Owner Loses

Tenant Not Liable for Post-Surrender Damages to Property

November 29, 2022    

What Happened: In the summer of 2018, a tax firm tenant shut down its business and moved out of the building it was leasing. The surrender was documented in a written agreement that the tenant and landlord both signed. A few months later, the property was sold. During a severe...

Lockout Is Illegal Because Tenant Didn't Abandon the Property

November 29, 2022    

What Happened: The tenant was behind on its rent, and the restaurant was closed. So, the landlord assumed that the property was abandoned and exercised its lease right to reenter and change the locks. It then sued the tenant for unpaid rent and late charges. The tenant denied...

Lease Doesn't Make Tenant Responsible for Real Estate Tax Increases

September 23, 2022    

What Happened: A nonprofit landlord leased property to a for-profit utility to operate a solar-powered electric-generating facility. The lease required the tenant to:

Shopping Center Co-Tenancy Rent Abatement Isn’t an Unenforceable Penalty

August 29, 2022    

What Happened: A shopping center tenant exercised its supposed right to pay reduced rent under a co-tenancy clause that kicked in when either: (1) the center lacked either three anchor tenants; or (2) 60 percent of the space wasn’t leased. While acknowledging that a...

Leaving Equipment Behind for 24 Hours Isn’t a Holdover

July 20, 2022    

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...

Bankrupt Tenant Can Renew Lease Despite Defective Renewal Notice

June 23, 2022    

What Happened: A restaurant tenant with a habit of paying rent late took advantage of the COVID-19 shutdown to make some improvements to the space at its own expense, assuming that it would be able to renew once the lease came to an end in August 2021. But the tenant was still...

Must Landlord or Tenant Pay for Required Earthquake Retrofit?

June 23, 2022    

What Happened: The town of Santa Monica passed an ordinance requiring a commercial building leased to a delicatessen/catering firm to be retrofitted for earthquakes. The landlord claimed that the tenant, who had leased the building since 1973, was the real owner and thus...

Tenant Not Liable for Elevator Damage Covered by Landlord’s Insurance

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: A government tenant that had leased the floor of an office building for nearly 30 years left behind a mess when it moved out. In addition to removing electronic door locks, office partitions, a fire and alarm system, and other items the landlord claimed as its own...

Shopping Center Tenant Not Liable for Pre-Assignment Environmental Contamination

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: In 2007, Renaissance signed a lease assignment and took over as tenant of property in a shopping center. When the landlord sought to refinance the property two years later, it discovered that the below-ground space contained excessive amounts of Perchloroethylene...

Unreasonable Rejection of Thrift Store Sublease Costs Shopping Center Owner $388K

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: A shopping center lease allowed a drug store tenant to assign or sublet the space “with Landlord’s consent...

Lease Encumbrance Impacts Property’s Fair Market Value Purchase Price

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: In 1990, a real estate developer signed a 99-year lease on property in Boca Raton on which it intended to build a shopping center. The lease fixed rent at $280,000 for years 2 through 29, and $910,000 per year after that; it also gave the developer the right to...

Defaulting Tenant's Closure Doesn’t Justify Landlord's Changing the Locks

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: After warning that its business was struggling, a restaurant tenant paid only half the rent on June 1. Two weeks later, it closed the restaurant. When its demands for full rent went unheeded, the landlord changed the locks and re-entered the premises on June 24....