What to do if I pay rent to use a gym to train my clients and now the gym owner wants me to wear a gym shirt to look like an employee?

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What to do if I pay rent to use a gym to train my clients and now the gym owner wants me to wear a gym shirt to look like an employee?

I am a personal fitness trainer and have my own client base that pays me directly. I am renting space from a local studio to conduct training. Now the studio gym owner wants me to wear his shirt so that I look like an employee. And he says that I cannot advertise my business using the company address. Can he make me represent his company even though I am not an employee or a contracted worker? Do I have the right to use the address as I am paying rent to use the place?

Asked on January 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For as long as your current lease is in force, the gym owner cannot change or add to the terms--so if you are paying for the space and your only obligation is to pay, that's all you have to do.

When the term of this lease is up, the owner may refuse to re-rent it to you, or may re-rent it only if you agree to new or additional conditions.

If you do not have a written lease, then you are a month-to-month tenant; in that case, the gym owner could give you 30 days notice that he is terminating or lease or changing the terms.

If you agree to changed terms, they could include wearing the shirt, not advertising, etc.; so if and when the lease is up and the owner wants you to do these things, you'll have to decide if you're willing to, or you'd rather seek alternate space elsewhere.


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