or cryptocurrency) that are difficult to trace. Exercise caution when asked to make payments before signing contracts or without proper documentation.

Tip #6: High-pressure tactics are a warning flag.

One way that scammers operate is to use high pressure tactics to get you to act before you think. Beware of individuals who pressurize you to make immediate payments or sign contracts without allowing you sufficient time to review and consult with professionals. These tactics are often coupled with the low prices mentioned earlier, resulting in a “limited time” price drop.

Tip #7: Use reputable professionals.

When engaging in real estate transactions, seek the services of trusted professionals such as real estate agents, lawyers or brokers. Verify their credentials and experience to ensure they have a solid track record. Additionally, be wary of professionals recommended by the seller or property manager, as they could be part of the scam.

Tip #8: Beware of rental scams.

Rental scams are prevalent, particularly on online platforms where scammers don’t have to show their faces or can digitally alter images. Be cautious if the landlord asks for payment before you’ve had a chance to see the property or sign a lease agreement. Always use secure payment methods and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

Tip #9: Research online listings.

When searching for properties online, be cautious of fraudulent listings. Look for inconsistencies in the listing description, images that seem suspicious or look like stock photos and contact information that appears unprofessional or incomplete.

Tip #10: Trust your instincts.

If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut instinct when you see red flags. Before completing any type of a real estate transaction, consult with experienced legal counsel. They can help conduct any due diligence, as well as verify and vet the seller and the property in advance to save you time, money and undue stress. 

Avoid Scams with the Help of an Experienced Real Estate Attorney

Remember, awareness and caution are crucial when dealing with real estate transactions. If you suspect fraud or encounter suspicious activity, report it to the appropriate authorities immediately. You can also involve an experienced real estate attorney, who can help you identify scammers and avoid fraudulent transactions. The attorneys at Gottlieb Law are prepared to assist you with securing an investment or finding a legitimate property to rent. Contact us today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.


What are Broader Use Provisions in Commercial Lease Agreements?

What are Broader Use Provisions in Commercial Lease Agreements? 1900 1069 Gottlieb Law

Lease agreements form the foundation of a landlord-tenant relationship, defining the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Among the crucial elements of these agreements for commercial properties are the broader use provisions, which establish the parameters for how tenants can utilize the leased premises.

These provisions play a vital role in clarifying the permissible activities and purposes for which the tenant can use the space, while also addressing restrictions and obligations that ensure the property is used in a manner that aligns with the landlord’s interests and regulatory requirements. Read on to learn about the significance of broader use provisions in commercial lease agreements, their key components and considerations and their impact on both landlords and tenants.

What are broader use provisions in commercial lease agreements?

Generally speaking, broader use provisions in commercial lease agreements refer to clauses that define and govern the permitted use of the leased premises by the tenant. These provisions outline the specific activities or purposes for which the leased space can be utilized, as well as how the space cannot be used. They are important because they clarify the intended scope of the tenant’s business operations within the leased property and help establish boundaries and expectations between the landlord and tenant.

The following are some use provisions to consider, whether drafting a commercial lease for an owned property or researching spaces in which to operate a business.

Permitted Use

The lease agreement will typically specify the permitted use of the premises. This may be a general description of the tenant’s business or specific activities allowed. For example, a retail lease might specify that the premises can only be used for a clothing store.

Exclusive Use

In some cases, the tenant may negotiate an exclusive use provision, which grants them the exclusive right to engage in a particular business activity within the leased property. For instance, a GNC in a shopping mall might have an exclusive use provision stating that they are the only business allowed to sell health and wellness products. This prevents the landlord from leasing nearby spaces to competitors (like Vitamin Shoppe) engaged in the same type of business.


The lease agreement may also contain restrictions on certain activities or uses. These restrictions can be aimed at maintaining the property’s integrity, complying with zoning regulations or protecting the interests of other tenants or the landlord. For instance, a lease agreement might prohibit the tenant from using the premises for manufacturing or conducting hazardous operations.

