Q: I am a licensed real estate agent and represented a tenant in leasing a commercial space approximately two years ago. The landlord has informed the tenant that it is relocating/moving the tenant to another space in the building and that the tenant must vacate the current space. Can a landlord relocate a tenant during the term of the lease?
A: Yes, a landlord may be able to relocate a tenant during the term of a lease if the lease contains what is sometimes referred to as a “relocation clause.” A landlord’s relocation clause generally would provide that upon written notice to a tenant, a landlord may substitute a new premises for the existing premises provided the new premises is substantially the same in size, dimensions and configuration as the existing premises.
Tenants and landlords, through their attorneys, should diligently negotiate the terms of a relocation clause in a lease to incorporate such items as the amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant before exercising its right to relocate the tenant, the costs and expenses landlord will cover for the tenant in connection with such relocation, the actual size and location of the new premises provided (for example, restrictions on what floor the new premises will be located on and the square footage of the new premises), and who will pay for the removal of any specialty alterations in the existing premises that the tenant may have installed.
The Legal Line Question by:
Neil B. Garfinkel
REBNY Broker Counsel
Partner-in-charge of real estate and banking practices at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP