Owner Loses

Tenant’s Request for Buildout Delay Isn’t an Anticipatory Breach

August 24, 2021    

What Happened: Under the terms of a 10-year restaurant lease, the obligation to pay rent didn’t kick in until the buildout was complete and the tenant began operating in the space. With work on the premises still to be done, the governor issued a COVID-19 shutdown order....

Leasing Mall Space to Medical Clinic Violates Landlord’s Duty to Operate Retail Establishment

July 21, 2021    

What Happened: A shopping center lease gave a fabric and crafting suppliers tenant the right to pay a lower substitute rent if the landlord violated its obligation to run the center as a “first-class retail project.” The problem began when the landlord leased space...

Retail Tenant Gets Temporary Force Majeure Reprieve from Eviction

June 17, 2021    

What Happened: A clothing retailer cited the force majeure clause in its leases as an excuse for not paying rent during the COVID-19 shutdown months of April and May 2020. Not so fast, responded the landlord, noting that the clause:

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...

'Substantial Compliance' Saves COVID-Strapped Tenant from Nonpayment Eviction

April 21, 2021    

What Happened: From March to October, a steakhouse couldn’t come up with its monthly rent because of the COVID-19 public health orders restricting indoor dining, the meat and potatoes of its business. But the steakhouse tried its best to be a faithful tenant. First, it...

Shopping Center Must Pay $20K Damages for Violating Tenant’s Noncompete

February 18, 2021    

What Happened: A lease between a shopping center and hair salon banned the landlord from renting to a competing business. The landlord then acquired an adjacent, nearly identical building sharing the same parking lot located only 50 yards away and leased part of it to another...

Court Upholds NYC COVID-19 Commercial Tenant Anti-Harassment Law

December 17, 2020    

What Happened: New York City has a law that bans commercial landlords from engaging in “harassment” to force tenants to vacate or waive lease rights via illegal threat of force or threats based on race, creed, color, age, etc. At the height of the first wave of the...

Landlord Trumps Up Minor Lease Infractions as Excuse to Get Rid of Tenant

December 17, 2020    

What Happened: A landlord who had just bought the property and was eager to lease it for a higher rent approached the current gas station tenant about a potential buyout. The negotiations proved unsuccessful. Less than three months later, the landlord tried to evict the tenant...

Court: No ‘Prevailing Party’ Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees in COVID Rent Case

December 17, 2020    

What Happened: Who won the legal showdown between the Florida mall and the retail tenant that cited the force majeure clause of its lease as an excuse not to pay rent in May due to business losses resulting from government COVID-19 shutdown orders? At stake was more than pride....

Tenant Can Exercise Its Lease Kick-Out Rights Despite Notice Snafus

November 18, 2020    

What Happened: A lease for a shopping center included the following clause:

Landlord and Tenant Blame Each Other for Sprinkler Malfunction

November 18, 2020    

What Happened: A pharmaceutical company used the warehouse it sublet to store its drug products. But the warehouse sprinkler system went haywire and inflicted $265,110 in damage to the products. The company sued the landlord and tenant. Naturally, each side blamed the other and...

No Evicting Tenant for Slight Delay in Curing Rent Nonpayment During COVID

October 21, 2020    

What Happened: Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) didn’t provide the necessary sales records to verify its percentage rent payments, concluded the landlord’s auditor in the spring of 2017. The landlord didn’t talk to BB&B or otherwise follow up on the audit....