Owner Loses

Does New Two-Hour Parking Rule Unreasonably Impair Tenant’s Business?

March 23, 2023    

What Happened: With the shopping center almost entirely vacant, the landlord didn’t care all that much that a bridge club tenant was letting its customers park in the front and rear lots. But as new tenants began moving in, demand for parking space increased and the...

Jury Must Decide If Tenant Breached Duty to Obtain Fire Insurance

March 23, 2023    

What Happened: An office lease required a home health agency tenant to obtain fire insurance on the “Premises.” The tenant got insurance for its property but not the building. The building burned down, and the landlord sued the tenant for damages. The court tossed...

Jury Must Decide If Tenant’s Damages Go Beyond Ordinary Wear & Tear

February 23, 2023    

What Happened: A diesel-fuel vehicle repair business leased a building for use solely as an “equipment service and prep facility for fire trucks and other vehicles.” The problems began when the landlord’s manager discovered significant cracks in the building...

Delay in Remitting Insurance Money to Landlord Doesn't Make Tenancy a Holdover

January 27, 2023    

What Happened: Winter Storm Uri devastated a commercial building six weeks before the lease was due to expire. The lease required the tenant to carry commercial general liability insurance on the property, name the landlord as an additional insured, and remit the insurance...

Landlord Potentially Liable for Injury to Tenant's Independent Contractor

January 27, 2023    

What Happened: After the lease ended, a shopping center tenant hired a self-employed independent contractor to remove an exterior sign from the space. While performing the work, the contractor fell through a roof opening and suffered serious injuries. He sued the landlord,...

Liquidated Damages Clause Is an Unenforceable Penalty

December 22, 2022    

What Happened: There was no dispute that a Chicago hair lice removal salon that stopped paying its nearly $5,000 monthly rent was in default under the lease. The issue was whether the landlord could enforce the lease clause granting it 27 months of future rent as liquidated...

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...