Can Tenant in Default Avoid Attorney Fees by Suing Landlord First?

Situation: A landlord sends a default notice and is preparing to evict a spa tenant that owes nearly $53,000 in unpaid rent. But the tenant beats the landlord to the punch by filing its own lawsuit asking the court to enjoin the landlord from terminating the lease. The tenant’s complaint raises eight claims, all based on the theory that the agreement between the parties isn’t a lease but an oral partnership. The landlord prevails on all eight claims. There’s a valid lease and the tenant has violated it, the court rules.

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