Increasing Tenant's Real Estate Tax Share Isn't Fraud or Lease Violation

What Happened: A shopping center lease requires the anchor tenants, which are also partial owners, to pay a fixed part of the property’s real estate taxes, and allocates the remaining tax liability to the non-owner tenants proportionally on the basis of square footage leased. The problems began when one of the anchors, Sears, went out of business and the landlord allocated Sears’ tax liability among the non-anchor tenants, including a food store that paid the tax increase under protest. Later, when the store got evicted, nasty litigation ensued.

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