Changes to Use

If the tenant wishes to modify or expand the permitted use of the premises beyond what is initially specified in the lease agreement, it may need to seek the landlord’s approval. The process for obtaining such approval should be outlined in the lease agreement, or the landlord and tenant can collaborate on an updated lease agreement that governs the relationship for the remaining duration.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Broader use provisions often include a requirement for the tenant to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and permits related to their business activities. This ensures that the tenant operates in accordance with legal requirements and maintains necessary licenses and permits. Compliance protects both the landlord and tenant, as landlords are held liable for illegal activity conducted on its property.

Landlord’s Consent

A typical lease agreement will state that the tenant must obtain the landlord’s consent before assigning or subletting the premises. This provides the landlord with control over incoming tenants and the activities they intend to conduct within the leased space.

It’s important for both landlords and tenants to carefully review and negotiate broader use provisions to ensure that they align with their respective needs and expectations. Consulting with experienced legal professionals specializing in real estate or commercial leases can help parties understand the implications of these provisions and negotiate favorable terms.

The Impact of Broader Use Provisions on Landlords and Tenants

Broader use provisions in commercial lease agreements have a significant impact on both landlords and tenants. For landlords, these provisions help maintain control over the use of their property, protect their interests and the interests of existing tenants, and ensure compliance with zoning and regulatory requirements. They provide clarity on the permissible activities and restrictions, enabling landlords to safeguard the property’s value and mitigate potential risks.

On the other hand, tenants benefit from broader use provisions by having clear guidelines on how they can operate their businesses within the leased premises. These provisions provide a framework for expansion or modifications to their business activities, while also granting exclusive use rights in some cases. Overall, broader use provisions foster transparency, protect property values, and facilitate a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship by setting clear expectations for both parties.

Consult with an Experienced Real Estate Attorney

With broader use provisions, landlords can help ensure their tenants’ operations are in compliance with Arizona law, while also protecting the interests of all relevant parties. Investors should partner with an experienced real estate attorney who is familiar with landlord/tenant laws and how they can impact their investments. Gottlieb Law provides industry-leading legal representation for anyone involved in Arizona commercial real estate.  Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 or schedule an initial consultation on our contact us page.

Arizona Lease Termination Laws: What Every Landlord and Tenant Should Know

Arizona Lease Termination Laws: What Every Landlord and Tenant Should Know 2267 1512 Gottlieb Law

If you’re looking for a viable way to enjoy the benefits of a home without having to commit to a lengthy mortgage, leasing is the way to go in most situations. However, circumstances can arise that make it necessary to terminate a lease agreement early. In Arizona, both landlords and tenants have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to lease termination.

Understanding these laws can help both parties navigate the process of ending a lease agreement smoothly and legally. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Arizona lease termination laws and what you need to know as a landlord or tenant.

Landlord and Tenant Obligations During an Active Lease

When a tenant and a property owner sign a lease agreement in Arizona, both parties are given specific rights. It’s essential to understand the landlord-tenant laws in Arizona when drafting and terminating a lease agreement.

As a landlord in Arizona, the lease agreement gives you the right to receive rent payment for the entire lease duration, whether or not the tenant is occupying the property. You can hold the tenant accountable for rent payment even after they break the lease, and you can withhold all or part of their security deposit if there is no legal justification for their breach of the agreement. 

Likewise, as a property owner in Arizona, you have specific obligations under the lease agreement. These obligations include providing safe and habitable housing, following statewide landlord-entry rules, and respecting your tenant’s privacy. Failure to fulfill these duties could give your tenant the right to break the lease. Before holding the tenant accountable for breaking the lease, ensure that you’re not responsible for their decision to do so.

