Commercial Real Estate Investment/lease question please



I am in AZ. I have leased a storage unit since 2005.  I have always been given the option to pay for one year in advance for  a 10% discount.  Two years ago a new owner took over and allowed the same terms.

This year in 1/1/2014,  I received a bill which allowed me to pay the annual payment as usual.  The check for 12 months was cashed 1/16/14.  I received a registered letter dated 2/5/14 due to construction, remodeling and other purposes we must vacate our unit by 4/7/14.  

Our lease says  "the lease will be renewed on a month to month, quarterly or years bases (depending upon payment method chosen).  Either party may terminate this agreement upon given written notice of (30) thirty days"

Question - Since they cashed my check, didn't return my money with the eviction notice, didn't even acknowledge having a year of rent payment, can they legally evict me before the end of my 12 months paid period?  

Loss of this storage unit right now would be a financial hardship as comparable unit size and cost are not available in this area.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

Sincerely,   Gabriel


It seems that you have a strong legal position since the landlord has cashed your annual payment, however, lease law varies depending upon your specific geographic legal jurisdiction regarding this matter.  You need to confer with your own local legal counsel familiar with landlord/tenant law.  I expect your attorney will be able to advise you of your options almost immediately provided they are experienced with landlord/tenant disputes.

Good luck.

- Jim  

Commercial Real Estate Investment

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Avancena, CPM


Best qualified to answer questions that involve commercial leases, that is, basic issues as well as the often unexpected effects of the complexities and inter-relationships of the provisions a lease may contain, explain how seemingly innocuous text in your lease can have a major impact on a Tenant or Landlord and their business operations, and the common practices utilized in the industry. I can untangle most matters that may come up from the time a tenant begins searching for a office or store space and the lease acquisition process, concerns related to remodeling/improving the leased premises, moving-in, subletting or assigning the leased space, and a long list of problems that may come up during the lease term and even after a tenant moves out. I have practical experience with most property management issues and resolving landlord and tenant disputes - especially those involving what may appear to be overcharges assessed for additional lease charges like CAM costs, operating expense reimbursement, real estate taxes, utilities, construction improvements etc. Note that I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice.


Thirty years active experience in the commercial real estate industry as a licensed real estate broker in the Washington DC Metro area (DC, Northern Virginia & Maryland). I have been admitted (approved) by the Maryland and DC courts to testify as an expert witness on the subjects of Commercial Leasing and Property Management in the area of standard industry practices. I have had a business for the last 14 years advising virtually every form of business entity from large national corporations to the smallest ma & pa new businesses regarding a wide range of commercial real estate matters in addition to property management and commercial leasing.

Currently my three children keep me so busy that it is difficult to participate in organizations with continuing and specific time requirements.

I publish a local commercial real estate newsletter titled: "Tenants First". My firm was the subject of a high profile Washington Post business section cover page (2.25 full pages) feature story on January 13, 1993; titled "Overcharging Overhead".

BA in Political Science from Memphis University, and five years of study in the real estate development summer program at MIT. I was certified as a commercial property manager (CPM-IREM), and currently hold a brokers license in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Awards and Honors
The same plaques and honors that most others in my industry have earned. I have none that I consider especially meaningful.

Past/Present Clients
Past clients include: The World Bank, George Washington University, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, US Department of Commerce, The American Benefits Council, K-Mart Development, many law firms, a national union, other major organizations, and many, many small business firms and retail operators that I am most honored to serve. I estimate more than 1,500 firms/organizations.

©2016 All rights reserved.