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when leasing to a consulate or to a diplomat?

Posted by annechang on April 12, 2014


Q: When leasing to a foreign country’s consulate as the lease holder, if the consulate defaults on the rent payment, will the landlord be able to evict the occupants and sue the consulate through the normal court procedure?

Answered by Lucas A. Ferrara, a real-estate attorney and professor at New York Law School http://www.nfllp.com/Attorney_Profiles/Lucas_A_Ferrara.aspx

A: If the leased space is a consulate or diplomatic mission, many attorneys recommend that landlords secure waivers of immunity. But be forewarned that these waivers might not be effective, and a landlord may encounter some resistance recovering possession of its space by way of an eviction proceeding. (According to international law, diplomatic mission space is “inviolable.” )

If these waivers are secured, a judgment for monetary damages arising out of any lease defaults could issue. But the landlord would then need to find assets that were not “diplomatic assets” against which to execute the money judgment.

While there can never be any guarantees, the better way to go may be to request a large cash security deposit or significant letter of credit.