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Evergreen Park commercial lease lawyerIn many cases, businesses will need to lease space where they can conduct their operations. As a business addresses issues related to commercial real estate, owners or partners will not only need to find the right location and ensure that it will meet their needs, but they will need to create a commercial lease agreement with the property owner. When negotiating a commercial lease, landlords and tenants need to be sure to understand how various expenses related to the property will be handled.

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities for Expenses

A commercial lease agreement needs to be clear about whether the landlord or the tenant will be required to pay different expenses. The types of expenses that may need to be addressed include:

  • Property taxes - These are taxes that are assessed on the commercial property itself. In a net lease, these taxes will typically be paid by the tenant.

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South Side of Chicago Real Estate LawyerThe rules and regulations governing condominium homeowner’s associations are often complex. There are specific rules about how the boards of these associations must conduct official business and what powers the associations have to enforce the rules against members who are not in compliance.

Controlling Documents

Condominium homeowner’s associations control all of the common areas of a building and are responsible for making sure all the unit owners pay their fair share of the fees for the operation of the association and the maintenance of the common areas. Each association has a declaration that sets forth the basic duties and rules of the association. If the board tries to exercise a power that is not listed in the declaration, a unit owner will likely be able to sue the board.

However, the declaration can be amended. Some common powers that are often added to a declaration through an amendment include the ability to make rules prohibiting owners from renting out their units or prohibiting pets in the units. Any amendments to the declaration must be approved by a vote of the unit owners.

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South Side of Chicago Real Estate LawyerWhen you enter into any kind of lawful business contract with another party, the terms of the agreement are binding, and you may face legal and financial consequences for failing to uphold them. This is certainly true for a commercial lease, in which the tenant has a responsibility to make regular rent payments to the commercial real estate property owner, as well as to utilize and maintain the space in accordance with the lease terms. However, sometimes unexpected circumstances make it difficult for tenants to fulfill their commitments. Since 2020, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of looting in many American cities have posed a serious threat to businesses, with owners often finding themselves unable to keep up with rent. In these cases, a force majeure clause in the original contract can be a saving grace.

What Is a Force Majeure Clause?

A force majeure clause protects the parties to a contract from being found in breach of contract due to events that could not be anticipated or controlled. Force majeure clauses often address acts of nature, like floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, in addition to acts of people, like riots, wars, and strikes. The involved parties may elect to be specific regarding the kinds of events addressed in the clause or include a more general catch-all statement. A force majeure clause can also stipulate what each party will be expected to do if a force majeure event does occur.

Invoking Force Majeure to Obtain Relief in Illinois

According to a 2020 Illinois Force Majeure Law Compendium, the party seeking relief, which is often the tenant in the case of a commercial lease, bears the burden of proof to show that unanticipated or uncontrollable events were the direct cause of their inability to fulfill the rent obligation or otherwise uphold the terms of the contract. The compendium states that courts may be more likely to accept a force majeure argument if the type of event causing the difficulty is specifically mentioned in the contract clause. An experienced attorney can help you build and present your case to give you the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.

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Cook County Real Estate Lawyers

Buying or selling a home is a complex financial transaction. There are many issues that will need to be addressed before closing on a residential real estate transaction, including negotiating a purchase contract, securing financing, and addressing any issues uncovered in a home inspection. One of the most important issues involves making sure the title of the home can be transferred from the seller to the buyer. By working with an attorney to perform a title search, sellers can identify any issues that may hold up a transaction, and they can resolve these matters and ensure that the home closing will proceed smoothly.

Common Title Issues

Before a home’s title can be transferred, it must be clear of any “encumbrances,” which include any legal or financial issues that may prevent the transfer. By looking at public records that detail ownership of the home and any claims against the property, an attorney can make sure sellers fully understand the steps that will need to be taken before the closing can proceed. Some issues that may be uncovered during a title search include:

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Cook County foreclosure defense attorneyDue to financial issues that have affected many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has implemented a moratorium on foreclosures, which is meant to ensure that families can continue living in their homes during this public health emergency. While the moratorium has been extended multiple times, it is currently set to expire on June 30, 2021. This means that those who have been unable to make mortgage payments may face the loss of their homes. Some lenders have stated that they will resume foreclosures as soon as the moratorium ends, while others may wait to proceed with foreclosures until the end of 2021. Homeowners who are facing foreclosure will want to understand their options and determine whether they can work with their lender to create new payment options or whether they will need to find new living arrangements. 

Options for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

To prevent foreclosure, those who have been unable to make mortgage payments will need to determine how they can become current on past-due payments, and they will also need to make sure they will be able to make ongoing mortgage payments. Homeowners may be able to work with lenders to address these issues, and available options may include:

  • Forbearance - Those who have been unable to make mortgage payments may qualify for relief in which they will not be required to make payments for a certain period of time, or the amount of payments may be temporarily reduced. While missed payments will need to be made up, homeowners will generally not be required to pay a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period. Instead, missed payments may be added on to the end of the loan, or the amount of payments may be increased temporarily. Homeowners who received a forbearance before June 30, 2020 may request up to two extensions of three months each, but the maximum period for forbearance is 18 months.

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