Question: When my father passed away, my brother and I inherited a small commercial building in Phoenix. Neither my brother nor I have any experience in property management. One of the tenants in our building has not paid rent for four months, and we now have notice of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy from that tenant. What should we do?
Answer: First, you should immediately hire a property manager. Although you and your brother have no experience now, dealing with difficult commercial tenants will give you and your brother ‘experience’ – and most of it will be bad! The fees paid to a property manager should more than offset the savings in time and money to you and your brother. For example, a property manager would not have let your commercial tenant be delinquent on rent for four months.
Second, in regard to the filing of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy by your tenant, this filing automatically stays – that is, prohibits – any eviction action against your tenant. A property manager will retain an attorney to file a petition with the bankruptcy court to lift the stay so that eviction proceedings can be filed against your commercial tenant.