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Can a commercial landlord lock a tenant out of their space?  

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Business law

Renting a commercial space means that your business constantly needs to generate enough revenue to pay rent or pay for insurance to fulfill those obligations during a significant interruption of operations.

Just like people renting apartments, commercial tenants can sometimes fall on difficult financial times. Perhaps supply chain issues have forced a factory to shut down production or staffing issues have forced a restaurant to drastically limit its hours of operation.

If a business falls behind on rent, could the commercial landlord who owns the property lock the company out of the facilities?

Depending on the lease, state law may allow landlord lockouts

The terms in a lease have a strong impact on what your landlord can and cannot do with the property after you rent it. If your lease specifically protects you from your landlord seizing the property or if it establishes certain rules that differ from state law, usually those rules will apply rather than the general state statute.

If your lease does not actually discuss the matter, then Arizona state law determines your rights. In theory, a landlord can re-enter and lock a commercial rental space when the tenant has gone more than five days past the due date without paying the rent. Landlords can also engage in the same behavior for a tenant who has violated the material terms of their commercial lease in some other way.

Businesses struggling to regain their solvency may need help negotiating with a landlord so that they can ultimately resolve the situation. Knowing the rules that apply to commercial leases in Arizona can help you better handle complications that arise and affect your tenancy.