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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

How to Deal with a Difficult Small Business Landlord

Sometimes you have to deal with tricky landlord situations. Maybe the landlord refuses to make needed repairs, or tries to levy higher rent on you when they shouldn’t be allowed. 

One of the grim realities of being a small business owner out in the world is that you may have to deal with a difficult landlord. Whether they’re overstepping their boundaries or causing issues with your lease, here are some tips on how to handle a tough situation.

Review the lease agreement for your small business’s lease

Thoroughly understand the terms of the lease agreement and ensure compliance with all the stipulations outlined. Make sure that you know what’s written down so you can refer to it when you need to. 

Maintain open communication with your small business’s landlord

This is key - you can’t ice out your landlord! Make sure to keep a respectful and transparent line of communication with the landlord to address any concerns or issues that may arise.

Document everything when you communicate with your small business’s landlord

To the point of open communication, keep detailed records of all communication and document any disputes, requests, or issues that occur during your tenancy. This includes emails and texts - try to get as much information in writing as possible. 

Seek legal advice if you have to when dealing with a difficult landlord 

If necessary, consult with a qualified attorney specializing in landlord-tenant disputes to understand your rights and explore legal options. Consult with them about your landlord’s idiosyncrasies so that you make sure that the situation is dealt with without too much uproar. 

Know your rights as a small business tenant. 

Familiarize yourself with the tenant rights and landlord-tenant laws in your jurisdiction to understand the boundaries of your landlord's actions and assert your rights when needed. If you found a lawyer, ask them for their expertise. 

Don’t be afraid to move on - and have a plan for when you do. 

If you decide that you can’t deal with the difficult landlord situation, it might be best to pack up and move to another location. Well, those moves can be costly - if you need funding for a move, whether it’s due to a landlord or just because you want to move into a new, better place, Honeycomb Credit can help you get the funding for it! To learn more about Honeycomb Credit and our community investment offerings, fill out the form below.


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