Are you a tenant? A landlord thinking about selling? Or an investor looking to buy a leased property? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is important that you understand what a tenant estoppel certificate is and the benefits and protections it offers.
What is a tenant estoppel certificate?
A tenant estoppel certificate is a legally binding document signed by a tenant verifying the current status and terms of a lease and specifying any modifications to the original agreement, defaults by the landlord, or other issues relating to the lease. Typically, an estoppel certificate is requested by the landlord as part of the due diligence process before closing on the sale of a property. This statement of facts regarding the lease and the premises estops either party from making a claim that contradicts those facts post transaction.
Most commercial real estate lease agreements include a provision requiring a tenant to complete an estoppel certificate within a specified amount of time after receiving the Landlord’s request. However, only a landlord wishing to sell or refinance the property would request the estoppel. If a lease does not have a provision requiring a tenant to complete an estoppel certificate, it is in the best interest of the tenant to carefully review and complete the estoppel certificate to verify all pertinent lease information.
Why sign a tenant estoppel certificate?
From the tenant’s perspective, an estoppel certificate informs and certifies to the purchaser of the property (i.e., the new landlord under the lease) and, in the event of financing, the lender of any existing issues they will need to address after closing. For lenders and purchasers, the estoppel certificate verifies information presented by the landlord regarding the tenant, the premises, and certain material terms of the lease, which helps prevent any costly surprises after closing.
As a full-service commercial real estate firm, Kelley Commercial Partners provides landlord and tenant representation. And no matter which side we represent, we are committed to successfully guiding you through the process from the beginning through closing. For all your commercial real estate needs, let us be your partner to success.