Pursuing a commercial tenant for unpaid rent

When a commercial tenant fails to pay his or her rent, you have options for what you can do. Often, the main approach is to take the tenant to court to collect damages. According to the American Bar Association, you should take the time to assess the situation before immediately taking collection action against a commercial tenant. 

Commercial leases are often complex, and these tenants may have special situations. You need to consider if going to court even makes sense. 

The ability to rent again 

It is part of your responsibility to try to rent the space to another tenant. This helps to limit the damages to the tenant in default, as he or she is often responsible for the rent until the end of his or her lease unless you rent the space to someone else. You need to take steps to do this and put forth effort or it could haunt you in court. However, if you need to make repairs or have other expenses in renting the property again, you may be able to seek these costs in court as well. 

The damages available 

If you are able to rent the space quickly, then it will greatly reduce the damage you can seek from the tenant in default. It may end up not being worth your time to go after the tenant. Furthermore, the lease may limit the damages you can collect. Make sure that you know your lease provisions and that going to court would make sense. 

The tenant can pay 

Actually being able to collect any money the court awards you is another consideration. If the tenant defaulted on the rent and closed his or her business, you may have a hard time getting any money. If he or she is not in a financial situation to pay you, then it makes no sense to waste more money to go to court.