Posts Tagged 'non-disturbance agreement'

Using Non-Disturbance Agreements to Protect Broker Commissions

Commercial Real Estate Professional Calls for Change to Industry Practices

Non-disturbance agreements have been around for a long time. They have become a crucial component in protecting corporate tenants from being removed from their space by lenders who may foreclose on the buildings occupied by those tenants.

Should commercial real estate brokers be entitled to the same protections…that, if a lender were to foreclose, the broker’s rights to receive future commissions would also carry forward and become the obligation of the lender?

Currently, in most states, broker commission agreements are personal service contracts between landlord and broker, and don’t run with the land. Basically, if a lender were to foreclose on a building where a broker placed a tenant, the broker would likely have no standing. If the commission agreement provided the broker with the opportunity to receive commission payments for future events, such as if the tenant were to expand, extend its lease, purchase the building, or otherwise, in most cases, the lender would have no obligation to honor the commission agreement. And, the broker would likely receive no compensation under the commission agreement.

Since commercial real estate brokers are often one of the primary reasons a tenant and a landlord are brought together, shouldn’t brokers be entitled to the same protections often afforded tenants?  Like the tenant not being removed in the case of lender foreclosure, and like other protections afforded landlords, shouldn’t the broker’s rights also not be removed?

This approach has been applied from time to time, but only in extreme instances, and with a lot of effort. An industry wide standardized “broker non-disturbance agreement” is an idea whose time has come, especially at a time when so many commercial landlords are losing their buildings and while others are simply not capable of paying their bills, including commissions.  Like a non-disturbance agreement between a tenant and lender, a broker non-disturbance agreement would be a separate document between broker and lender.  In a broker non-disturbance agreement, the lender would agree, in the event it foreclosed on the landlord, to take-on the responsibilities to which the landlord agreed in the commission agreement.  In this manner, the broker’s future interests would be protected through the agreement with the lender.

Some landlords may misunderstand the true positive value associated with offering broker non-disturbance agreements.  Consider the office building that is rumored to have financial challenges. Some brokers might be less eager to aggressively pursue transactions there for fear of not being paid. By offering a broker non-disturbance agreement, financially challenges landlords may be able to attract more brokers to their buildings, and ultimately, increase leasing activity and close more deals.

Of course, other opportunities exist to protect brokers, including the inclusion in the lease document the right by the tenant to pay the broker its compensation, while deducting that cost from its rental obligations

Either way, commercial real estate brokers certainly provide valuable services to tenants and landlords. And, with the extreme challenges and very real risks that exist in today’s business climate, like others, brokers are entitled to reasonable protections and the expectation that they will receive the compensation to which they are rightfully entitled, especially those to which others have contractually committed to pay.

About Real Estate Strategies Corporation
Real Estate Strategies Corporation is a respected corporate advisory and transaction services firm that provides thought-leadership, decision-making, planning, project management, and transaction execution services to finance and senior executives at management team-led public, private, and portfolio companies, and not-for-profit organizations.  Under the leadership of its award-winning CEO, Andrew Zezas, RealStrat’s clients engage the firm when acquiring, disposing of, renegotiating, or enhancing occupied leased or owned real estate in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and throughout North America.  By creating and executing Business DRIVEN Real Estate Solutions and identifying hidden Opportunities, RealStrat drives greater operational and financial performance in support of its clients’ stakeholder objectives, M&A requirements, and exit strategies.

In the current economic environment, RealStrat’s efforts are focused on uncovering, capturing, and re-purposing hidden liquidity and minimizing risk in its clients’ leased and owned real estate.  The firm provides counsel as to competitive advantage strategies in preparation for the eventual economic recovery.  Visit www.RealStrat.com. Read about timely commercial real estate issues at RealStrat’s blog at www.CorporateAdvisor.wordpress.com. Follow RealStrat at http://www.Twitter.com/RealStrat.

LINKS:

RealStrat News
Biographies
Articles
Properties
What Our Clients Say

Copyright Real Estate Strategies Corporation 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

###

Advertisements

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 42 other followers

Follow Me on Twitter



THIS WORK IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE PRACTICAL AND USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT MATTER COVERED AND REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE AUTHOR. HOWEVER, IT IS PROVIDED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO THE READER. IF LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE SOUGHT. THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY THAT MAY BE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTAINED IN THIS WORK.