If you are entering into a lease in Pennsylvania, you most likely encounter a clause in the lease (in bold and all caps) called “Confession of Judgment”. There are typically two types of Confession of Judgment clauses – one for rent, and one for possession.
Confession of Judgment for Rent – this clause states that if the commercial tenant is in default for failure to pay rent or other fees due, by signing the lease, the tenant has already “confessed” judgment against him/herself. This means that the landlord can unilaterally go to court and obtain a judgment for the rent due and future rent, per the terms of the lease. The landlord must give the notices to the tenant that are required by the lease prior to exercising its rights under this clause, but nonetheless, this is an onerous clause for a commercial tenant.
Confession of Judgment for Possession – this clause states that if the commercial tenant is in default and has not remedied the default after appropriate notice and opportunity to cure (fix) the default, the landlord, as one of the remedies that the landlord has, can unilaterally go to court and get a judgment for possession of the premises and kick you out.
If you are a proposed Pennsylvania commercial tenant, you should be careful before signing a lease with these clauses. Careful review of the lease and heavy negotiation of the lease to clarify, revise and soften the terms, are imperative to having a successful relationship with the landlord. Let the experienced commercial tenants’ attorneys at Lanard and Associates help you navigate your way through this critical business document. For a free consultation on our flat fees for commercial lease services, contact Nancy Lanard, Senior Partner, today, at 215-392-0030 x101.