Lee Segal has many commercial and industrial real estate properties that he manages for clients; in addition, he represents several clients in leasing their commercial and industriall real estate portfolios. He has extensive knowledge in leasing contracts and agreements and property management; as a result, he is called upon frequently to testify as an expert witness in landlord/tenant disputes.
TYPES OF CASES
The issues that arise in commercial real estate partnership disputes are usually financial imbalances that occur during the term of the partnership. The industrial or commercial real estate partnership agreement contract may not have been modified to accommodate the working of the partner’s relationship over time. As an industrial and commercial real estate expert witness, Lee Segal's job is to investigate the breach of the contract and to form his expert opinion on the partnership dispute.
In Lee Segal's capacity as a commercial real estate expert witness regarding mitigation of damages, he provides opinions as to whether the landlord acted in a manner to reduce the damages once the lease contract has been breached. The reduction of potential and actual damages is essential to his investigation and opinion.
Breach of contract is the most common case of Lee Segal's commercial real estate expert witness practice. The parties in a commercial real estate contract could have done a better job adhering to the signed lease. It is Lee's duty as a commercial real estate expert witness to investigate who breached the lease the lessor or the lessee and to what extent the contract was breached.
The definition of the words in an industrial or commercial real estate lease are the basis for an agreement between the parties. In some instances, industry standards and best practices could have a bearing on the way the lease is interpreted. Lee Segal's job as a commercial real estate lease interpretation expert witness is to weigh the words and balance them with the commercial real estate industry standards.
As the past president of the American Commercial Industrial Real Estate Association (AIR CRE) , Lee Segal has seen several commercial real estate cases where agents may have violated their fiduciary duties. In such instances, the owner/buyer or lessor/lessee of the industrial or commercial real estate property may have refused to pay the broker's fees due to suspected negligence. As a commercial real estate broker and owner, Lee has a real passion to make things right when he is working as a commercial real estate expert witness on a brokerage dispute case.
Industrial or commercial real estate property management can be handled by the owner of the property or contracted out to a third party property management company. In either case, the management has a duty to act in a professional manner and provide clean, safe and habitable premises for the tenant. Also, the property manager is usually responsible for collecting the rent and expenses not included in the base rent. In addition, the management is responsible for employing contractors for the maintenance of the premises. As a result, the many responsibilities that are part of property management may have the potential to get the parties involved into a dispute.
The landlord and the tenant of an industrial or commercial real estate building has an obligation under the lease to maintain the property and a duty to keep the premises safe. If either one of these parties causes a situation where the premises are considered unsafe, the lease will dictate the protocol for correcting the potential hazard. Unsafe premises must be avoided at all costs due to the safety and health of the building's employees and visitors.
Today most commercial real estate leases contain provisions for environmental protection and maintenance of the prpoerty. The tenant is usually indemnified for prior acts before thier occupancy. The main concern is if the tenant brings in hazardous materials without permission from the Landlord, and it damages the industrial or commercial real estate property. This is a complicated matter due to very expensive clean up costs and who actually damaged the rental property.