Friday, June 10, 2016

PERSONAL GUARANTEE – Landlord’s Perspective

We touched on the subject of a “PERSONAL GUARANTEE” (PG) in an earlier blog, so let’s expand on the subject further from the Landlord’s perspective. This can often be a controversial part of any lease negotiation, so here's a practical strategy and approach to work with.

First, a PG is simply an assurance that the Tenant (likely the principal of the company) will be personally liable financially for the lease agreement and its terms. It can be structured in many ways, for example, time limited, subject to a maximum amount ($ figure), or tied to the Landlord investment towards tenant improvements. It most often becomes enforceable when the company or entity which has signed the lease fails to meet its terms.

As Landlord, you are effectively a creditor and in some situations you may have more financial exposure than just the loss of the rental payments due. Understanding this, it’s good business to construct a PG structure that fits the particular deal you are considering. Think in terms of your risk & exposure in the event of a tenant failure, with a clear assessment of the downside potential. The best practice is to think like a banker and secure the deal accordingly.

In terms of the Tenant expectations and their willingness to accept a PG, none of it should come as a surprise. The informed ones will understand why it is required, the rationale behind it and should negotiate the best terms of a PG accordingly based on their interests. Tenants unwilling to accept a PG are limited in the market options they can consider and are in effect asking you to accept a higher risk by taking them on.

Just a final thought on a PERSONAL GUARANTEE – they never matter much the day that the lease is signed, but they do when the business fails and the lease goes into default!

CALLING ALL LANDLORDS! We would love to hear any great stories on the subject from your experience(s). As always we're just a click or call away from discussing the investment opportunities here in Windsor-Essex!

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