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Is there a legal way to break a commercial lease?

Mandeville, LA |

I signed into a two year lease, where the premises was to be used as an auto body shop, when i contacted Dept. of Planning, I was told the premises wasn't zoned for that purpose. I had already signed the lease, before I knew that. Is there anythign I can do?

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Attorney answers 2


You may have a number of options however it depends on what the lease says. The provisions of the lease will state the circumstances that allow you to terminate the lease. There may be a provision regrading zoning, but I wouldn't know that unless I reviewed the lease. You may also be able to terminate the lease if the landlord knew you wanted to lease the space for an auto body shop and if the landlord knew that the property was not zoned for that type of business. Contact a real estate attorney and he/she can review the lease for you and let you know exactly what options you have.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create, an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Louisiana. Responses are based solely on Louisiana law unless stated otherwise


If the parties to a contract make a mutual mistake about the subject matter of the contract the contract is void. You would need to show that the other side was also of the mistaken belief that you could use the premises as an auto body shop. There may be other theories that allow you to escape the lease. However, the lease may have assigned you the duty to seek the zoning variance. You should seek counsel soon.

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