When Tenants Can Legally Break a Lease

There are several instances in which tenants can legally terminate a lease agreement, as provided in Title 33 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

  •       Early termination clause: Some lease agreements have terms for early termination, usually in exchange for a penalty fee.
  •       Active military duty: Lease can be terminated by providing written notice, orders, or a letter from the commanding officer.
  •       Uninhabitable unit: Tenants have the right to a safe and liveable space, which landlords must maintain. If the landlord does not make necessary repairs within the allowable time period, a tenant would be considered “constructively evicted” and is no longer obligated under the lease.
  •       Landlord harassment or privacy violation: Harassment or violation of privacy may justify the termination of a lease. Landlord entry requires two days’ notice, repeated violation of privacy is considered “constructively evicted,” and landlords cannot lock out their tenants.
  •       Domestic violence: Arizona provides special rental provisions for tenants who are victims of domestic violence. Landlords are entitled to verify domestic violence status, and tenants can terminate a lease without penalty once there is proof of domestic violence. Landlords are also obligated to change the locks if requested by the victim.

When Landlords Can Terminate a Lease

If a tenant is behind on rent or breaks a lease rule, the landlord can take back possession of the property or start a legal action to do so. The legal action will follow certain rules and will determine who has the right to live in the property. The court may also require the tenant to pay damages, attorney fees, and costs.

If the landlord wins the legal action, the tenant can appeal the decision, but they have to pay a bond that covers the rent they owe plus any damages, attorney fees, costs, and rent that may be due during the appeal process.

It is important to note that any notice or legal action related to this law does not have to follow a specific form as long as it meets the required content and formatting.

How to Terminate a Lease in Arizona

In Arizona, tenants are not obligated to inform their landlord of their intention to leave when the lease has a fixed end date. However, if the lease is month-to-month, tenants must provide 30 days’ notice. For week-to-week leases, tenants must give 10 days’ notice before the end of the lease.

Tenants in Arizona can choose to deliver the notice of termination either in person or by mailing it to the landlord.

Landlord Obligations After a Lease Termination

When a tenant legally breaks a lease in Arizona, the landlord has a duty called the “duty to mitigate damages” to try to find a new tenant to take over the lease. The landlord cannot simply wait until the lease ends and then hold the tenant responsible for unpaid rent because this is not allowed under Arizona’s eviction laws (A.R.S. § 33-1370). The landlord must make reasonable efforts to re-rent the unit in order to minimize any financial losses.

Hiring a Real Estate Attorney in Arizona

If you are a landlord or tenant in Arizona, you’re going to want to seek legal advice before terminating a lease. An experienced eviction attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations and can represent you in court if necessary.

When hiring an attorney, it’s best to choose someone who is knowledgeable about Arizona real estate law and who has a track record of success in eviction cases.

Gottlieb Law has significant experiences with the challenges of terminating a rental agreement in Arizona. Our firm can help you determine if you have a qualifying cause under state law and pursue the process in court and with law enforcement, if necessary. Contact us today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.

Making the Right Move: Top 6 Tips on When to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Making the Right Move: Top 6 Tips on When to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer 2400 1600 Gottlieb Law

Most people understand that real estate lawyers are legal professionals who specialize in real estate transactions such as contracts, deeds, mortgages, and leases. They are experts in real estate law and can provide invaluable assistance with transactions and issues related to real estate.  Whether you are a real estate investor or a first-time homebuyer, having a real estate lawyer on your side can make the process much smoother and help protect your interests. However, it is common for people to not understand when they should hire a real estate lawyer.  To help you make the right move with any real estate legal matters, here are some top tips on when to hire a real estate lawyer. 

Tip #1: When Buying or Selling a Home 

When you are buying a home, it is wise to hire a real estate lawyer before you sign the contract. A real estate lawyer can review the contract and make sure that it is fair and in your best interest. Your lawyer can also help make complicated terms and details of the contract easier to understand and provide advice on how to negotiate the best deal. Additionally, having a lawyer represent you during the closing process can make sure every detail is completed correctly. It is also a good idea to hire a real estate lawyer if you are selling your home. Your lawyer can help you review the purchase agreements and make sure that they are legally binding and provide you with all available and enforceable protections. They can also provide guidance on how to handle disputes or issues that may arise during the sale.

When buying or selling a home, it is important to understand the legal documents and contracts that come with the process. Without the proper understanding, you could end up with a bad deal or worse, be in breach of contract. That is another key reason to hire a real estate lawyer when buying or selling a home. A real estate lawyer can help to navigate the legal process and assess potential risks. They can provide advice on the documents and contracts that need to be signed, and can also help to protect your rights as a homeowner. They can also help to negotiate the best possible deal for you and ensure that the terms of the contract are fair and reasonable. With the help of a real estate lawyer, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible deal when buying or selling a home.

Tip #2: When Dealing with Title Issues 

Title issues can be tricky to navigate without a lawyer. When it comes to real estate, understanding the title is the most important aspect of the transaction, and it is essential to ensure that the property is legally owned by the seller and that there are no liens or other title issues that could complicate the sale. Before you sign a contract to purchase a property, it is important to do research to ensure that there are no title issues that could prevent you from being able to close on the property. If you are unable to resolve the issue on your own, hiring a real estate lawyer can be a great way to help you navigate through the situation. A lawyer can help you understand the title issues, research them thoroughly, and find solutions to help you resolve them. Hiring a real estate lawyer can be invaluable when it comes to dealing with title issues, as they are experienced and knowledgeable in this area and can help you protect your interests.

Tip #3: When Dealing with Landlord Tenant Disputes 

When landlord tenant disputes arise, it’s important to consult with a real estate lawyer to ensure you’re properly prepared. Real estate lawyers can help by understanding the nuances of landlord tenant law and ensuring that both parties are in compliance with state laws. Since they are experienced in dispute resolutions, they can provide guidance on how to negotiate a deal that’s fair to both parties. Real estate lawyers can help landlords and tenants understand their rights, obligations, and potential consequences of any agreement that’s reached. Real estate lawyers can also help ensure that leases are properly drafted, and that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities. Finally, real estate lawyers can help identify any potential areas of dispute before they become a problem. By understanding landlord tenant laws and the potential outcomes of landlord tenant disputes, real estate lawyers can help ensure that both parties come out of any dispute with a fair resolution.

Tip #4: Any Potential Disputes Related to Real Estate

Whether you have a dispute arise with a partner, contractor, or neighbor, consulting with a real estate lawyer at the first sign of a real estate dispute is the right move.  A real estate lawyer can help assess the details of any dispute related to real estate and help guide you through the best resolution. Any dispute can rise to potential litigation when there are significant sums of money involved and an experienced real estate attorney can help protect your interests throughout the dispute resolution process. Real estate lawyers can help pursue reasonable resolutions without giving up your best interests.

If you experience any issues related to a real estate transaction, you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer. A real estate lawyer can help you resolve disputes or claims, such as breach of contract or nonpayment. They can also provide advice on how to protect your interests and negotiate a favorable outcome. Whether you are buying, selling, or renting a property, having a real estate lawyer on your side can make the process much smoother and ensure that your rights are protected.

Tip #5: Buying or Selling Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate transactions are simply more complicated.  Even if you have a great commercial real estate agent, you should hire a real estate lawyer to represent your interests in any commercial real estate transaction.  An experienced commercial estate lawyer can advise on many additional factors in the transaction, like environmental issues, zoning regulations, liens, easements, contractual concerns, and structural issues.  They can also help advise on when you should consult any other required professionals, including inspectors, engineers, architects and contractors.  Since real estate lawyers do not work on commissions, they will help assess when it might be the best move to walk away from a transaction as well.

Since commercial real estate transactions are typically among the most time consuming and expensive purchases you can make, it is always advisable to have an experienced commercial real estate lawyer representing your best interests while reviewing potential properties, negotiating terms, drafting contracts, completing due diligence and closing on the property.  A commercial real estate lawyer can add significant value at every stage of the process.

Tip #6: Complicated Transactions or Structures

Sometimes real estate transactions can involve complicated structures.  Working with multiple parties to buy or sell a property can mean that your interests are not being represented by the agent on the transaction.  Hiring a real estate lawyer to represent your personal interest in a complicated transaction with multiple parties is always advisable.  They can help assess any potential issues for you and review the potential impacts on your taxes or liability.  A great real estate lawyer can make sure the contract provides ample protection for your personal interests and make sure the transaction structure matches what has been agreed by all parties.

