A landlord of a commercial, as compared to a residential, property has many more options for enforcing the lease and collecting delinquent rent or seeking to have the tenant evicted after default. Perhaps the most powerful tool is a confession of judgment clause. Without this provision, a landlord must follow a long and drawn out legal process which can last months, possibly years. With a confession of judgment clause, a tenant agrees to waive its right to notice and a hearing prior to entry of judgment for money or eviction. The filing is a simple document, coupled with a complaint that allows the landlord to fast-track the litigation, saving money and obtaining the desired result in much less time. A confession of judgment clause is a very effective, but complex, enforcement mechanism. In light of the rights the tenant is waiving, confessed judgments are strictly scrutinized by the courts, and, accordingly, require proper drafting and disclosures to ensure the judgment will be upheld if challenged.
May 6, 2021
by Peter T. Ruth