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It pays to be timely—especially in commercial tenancies. One common provision in commercial leases is an option requiring the tenant to notify the landlord of their intention to renew the lease or purchase the property by a specific date. What happens, however, if the tenant fails to provide the landlord with timely notice? State laws vary on this issue but, in New Jersey, courts generally enforce the lease as written. Therefore, if the tenant fails to renew by the deadline, courts will likely strictly enforce the lease terms. This is true even if the tenant has made a significant investment in the leased property. Although New Jersey courts have made exceptions to this general rule, these exceptions are only in certain narrow circumstances. This article explains the New Jersey laws that all landlords and tenants of commercial properties should know and compares New Jersey law to other jurisdictions.

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