Find the Right Real Estate Lawyer for You

There are many tips to help you determine when to hire a real estate lawyer, but it is always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer representing your interests when you have such a large portion of your net worth at stake.  Real estate lawyers can assist with understanding the laws and regulations of your state and local area, review any contracts before signing, and ensure that all documents are in order.  It is always beneficial to have a real estate lawyer review any purchase or sale agreement, as they can help spot any potential issues, and potentially avoid costly issues down the road. Real estate lawyers can provide invaluable advice and guidance throughout the entire process. By hiring a real estate lawyer, you are ensuring that your interests are protected and that you are making the best decisions for yourself. Hiring a real estate lawyer is a wise decision that can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Gottlieb Law was founded to provide the best representation for all your real estate legal needs.  Our experienced lawyers can assist with residential and commercial real estate transactions, disputes, and litigation.  Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.

5 Key Tips on How to Transfer Property Title in Arizona

5 Key Tips on How to Transfer Property Title in Arizona 1936 1296 Gottlieb Law

Transferring property title in Arizona can be a complex and sometimes confusing process. Whether you’re buying or selling property, or simply transferring ownership to another party, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and procedures involved. In this post, we provide five key tips on how to transfer property title in Arizona that any property owner should know.

Remember that these guidelines can never replace the advice of experienced, qualified legal counsel. It is always wise to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that you are following the appropriate process.

Tip #1: Research the specific requirements for property title transfer in Arizona.

The laws governing property title transfer vary by state, so it’s essential to understand the specific requirements for Arizona. In the Grand Canyon State, there will always be a deed used to transfer property title:

There are three main deed forms named after the warranty of title they offer:

  •       General Warranty Deed Form: This deed provides the most protection to the grantee by giving a full warranty of title. As it relates to the grantor, this guarantees free and clear title to the property; the right to convey the property; and the legal responsibility for all claims related that may arise that are related to the property’s title. It’s important to note that these claims can also include claims made by previous owners of the house, too.
  •       Special Warranty Deed Form: Similar to a general warranty deed, this deed makes the grantor responsible for title problems that arose while they owned the property, but not for issues related to prior owners.
  •       Quitclaim Deed Form: A quitclaim deed does not provide warranty of the title. This means that the grantee will be accepting the property in “as-is” condition. Furthermore, it also warrants that the grantor is not able to be sued by the grantee should there be an issue that arises with the title at a later time.

The state of Arizona also has recognition for other deed forms, which are commonly used for probate avoidance. These include:

  •       Beneficiary Deed: This newer deed form is designed to avoid probate by naming a beneficiary to inherit the property at death. The owner retains control during their life and can change their mind at any time. It’s also known as a transfer-on-death deed or TOD deed.
  •       Life Estate Deed Form: An older deed form developed to avoid probate at death, a life estate deed forfeits control over the property during life. The grantor can retain the right to use the property, but cannot sell, mortgage, or deal with the property without involving the new owner.

Tip #2: Ensure that the property is free of liens and encumbrances.

Before transferring title, it’s crucial to make sure that there are no liens or other encumbrances on the property. These can include unpaid taxes, outstanding mortgages, or other debts, and can affect your ability to sell or transfer the property. 

Common types of liens that may be placed on a property include:

  •       Mortgage liens: A mortgage lien gives the lender the right to foreclose on the property if the borrower fails to make their mortgage payments.
  •       Tax liens: The government can place a lien on a property if the owner fails to pay owed taxes, which gives them the right to sell the property to pay off the tax debt.
  •       Judgment liens: If a property owner loses a lawsuit and is ordered to pay damages, the winning party may place a lien on the property to secure payment.
  •       Mechanic’s liens: A mechanic’s lien is a legal claim against a property filed by a contractor or subcontractor for unpaid work or materials.
  •       HOA liens: Homeowners associations (HOAs) can place liens on properties for unpaid fees, fines, or assessments. 

While many properties typically have a mortgage lien that is simple to navigate when transferring title, other liens can become obstacles during the transfer process.

Tip #3: Use a licensed escrow agent.

