Owner Loses

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....

Construction Lien Is Enforceable Against Landlord that Contracted for the Work

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: A landlord and tenant hired a contractor to construct improvements on a leased movie theater. The subcontractor that installed the drywalls recorded a lien for the work and sought to foreclose when it didn’t get paid. The landlord asked the court to dismiss...

Changing Locks of Deadbeat Tenant Was Constructive Eviction

October 17, 2021    

What Happened: A landlord was concerned that a fitness center that was way behind on rent would suddenly move and take all of its equipment. So, it went to court to get what in Illinois is called a “distress warrant” granting a lien on a tenant’s personal...

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: