Saturday, February 20, 2016

Holding Over (Tradecraft)

Six weeks is what's left on our lease. I'm not the panicking sort, which is why I started asking around. Should I be expressing emotion? Apparently our property management is perpetually busy. They work hard. That's in opposition to thoughts of manipulation or other notions of enemy action that arise when people you want to pay attention to you are ignoring you instead. I've dated. I get it. They're just busy washing their hair or something.

The scenario for existing outside of our current lease is not to be thrown out on the street, so that's not going to happen. I mean, that's about as terrible a scenario as possible, a forced closure of your business because of a contract dispute. That would be flat out disastrous. The alternative is a clause in our lease called "Holding Over." I like how this sounds: 

noun: hold-over
  1. a person or thing surviving from an earlier time, especially someone surviving in office or remaining on a sports team.

Black Diamond Games would be a thing that survived from a previous era, a golden age with more legal clarity. Ah, the good old days. I remember them fondly. When gas was $2 a gallon, there were only five editions of Dungeons & Dragons, and rent was only a third of what is now. Wait, what's that? Yes, being a hold over is not cheap. According to our lease:

20.  HOLDING OVER. If Tenant remains in possession of the Premises or any part thereof after the expiration of the Lease Term with the express written consent of Landlord, such occupancy shall be a tenancy from month to month at a rental in the amount of 300% of the last monthly Minimum Rent, plus all other charges payable hereunder, and upon all the terms and conditions hereof applicable to a month to month tenancy.
Yes, essentially a $10,000 a month fine for not getting the lease signed. That's a pretty devastating result of whatever this is we're dong here. So the advice I got from another tenant is to have a drop dead date, a point where you show up in their offices and demand the lease be signed. Right now. I'm not the one who put in a 300% rent increase clause, so it's not unreasonable to have a sit in. I'll be sure to bring snacks.

I am told we're very close to getting this thing signed. Not only will it get signed, but it will include the construction project for the mezzanine expansion. When I say include, that means there's a provision in the contract for how much I'm paying them to build it, when payments are due, and how they'll finance some of the new overages and permit fees (did I mention the $1,000 per hole plumbing permit? So many holes). We're really close. But we've been really close for months. I just don't want to be a hold over. 

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