Tenant living in retail office..

I just purchased an 11,000 square foot center back in August. I have a 1700 square foot office user in a retail space selling insurance. He's been testing me as a new owner and has literally complained about anything he could (it's a class A build).
I just found he installed a shower in his unit and has slept there for the last 3 months after divorcing his wife. Can I legally evict him from the unit for sleeping there? If not what precautions should I take? He has open bottles of liquor in the back room and wine jugs. All my tenants pay me $20 NNN and he's paying $7.
In Property Management - Asked by Mario K. - Dec 21, 2013
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Answer(s)

Michael B.
Broker/Agent
Omaha, NE

The Q does not identify your location, but most Class A Office zoning prohibits residential use. If not the zoning, then the Covenants of the office park most likely will. Finally, your lease should spell out what 'use' the space can have, which I would guess does NOT include habitation/residential use. If your tenant is spoiling for a fight and is paying only 1/3 of the normal rents, he probably wants out. How do the rest of the tenant feel about his rent vs their rent? In the end, use your attorney. He will help keep you out of trouble, and get the tenant evicted properly. Good luck

Dec 23, 2013
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Jason T.
Broker/Agent
Green Bay, WI

I’m not sure what the other tenant’s feelings about his rent have to do with the legality of eviction. Also a shower and or booze bottles does not necessarily mean he is sleeping there. Is there a bed? You are going to want to know for sure.
Second the lease should have a use that is permitted. And then also zoning may prohibit residential use. But here is the thing. I have no idea where you are, or what your lease says. These particulars are extremely important. You need to talk to a local attorney.
So if in fact he is sleeping there, and it is totally prohibited. I’m quite sure you would have to give him notice. If at that point he does not cure. You could look at eviction. That’s the process.

Dec 23, 2013
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Adel H.
Broker/Agent
Huntington Beach, CA

If the tenant is paying less than the contract rent, I'd give him a 3 days notice to pay or quit.
The issue of his usage of the space comes secondary but I'd also give him a notice of violation of the contract usage.
This is my opinion and what I'd be doing if in your situation. Please contact your attorney for legal advice. Good luck!

Dec 26, 2013
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Reginald Dean F.
Owner/Investor
Los Angeles, CA

Call 619-501-7149

Dec 26, 2013
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Fred M.
Broker/Agent
Reno, NV

Last point first. If he's contractually paying you less than your other tenants then you have an opportunity to get rid of him, and if he's a problem then use it. The booze in the back is not going to get it, but the installation of a shower and living on premises will, unless it's zoned live work I can't imagine he has a leg to stand on in a retail setting. Check the commercial eviction laws in your state as they are different than residential, then give him proper notice, and you don't need an attorney to keep out of trouble, you need to follow the laws of your state and use common sense. Good Luck!

Dec 27, 2013
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sudersan j.
Broker/Agent
Houston, TX

He is not supposed to do any modifications to the leased space without owners knowledge.If you do it yourself you are looking for more troubles. Hire an Attorney.

Dec 30, 2013
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