Using a licensed escrow agent when transferring property title is essential because it helps ensure that the transaction is handled legally, accurately, and securely. Escrow agents act as neutral third parties that retain documents and allocate and disperse funds, acting on behalf of both the seller and the buyer during a transaction involving real estate or real property. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the terms of the transaction are met and that all parties involved receive what they are entitled to.

There are several reasons to involve a licensed escrow agent when transferring property title in Arizona. For starters, licensed escrow agents are required to follow strict legal and ethical guidelines and are knowledgeable about the title transfer process. They can ensure that all steps are taken and that the buyer and seller are both protected in the secure transaction. Additionally, a licensed escrow agent has the expertise to review and understand complex legal documents, such as purchase agreements, deeds and title reports. They can ensure that all the paperwork is accurate and complete, preventing potential issues that could arise in the future. 

Tip #4: Consider working with an attorney.

While it’s not required to work with an attorney to transfer property title in Arizona, it can be beneficial. Working with an attorney when transferring property title can provide legal guidance, ensure that the transaction is handled correctly and protect against any future issues, should they arise. An attorney can help with tasks such as reviewing legal documents, conducting a title search, negotiating with the other party and addressing any legal issues that may arise during the transaction.

Additionally, an attorney can provide legal advice on the tax implications, property rights, and other legal considerations. Overall, working with an attorney can help ensure that the transfer of property title is legally sound and can provide peace of mind for both the buyer and the seller.

Tip #5: Keep all necessary documentation.

Last but certainly not least, it’s essential to keep all necessary documentation related to the property title transfer, including deeds, title insurance policies, and any other relevant documents. First, it serves as evidence of ownership and can help prevent disputes. Second, it provides a clear record of the terms and conditions of the transaction, which can be helpful if questions arise later. Third, it may be required by lenders, title insurance companies, or other parties involved in the transaction. Finally, some documentation may be necessary for tax purposes, such as recording the sale price of the property.

Keeping documentation will help protect your interests in the property and ensure that you can prove ownership if necessary in the future.

Hiring an Experienced Real Estate Attorney in Arizona

If you are transferring property title in Arizona, you’re going to want to seek legal advice. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations and can represent you throughout the process.

When hiring a real estate attorney, it’s best to choose someone who is knowledgeable about Arizona real estate law and who has a track record of success. Gottlieb Law has significant experiences with the challenges of navigating property title transfers in Arizona. Contact us today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured in Maricopa Lawyer and AZ Big Media Sharing Monsoon Season Legal Issues

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured in Maricopa Lawyer and AZ Big Media Sharing Monsoon Season Legal Issues 2144 1373 Gottlieb Law

Founder Benjamin Gottlieb, of Gottlieb Law, PLC was featured in the June 2023 issue of Maricopa Lawyer, as well as the recent edition of AZ Big Media, discussing monsoon season in Arizona and various legal issues that can arise from it.

The featured article in Maricopa Lawyer can be read here:

The headlining article in the most recent edition of AZ Big Media can be read here:

For anyone needing assistance with real estate legal issues related to Monsoons or flooding, schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Gottlieb Law on our contact us page.

What You Need to Know About a Quiet Title Action in Arizona

What You Need to Know About a Quiet Title Action in Arizona 2560 1707 Gottlieb Law

As you navigate the complex world of real estate, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the legal aspects surrounding property ownership. One important concept you should be familiar with is a quiet title action. This legal procedure helps to resolve disputes or potential issues with a property’s title, ensuring that you have a clear and marketable title to your land. In this article, we will explore the key details of a quiet title action in Arizona and how you can pursue one if necessary.

What is a Quiet Title Action?

A quiet title action is a legal process that aims to clear up any disputes, ambiguities, or defects related to the ownership of a property. By filing a quiet title action, you are asking the court to determine and declare who holds the rightful title to a piece of land. It can also help eliminate any adverse claims or competing interests that might affect the title to your property.

Quiet title actions in the state are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 12-1101.

Why is a Quiet Title Action Necessary?

There are several situations in which a quiet title action becomes necessary. Some common reasons to initiate a quiet title action in Arizona include:

Resolving boundary disputes: If there is a disagreement regarding the exact boundaries of a property, a quiet title action can help establish the correct property lines and settle any disputes.

