Commercial Landlord / Tenant Representation

Ward and Smith attorneys provide the full range of legal services that landlords and commercial tenants need, from negotiating leases, managing lease relationships, and terminating lease agreements.

Our pragmatic, business-focused approach aims to help clients achieve the best possible solution, whether negotiating a lease renewal with few changes or resolving a complex dispute.

Our commercial landlord-tenant lawyers represent both landlord and tenant clients. While negotiating leases on their behalf, they deal with the rental rates, common area management fees, and other terms. We can also advise clients what kinds of terms are typical for their particular situation. 

Clients can have specific needs due to their industry or competitive situation. For example, retail tenants might seek exclusivity in a shopping center and assurance that they will be able to audit financials to account for common area charges properly. For solar farm leases, an evolving area of law, we often help clients sort through issues related to decommissioning and varying local regulatory requirements. 

Ward and Smith can often bring attorneys to the table who have expertise in particular industries to help clients navigate issues specific to healthcare, alcoholic beverages, housing and, other sectors. We serve a wide range of clients — manufacturers, professional services firms, hospitality and entertainment companies, outdoor recreation operators, and others. We can also draft form or template leases for apartment operators or property management companies.

We represent developers, property owners, and business owners before local government bodies — boards of adjustment, planning and zoning commissioners, city councils, and county commissioner boards — for conditional use permits and zoning applications. 

When negotiating leases and lease relationships, our goal is to produce the best possible outcome for our clients while also minimizing the risk of litigation in the future. Nonetheless, disputes happen — sometimes due to the economy or other circumstances.

Managing lease-related disputes

We have extensive experience representing clients and helping them navigate disputes that do arise. When possible, we pursue the best business solutions for clients; often we’re able to avoid litigation with a pragmatic approach. However, if going to court becomes necessary, we vigorously and diligently protect our clients’ interests. We can handle trial and appellate matters. 

We frequently represent landlords seeking back rent, summary ejectment of tenants, recovery of expenses related to breach of lease or property damage, and the like. We also often represent tenants and business owners seeking lease concessions, including rent reductions or abatement, and other matters.

The Ward and Smith difference

With offices across North Carolina, Ward and Smith is well suited to represent clients with multiple locations in the state. Our commercial real estate attorneys are deeply integrated in their professional communities. They often know the lawyers representing the other side and are familiar with differences from one city or county to the next. 

Because we are a business-focused, multi-specialty firm, our commercial landlord-tenant lawyers have easy access to peers with relevant legal knowledge. That includes specialized practices such as healthcare, alcoholic beverage law, and agribusiness law, as well as attorneys focused on construction, financing, environmental law, and other areas that often factor in commercial real estate.

Most of our clients are closely held private businesses, but we also handle work for public companies based in North Carolina and elsewhere. We work closely with corporate general counsel and can partner with other law firms when appropriate, on behalf of clients. 

Ward and Smith can handle all of your commercial landlord-tenant matters — negotiations and due diligence, drafting leases, checking titles, and resolving disputes. Our attorneys will be there with you every step of the way, guiding you through the process and staying focused on your business goals.

We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.

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