Leaving Equipment Behind for 24 Hours Isn’t a Holdover
What Happened: After a mutually beneficial tenancy of over two decades, Comcast moved out of its Michigan corporate headquarters. The move didn’t go exactly as planned, and the company was unable to remove equipment from its in-house fitness center by the lease termination date. Comcast had the equipment removed the very next day but accidentally forgot to retrieve a disassembled table in the conference room. The landlord claimed that Comcast didn’t return full possession on the termination date and sued for holdover rent.
Ruling: The federal court dismissed the case without a trial.
Reasoning: The lease required Comcast to remove all of its possessions by the termination date and allowed the landlord to charge premium rent if it became a “holdover tenant.” But because the lease didn’t define the term, the court looked to “other sources,” including legal dictionaries to determine if Comcast was a “holdover tenant.” Holding over is about retaining possession, the court reasoned. Simply leaving behind some personal property for a few extra hours isn’t possession. Result: Comcast wasn’t a holdover tenant.
- T Bingham Ctr. Owner, LLC v. Comcast of Florida/Michigan/New Mexico/Pennsylvania/Washington, LLC, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90324