Last week, a social media post regarding a commercial real estate lease has gone viral. Yes, you read that correctly, a social media post regarding a commercial real estate lease went viral (over 1,800 comments and 2.5 million views). I never thought I’d see that day. With that said, it’s understandable based on the interesting facts of this story.
One user shared a photo to the popular applications, Reddit and Imgur, that was deemed “The Birthday Cake Clause” because it stated that “Lessor shall provide birthday cake for Lessee(s) on weekend closest to their birthdays, which are June 7th and February 17th. Vanilla Cake is not acceptable.” The user that posted the image noted that: (1) the lease was sent to him by the landlord as a Word document, (2) he had added The Birthday Cake Clause before signing it, and (3) he intended to hold the landlord to the terms of the agreement.
Although a lawyer’s first instinct is to discuss the legality of such a lease provision, it’s difficult to not pause and enjoy the humor of this strange story. At the very least, this is an important reminder to landlords (and their lawyers) to send documents as PDFs and review the lease before executing such an important document. Remember, if you’re a landlord or a tenant and you’re contemplating a lease agreement, having your real estate attorney look at it today may save you from buying birthday cakes (and much worse) later.
Ariel Bedell is a Shareholder at The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to any other California real estate, corporate governance, land use, or estate planning matter, contact Ms. Bedell at 760-814-9649.