Category Archives: Real Estate Law

New commercial office space trends leases landlords tenants

How Will Commercial Real Estate Change Post-COVID-19?

We have been following a growing narrative in the commercial real estate press that the Covid-19 crisis will foster permanent changes in how companies organize and run their workforces.

Office Space Will Look Very Different Post-COVID-19 With Social Distancing

These rapidly changing needs are already having an impact on commercial real estate:

Landlords have indicated that some are getting ahead of this looming problem by meeting now with all their tenants to assess their future needs. If you anticipate that companies will be downsizing by moving more workers into home-based offices, there are an upside and a downside to consider:

  • The number of tenants seeking new, smaller spaces may present an opportunity to attract them with progressive space options.
  • Current tenants may find their office space needs shrinking, which landlords will need to respond to, especially if they wish to keep good tenants.
  • Paradoxically, even as more jobs “go remote,” the need for more space within an office will grow. As noted above, tenants will have to allow for more hygienic social interactions and work stations less crammed together. This will reduce the demand for economical but densely packed co-working spaces.
  • In fact, tenants may find their current space will accommodate fewer employees with the new emphasis on social distancing and hygiene. And, sending workers home may be the best option just to keep their space needs constant.

“It had been proven prior to this, but a lot of company management and leaders showed great skepticism (about remote work productivity),” Steve King, partner at small-business consulting firm Emergent Research, told Recode. “That skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.”

“I do think this is going to reshape the workplace,” Janet Pogue-McLaurin, principal and workplace leader at design and architecture firm Gensler, told Recode. “Social distance thinking may be part of our DNA moving forward.”

Commercial real estate companies are taking the lead in updating thinking about how to configure office space. Cushman & Wakefield is working on a “6 Feet Office” concept that considers all the aspect of office space, from wider corridors to workstations that allow a full six feet of separation.

Put our 30 years of experience with commercial real estate legal matters to work

As legal advisors to landlords our focus will be on how these accelerated trends get woven into the language of the lease agreements. We also advise regarding the conversations between tenant and landlord on how best to update current agreements to reflect this rapid change in office space needs. Contact us with your questions about this “new world” of office space.

Commercial Real Estate Co-Ownership PLP Law Attorneys

Longtime Co-Owners of Commercial and Investment Properties Should Check Title Documents

Title to Co-Ownership of Real Property Put to the Test When Co-Owners Die or Become Incapacitated

We are seeing more and more cases where a co-owner of a jointly owned investment property retains us after the other co-owner dies or becomes incapacitated (as a result of Alzheimer’s or some other illness or accident).

  • In the case of the death of the other co-owner, our client is usually now dealing with a successor trustee, executor or administrator of the estate.
  • In the case of the incapacity of the other co-owner, our client is usually dealing with an agent under a power of attorney or a conservator.

In many cases, our client is surprised to learn that the vesting language in the deed to the property does not reflect the client’s understanding or intent regarding their ownership share. Continue reading

Business Lawyers Real Estate Attorneys Creditors Rights Poniatowski

Poniatowski Leding Parikh Law Corporation Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary

We are proud to be celebrating thirty years of serving as legal advisors to businesses and individuals in Alameda County and Northern California.

Thirty Years of Handling Client Legal Matters in Northern California

Castro Valley Business Lawyer, Pleasanton Landlord lawyer, real estate attorneyFrom the day we opened our doors in a small office in Castro Valley dedicated to business law and real estate law, our mission has been to provide prompt, quality, results oriented representation and practical advice to our clients. We are proud to have stayed true to this objective over these three busy, challenging decades. Continue reading

commercial lease negotiation agreement terms Ponlaw

Seven Key Commercial Lease Terms to Examine Before Signing

When negotiating a commercial lease, every clause in the agreement must be examined to see how it defines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and the rights and responsibilities of the landlord. Here are some of the many common lease terms you should look for that corporate real estate tenants need to negotiate:

Clearly Defined Premises

Many leases do not clearly describe what you are renting. Your lease should clearly define your space, its size, and whether the size is on a rentable or usable basis. If your lease refers only to your usable space, get an explanation regarding the difference and include that language in the contract. Continue reading

Contract Terms Statute of Limitations Poniatowski Leding Parikh

The Statute of Limitations on a Contract May Be Different Than You Think

Most business and real estate attorneys assume that the statute of limitations on an oral contract is two years, and on a written contract is 4 years. These are boilerplate assumptions that can trap a businessperson or a landlord; they do not always hold true once we delve into the specifics of a case. Continue reading

Commercial Lease Negotiation Client PLP Law

There is No Such Thing as Boilerplate Language in Commercial Real Estate Agreements

As we start work in 2019 in earnest, the commercial leasing market remains very active. We find ourselves representing a number of commercial landlords and tenants in connection with long-term commercial leases.  One area in which we are adding great value is in the examination of “boilerplate language” within a proposed agreement that actually needs customization to protect our clients’ interests.

Great Commercial Lease Agreements Contain No Boilerplate

Most recently we represented a well-established auto body shop that sold its business to a national auto body and collision repair chain. As part of that transaction, the new owners leased the building that our client, the seller, owned to become the client’s tenant.  Continue reading

How hold title real estate property

How You Hold Title to Real Estate Property Has Legal and Tax Consequences

The method you choose for holding title on your real estate property in California can have unexpected legal and tax consequences, especially years from now when death or disagreement brings change to the relationship between the co-owners.

Given these distant, hard-to-imagine impacts, choosing how title is vested by the co-owners is often an afterthought (or even overlooked)! But the consequences of improper vesting can be devastating. Typically, problems do not arise until many years after the recording of the grant deed that includes the improper vesting. Then, the improper vesting suddenly becomes a problem upon the attempted sale or refinancing of the property, or upon the death or dissolution of marriage of one (or more) of the owners.

The method of holding title is particularly important in partnership and co-ownership situations to make sure that the business agreement of the partners or co-owners is enforceable.  Continue reading

Written Co-Ownership Agreement Poniatowski Leding Parikh

The Risks of Co-Ownership Agreements

Co-ownership of properties is a very common financial arrangement in real estate. With two or more persons involved in a purchase, their combined buying power can expand the number of properties that they can pursue. One party involved may also provide a higher credit score or more substantial assets that could win better loan terms.

Co-ownership lowers the business risk for both partners because it becomes a shared risk, rather than one which must be borne by a single person. However, these are long-term business relationships (even those between family members), and time can change the motivations of the people involved. Indeed, one partner may decide they wish to exit, and has the legal right to do so (more on that below.) Much can go wrong in a co-ownership partnership, if the possibility of these future issues arising is not accounted for in the initial partnership agreement.

How co-ownership can become problematic  Continue reading

Business Debt Collection Ideas PLP Law Attorney

How a Business Can Improve Debt Collection

One of the most frustrating areas of maintaining a successful business is collecting on receivables. It has been said that “a sale to a customer is no more than a gift, until the payment for it has been collected and gets deposited in the bank.” Many businesses learn this truth the hard way, generating great sales and revenue, but suffering from terrible cash flow because payments due are not forthcoming in a timely manner.

Improving Debt Collection

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The Biggest Things to Look For When Buying a Business

Bay Area real estate attorney Oakland

It’s usually easier to buy an existing business than to start up your own. This is because everything is already in place, including a customer base. However, there are some things to look for when you buy a fully-operational business. Follow the tips listed below to give yourself a fair chance of success at converting someone else’s business into your own. Continue reading