NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Most laundry companies use standard leases for the properties they serve, but most leases either don’t address or don’t properly address many important issues that can arise when dealing with customers, according to the law firm of Russel G. Winick & Associates, which specializes in laundry services law.
A properly written lease should protect a laundry company’s rights and offer strong leverage in all situations. Here, according to Winick & Associates, is a partial list of issues to be considered:
- Renewal Clauses — Will they accomplish your goals? Are they clear, and presented properly?
- Termination Notices — Is it clear when they must be served, and when they are effective?
- Foreclosures — Are your leases drafted in ways that minimize the risk of foreclosure?
- Breaches/Damages — Do your leases allow you to recover the maximum if they are breached?
- New Ownership — Is it certain that they will be required to honor your leases?
- Right of First Refusal — Do you have one? If so, will it really help you to retain locations?
- Service Obligations — Are they feasible, and do they avoid creating a risk of termination?
- Rehabilitation of Properties — Do your leases give you practical rights in this situation?
- Holdovers — If the landlord lets you stay after your lease term expires, are your rights addressed?
Attorney’s Fees — An attorney’s fees clause can actually reduce legal costs, Winick & Associates says, by making lessors less likely to breach a lease, for fear of the consequences.
Many customers will agree to a fully mutual attorney’s fees clause, such as, “In the event of any legal action arising out of this lease, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover all costs incurred, including reasonable attorney’s fees, in addition to all other available relief.”