In these challenging economic times, commercial landlords need to be mindful of the advantages of Confession of Judgment Clauses. These clauses permit a landlord to obtain a judgment either for money damages or for eviction against defaulting tenants without the need of a trial.
Additionally, priority of the judgment is established as of the date the judgment is confessed. As a result, at the time of entry into new leases, landlords should attempt to obtain clauses permitting Confessions of Judgment for both money damages and in ejectment. Similarly, in the event a landlord is confronted with a defaulting tenant, the landlord should review the lease agreement and determine whether he or she has a Confession of Judgment Clause contained therein. If it is available, it can prove a very effective mechanism or collecting money and/or possession of property.
Whether initially drafting such clauses or seeking to enforce them, extreme care must be taken by the landlord. Because these provisions provide prompt mechanisms for executing upon a judgment and without need for a trial, the courts routinely require strict adherence to Pennsylvania Law and its civil procedure with respect to their interpretation and enforcement. In summary, if carefully drafted and strictly followed, these clauses provide a landlord with one of the more effective remedies available to him or her when dealing with a defaulting tenant.
For more information about Confessions of Judgment, contact our office.