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What is a memorandum of lease?

A memorandum of lease—also known as a short-form lease—is a brief summary of the lease’s basic terms. During lease negotiations, a tenant may demand that the property owner agree to sign and record a memorandum of lease with local property records. Once recorded, the memorandum of lease becomes a public record that announces to third parties the existence of the tenant’s lease and its rights under the lease. Then, for example, if a bank files a lien against a center where the tenant’s space is located, in most jurisdictions, the tenant’s lease will have priority over that lien.


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