The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws

Commercial Law

Uniform Commercial Code -- Leases

D.C. Code Ann. §§ 28:2A-101 through 28:2A-506

The rent and financial obligations of a tenant will vary for commercial leases, depending upon the type of lease and the economic terms. Generally, rent payments are set at a fixed or minimum rent that may be subject to either fixed annual increases or periodic increases based on a consumer price index. Commonly, retail leases contain percentage rent provisions which specify a percentage of gross sales be paid in addition to a base rent. In addition, most commercial leases require the tenant to pay a pro rata share of operating expenses, whereas retail leases may provide that the common maintenance expenses be paid. Real estate taxes and insurance expenses are added to the base rent as well.

Other than rent, common provisions usually involve specific use, signage, termination, renewal, expansion, or purchase option provisions. Normally, maintenance and repair responsibilities within the premises fall upon the tenant, with the exception of structural components or the systems of the building. Also note, it is important that the parties to a commercial lease are in compliance with environmental laws and with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more on Commercial Leases and the rights of the landlord and tenant, see "Real Property - Leases - Commercial Leases."

Also See: D.C. Code Ann. § 29-1005 which gives a corporation the power to lease, mortgage, and sell its property when voted on by a majority of the directors, managers, or trustees. For more information about sales, see the Uniform Laws Annotated version of the U.C.C; White and Summers, Uniform Commercial Code (West); U.C.C. Reporting Service; and Quinn, Uniform Commercial Code Commentary and Law Digest.




Updated statutory cites CPJ 5-14-07
Revised NTC 11-6-07
links updated 6/6/08 rab
Links checked July 15th, 2010, FJL.