Can a Landlord Use Storage in a Commercial Space without Permission?

Leasing commercial space is often not as straightforward as it may appear. In all cases the lessor, the property owner or landlord, is entitled to access to the property under the term outlined in the lease agreement. Verbal clarification or information on what is or is not included in the lease is not part of the lease and can create misunderstandings and loopholes. Often these include the use of common space on the property such as storage, parking or the lobby or entrance areas.

Terms of the Lease

The lease or rental agreement should clearly spell out the physical property and space which is covered by the lease. For example, in a commercial building the lease would include the specific square footage, the various units or rooms included in the lease as well as the furnishing, property or other tangible items that were written in the lease. The terms of the lease will also include the length of time for the lease, usually in years, as well the grounds on which the lease can be broken. The landlord's right to entry will also be outlined in the lease or rental agreement.

Storage Areas

If the storage area is specifically described within the lease or rental agreement as being part of the lease then the tenant has full control over the use of that facility provided he or she does not breach any of the terms of the lease. If, however, the storage space is designated as common space or not specifically contained within the terms of the lease agreement legal ruling may be required. Since it is not part of the lease it may be possible for the landlord to have full access to the area or storage space or rent it out to a third party without the notification or consent of the tenant.

When To Seek Legal Help

If there is a concern about the landlord using leased commercial space for storage it is important to seek legal help. In most cases verbal information has been provided prior to the tenant signing the lease but the information was not in written format in the actual document. Modifying the lease requires a good understanding of real estate law in the particular state in which the rental of the commercial space has occurred. In addition having any type of commercial space lease agreement reviewed by an experienced real estate attorney before signing is highly recommended to prevent just these types of costly issues.