Pop Quiz

Can Landlords Limit Liability for ADA Violations by Removing Structural Barriers?

November 18, 2020    

WHAT HAPPENED

Workers hired by the landlord of a medical office building place a 55-gallon barrel that’s been cut in half to serve as a planter on the access ramp leading to the only public entrance of the building, leaving just 30 inches on either side for entrants to squeeze...

Is Rent Escalation Liquidated Damages Clause for Radius Clause Violation Enforceable?

October 21, 2020    

Liquidated damages clauses can be a convenient way to incentivize performance and avoid disputes over the price tag of breaches. One common use of such clauses is to require the tenant to pay predetermined rent increases in the event it violates a covenant not to open a competing business within...

Does Tenant Have Right to Compensation If the Leased Property Is Condemned?

August 25, 2020    

SITUATION

Commercial property is condemned. The tenant, a petroleum company, seeks a portion of the condemnation award compensating it for its remaining leasehold interest. The lease includes the following two provisions dealing with the tenant’s rights in the event the property...

Who's Responsible for Making a Tenant's Space ADA-Accessible?

July 27, 2020    

SITUATION

An electronics store leases 3,000 square feet of shopping center space. But the city won’t let the store operate until wheelchair ramps are installed and the parking lot is re-striped to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The owner...

Must Landlord Give Notice to Terminate Expired Fixed-Term Lease?

July 24, 2020    

A restaurant in Seattle signs a fixed-term lease containing the following clause:

Lease Termination Date. The term of this Lease is 36 months and shall expire at midnight on May 31, 2019, or such earlier or later date...

Must Landlord Pay for IAQ Improvements Required for Tenant’s Proposed Use?

May 19, 2020    

SITUATION: Just before the pandemic hit, a landlord agreed to lease one floor and the basement of a three-story building previously used for warehousing to a lumber and leather goods store. Although the landlord had to shutter the property temporarily, the deal remained on track...

Do Tenants in Breach Get Discount on Damages if Replacement Tenant Pays Higher Rent?

February 19, 2020    

SITUATION: With 24 months remaining on its lease, a tenant vacates the premises and stops paying its $10,000 per month rent. After six months of marketing and sales efforts, the landlord finds a replacement tenant willing to pay $15,000 per month. The replacement tenant also...

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...

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

September 17, 2019    

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...

Does Lease Termination Let Rent Guarantor Off the Hook?

August 20, 2019    

SITUATION: A tenant leases restaurant space with its principal acting as guarantor. Under the guaranty agreement, the landlord is allowed to show the tenant leniency and make lease modifications, extensions, or amendments with the tenant without notifying the guarantor.

Who's Responsible for Costs of Cleaning Up Contamination Caused by Tenants?

February 13, 2015    

SITUATION

  • 1990: Owner 1 buys undeveloped, pristine commercial property.
  • 1993: Construction is completed on a brand-new shopping center.
  • 1994: Owner 1 leases space in the new center to ABC Dry Cleaners for 10...

Who's Responsible for Making a Tenant's Space ADA-Accessible?

January 16, 2015    

SITUATION

An electronics store leases 3,000 square feet of shopping center space. But the city won’t let the store operate until wheelchair ramps are installed and the parking lot is re-striped to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The owner...