Feature

Post-COVID Leasing: Self-Help Eviction of Tenants that Don’t Pay Rent

May 19, 2021    
Throughout the course of this pandemic, landlords have found all kinds of creative ways to support COVID-19-strapped tenants who can’t pay rent. When the history is written, it is likely to show that working together to find mutually workable solutions was, in fact, the most effective...
Plugging Loopholes

Don't Let Rent Abatements Reduce Future CPI-Based Rent Increases

May 19, 2021    
Granting rent concessions and abatements (which we’ll refer to collectively as “abatements”) has become standard operating procedure in these troubled times. But before you engage in the practice, check your lease for a loophole that can limit how much of a rent increase you can...
Winners & Losers

Can Tenant Require Landlord to Indemnify It for Negligence Committed in the Common Areas?

May 19, 2021    
When it comes to liability for accidents and injuries to third parties on shopping center property, the lines are pretty well established. Absent lease language to the contrary:
Owner Wins

Commercial Tenant Can't Claim Breach of 'Warranty of Habitability'

May 19, 2021    
What Happened: The tenant admitted to not paying its rent. The only question was whether it had a valid defense for not doing so. The tenant’s argument: The landlord violated its “warranty of habitability” by failing to fix the leaky roof. As the landlord pointed out, the lease...
Owner Wins

No Slam Dunk that COVID Left Restaurant Premises ‘Untenantable’

May 19, 2021    
What Happened: It’s become a familiar pattern. A landlord sues to evict a restaurant tenant for not paying rent. The restaurant cites COVID-19 as an excuse and asked the court to dismiss the case.
Owner Wins

Email Doesn’t Prove Landlord Let Doctor Out of Office Lease

May 19, 2021    
What Happened: A doctor had a longstanding personal relationship with one of the principles of the company from which he leased office space. In 2019, after contemplating retirement, he reluctantly re-upped for another five years. And then the pandemic hit. Unable to see patients in his office, he...
Feature

Trade Retailer's Right to 'Go Dark' for Your Right to Recapture Space

April 21, 2021    
Many, if not most, retail tenants hesitate to sign leases containing continuous operation clauses. Of course, this dogged determination to maintain the right to go dark and not be forced to operate no matter how bad business becomes is nothing new. But there can be no doubt that the COVID-19...
Traps to Avoid

Boilerplate Booby Trap: Clauses Requiring Written Agreement for Lease Termination

April 21, 2021    
Here’s a suggestion for anyone who uses a standard boilerplate lease: Look through the document and see if it includes a statement like this. If it does, it’s most likely to be toward the end of the lease. This Agreement may not be changed or terminated, and none of its provisions may...
Brokers’ Buzz

Cut Commission Owed on Tenant's Cancellation Fee

April 21, 2021    
Some of your tenants may have an option to cancel the lease early by paying a cancellation fee. Under many standard brokerage agreements, when and if the tenant exercises that option, you must pay the broker commission on the full cancellation fee you receive from the tenant. That’s a raw...
Owner Loses

Court Rescues Tenant from Being Evicted for Minor Mistake

April 21, 2021    
What Happened: Technically, the landlord had a perfectly valid case to evict. But there was also a clear explanation why Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) didn’t pay its late rent until after the 10-day cure notice period expired. Its corporate headquarters was closed due to COVID-19 on the...