Clearing liens or encumbrances: Sometimes, liens or other encumbrances might be attached to a property’s title. A quiet title action can help remove these unwanted claims and give you a clear title.

Confirming ownership after a tax sale or foreclosure: In cases where you have acquired a property through a tax sale or foreclosure, a quiet title action can help confirm your ownership and eliminate any competing claims.

Clearing title defects: If there is a defect in the title, such as a missing heir, an incorrect legal description, or an unresolved issue from a previous transaction, a quiet title action can help correct these issues and provide you with a clear title.

The Quiet Title Process in Arizona

Here are the general steps typically involved in a quiet title action in Arizona:

  • Filing a complaint: To initiate a quiet title action in Arizona, you or your attorney must file a complaint with the appropriate court. This document outlines the basis for your claim and requests the court to determine the rightful owner of the property. The complaint should include a description of the property, the nature of your interest in the property, and any known adverse claims or potential issues affecting the title.
  • Serving notice: After filing the complaint, you must serve notice to all interested parties. This typically includes any individuals or entities who may have an interest in the property, such as lienholders, neighboring property owners, or heirs of previous owners. The method of service may vary depending on the party being served, but it generally involves either personal service by certified mail or service by publication.
  • Waiting period: Once you have served notice to all interested parties, there is a waiting period during which these parties have the opportunity to respond to the complaint. In Arizona, the waiting period is typically 20 days for parties served within the state and 30 days for parties served outside the state. If a party fails to respond within the specified time, the court may enter a default judgment in your favor.
  • Court hearing: If any of the parties that were served follow up with a response to the complaint, the case proceeds to a court, where discovery takes place and either the court or a jury ultimately decides the rightful owner of the property.
  • Issuance of a judgment: After the court hearing, the judge will issue a judgment declaring the rightful owner of the property and settling any disputes, defects, or adverse claims. This judgment essentially “quiets” the title, providing you with a clear and marketable title to the property. It is important to note that the judgment in a quiet title action is binding only on the parties involved in the lawsuit and does not guarantee that future claims will not arise.
  • Recording the judgment: Once the judgment is issued, you or your attorney should record it with the county recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. This step ensures that the judgment is part of the public record, making it easier to prove your ownership should any future disputes arise.

How to Pursue a Quiet Title Action in Arizona

Given the complexity of the quiet title process and the potential for costly mistakes, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced real estate attorney when pursuing a quiet title action in Arizona. An attorney can help guide you through the process, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken and that your interests are protected.

Here are some steps to follow when working with a real estate attorney to pursue a quiet title action:

Consult with an attorney: First, schedule a consultation with an Arizona real estate attorney experienced in quiet title actions. During this meeting, discuss the specifics of your situation, and the attorney can help determine whether a quiet title action is the best course of action for you.

Gather documentation: Your attorney will likely request various documents related to the property, such as the deed, title insurance policy, property surveys, and any other relevant records. Collecting and organizing these documents will help your attorney build a strong case for your quiet title action.

Retain the attorney: If you decide to move forward with the quiet title action, you will need to formally retain your attorney. This typically involves signing a retainer agreement and paying a retainer fee, which may be a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the attorney’s fee structure.

Follow your attorney’s guidance: Throughout the quiet title process, it is essential to follow your attorney’s advice and guidance. This may include providing additional documentation, attending court hearings, or taking other actions to support your claim.

How to Be Successful in a Quiet Title Action in Arizona

A quiet title action is an essential tool for resolving disputes and clearing up any ambiguities or defects in a property’s title. If you find yourself in a situation where a quiet title action may be necessary, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who can help guide you through the process and protect your interests. By understanding the quiet title process and working with a skilled attorney, you can ensure that you have a clear and marketable title to your property, allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of property ownership.  The attorneys at Gottlieb Law have extensive experience representing clients with matters related to property ownership and title.  We can review your case and determine if a quiet title action is the best way to clear up those issues.  Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 or schedule an initial consultation on our contact us page.