Feature

Three Ways to Keep Yellowstone Injunctions from Derailing Your Eviction Actions

December 12, 2019    
In many states, tenants who are in default of their lease can avoid immediate eviction by getting a court to issue an order granting them a temporary reprieve to cure the problem. These orders, called “Yellowstone Injunctions” in New York, are supposed to be a last resort measure that...
Traps to Avoid

Avoid Five Pitfalls When Leasing to a Non-U.S. Tenant

December 12, 2019    
Common misconception: Leasing to a foreign business is no different from leasing to a U.S. business. Truth: Leasing to a non-U.S. business raises special legal considerations. The problem is that standard boilerplate leases aren’t designed for—and thus frequently fail to address—...
Drafting Tips

Don't Make These Three Bad Assumptions When Drafting Lease

December 12, 2019    
Even before the case starts, landlords are at a distinct disadvantage when they go to court over a lease interpretation: Because the landlord drafts the lease, courts will read any ambiguity in the tenant’s favor. Regrettably, landlords all too often aggravate this disadvantage by making...
Owner Loses

Landlord Wrongfully Withheld Tenant’s Security Deposit

December 12, 2019    
What Happened: For five years, a tenant leased space in Houston for use as a bar. After the lease ended, the tenant asked the landlord to return its $11,400 security deposit. When the landlord didn’t respond, it filed a lawsuit. The landlord countersued, claiming that the tenant did roughly $...
Owner Loses

Was Tenant's Agreement an Assignment or Sublease?

December 12, 2019    
What Happened: A pizzeria tenant transferred its interests in a five-year lease to two individuals via an agreement called an “assignment.” When the individuals stopped paying rent with 14 months left on the lease, the landlord sued the tenant for payment of the $125K rental balance....
Owner Wins

Tenant Took Too Long to Send Renewal Notice

December 12, 2019    
What Happened: In 2016, a grocery store tenant tried to renew the 15-year lease it signed in 1999, but the landlord claimed that it was too late because the six-month renewal window had already expired. The issue: When did the lease actually begin? The landlord claimed that it commenced when the...
Owner Wins

Procedural Slips Doom Tenant’s Contract Claims Against Landlord

December 12, 2019    
 What Happened:   A tanning salon tenant sued its landlord for breach of contract but listed the wrong corporate name. Before the tenant could file an amended suit with the landlord’s proper corporate name, the landlord stole the march by filing its own eviction case in the same...
Feature

Include Five Protections in Lease Condemnation Clause

November 21, 2019    
Although just about every lease has one, the condemnation clause is often overlooked. That’s understandable. After all, when landlords and tenants sit down to negotiate a lease, the possibility that the property will be condemned during the lease term is probably the furthest thing from their...
Plugging Loopholes

Get Right to Remove Tenants’ Signs Temporarily During Construction Work

November 21, 2019    
Disputes are apt to arise when temporarily covering or removing a tenant’s storefront sign becomes necessary for the landlord to carry out building work. Tenants have an obvious interest in keeping their signage clear, visible, and unobstructed by scaffolding and such, especially during...
Pop Quiz

Is Landlord Liable for Personal Injuries Suffered by Third Parties on Leased Property?

November 21, 2019    
SITUATION: A tenant leases property to operate a car wash. The lease requires the tenant to keep the property in good repair. The actual language: The Tenant shall keep the Demised premises in good condition and repair . . . the tenant, at its sole cost and expense, will take good care of the...