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  • Writer's pictureColin Dubel

Common Conditions & Covenants Required by Lenders

Lenders impose a range of loan conditions and covenants when issuing commercial real estate mortgages to protect their investment and ensure that the borrower will be able to repay the loan. Some common loan conditions and covenants include:

  1. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): Lenders will typically set a maximum LTV ratio for the loan, which is the amount of the loan compared to the appraised value of the property. The LTV ratio will vary depending on the property type, location, and the borrower's financial strength.

  2. Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR): Lenders will also require that the borrower has sufficient cash flow to cover the loan payments. They will use the DSCR to determine the borrower's ability to repay the loan. The DSCR measures the property's net operating income (NOI) compared to the annual loan payments.

  3. Prepayment Penalty: Lenders will often require a prepayment penalty, which is a fee that the borrower must pay if they pay off the loan early. The prepayment penalty protects the lender from losing out on interest income.

  4. Recourse vs. Non-Recourse: Lenders may require that the loan is either recourse or non-recourse. In a recourse loan, the borrower is personally liable for the loan, which means that if they default, the lender can go after their personal assets. In a non-recourse loan, the borrower is only liable for the property, and the lender cannot go after their personal assets.

  5. Insurance Requirements: Lenders will require that the borrower maintains adequate property and liability insurance during the term of the loan.

  6. Environmental Requirements: Lenders will require that the borrower complies with all environmental laws and regulations, including obtaining any necessary permits and conducting environmental assessments as required.

  7. Reporting Requirements: Lenders will require regular financial reporting, including annual audited financial statements, rent rolls, and other property-related documents.

  8. Maintenance Requirements: Lenders will require that the borrower maintains the property in good condition and repair throughout the term of the loan.

  9. Subordination and Non-Disturbance: Lenders may require that the borrower subordinates their interest in the property to any future loans and also ensure that the tenant's interests are not disturbed in the event of a foreclosure.

Lender: Different lenders may have different requirements for commercial real estate mortgages, based on their risk tolerance, lending policies, and overall strategy.


Borrower: The financial strength and creditworthiness of the borrower can also affect the loan conditions and covenants. A borrower with a strong credit score and income may be able to negotiate better terms, while a borrower with a weaker financial profile may face more stringent requirements.


Property Type: The type of commercial property being financed can also influence the loan conditions and covenants. For example, lenders may have different requirements for retail properties compared to industrial or office properties, due to differences in occupancy rates, cash flow, and tenant profiles.


Loan Amount: The size of the loan can also impact the loan conditions and covenants. Larger loans may require more stringent requirements to manage risk.


Market Conditions: The overall market conditions, such as interest rates, economic trends, and demand for commercial real estate, can also affect the loan conditions and covenants.


In summary, while there are common loan conditions and covenants that lenders require for commercial real estate mortgages, the specifics can vary depending on the lender, borrower, property type, loan amount, and market conditions. It is important for borrowers to carefully review and negotiate the terms of the loan to ensure they meet their financial goals and are sustainable over the long term.

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