Owner Loses

Licensor Can't Bring Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit Against Licensee in Breach

November 28, 2023    

What Happened: A studio owner entered into a “License Agreement” giving a production company “the exclusive,” but “non-possessory” right to use the property. The production company defaulted on its rent payment and the owner brought an “...

Defaulting Tenant Not Liable for Unpaid Rent Beyond Lease Term

September 27, 2023    

What Happened: A construction materials tenant that admitted to not paying rent and abandoning the premises had no problem with the default judgment entered in the landlord’s favor but claimed that the sought-after award of 47 months’ rent was excessive, noting that...

Lease Clause Doesn't Eliminate Landlord’s Duty to Mitigate Damages

September 27, 2023    

What Happened: A restaurant subtenant admitted to defaulting on its obligation to pay rent and vacating the premises. But it objected to the $689,554.94 that the trial court awarded because the landlord didn’t mitigate its damages by seeking to relet the space to another...

Absentee Landlord Liable for Hazards on Adjacent Property

August 29, 2023    

What Happened: A call center employee who stopped by the office to pick up her paycheck after sunset got run over by a city bus and died. Her estate sued the call center and landlord for negligence. The defendants denied owing the victim a duty of care because the accident...

Landlord Must Indemnify Tenant for Costs of Defending Common Area Negligence Lawsuit

July 27, 2023    

What Happened: A national retail chain insisted that its shopping center lease include a clause requiring the landlord to indemnify it against losses arising out of things that happened in the common areas. The exact language:

Lease Renewal Doesn't Waive Tenant's Right to Rent Abatement for Anchor's Departure

July 27, 2023    

What Happened: A shopping center lease required the landlord to notify a clothing retail tenant and abate its rent if the anchor tenant, TJ Maxx, ceased to be “Open for Business” for three consecutive months. TJ Maxx moved out, and it took six months for the landlord...

Trial Needed to Resolve Tenant’s Broken HVAC Constructive Eviction Claim

June 26, 2023    

What Happened: With the HVAC system on the fritz, the heat inside the office building became so intense that a tenant’s employee passed out and had to be sent to a hospital, resulting in an OSHA heat stress complaint. At least that’s what the tenant argued. The...

Does Oral Agreement Modify the Terms of a Written Lease? (Spoiler Alert: It Might)

May 25, 2023    

What Happened: An insurance company tenant that had leased office space in the same building for nearly 15 years wanted out when a new owner acquired the property. In May 2019, the parties agreed to modify the lease duration to end on June 30, 2020, one year before the lease...

Store Shelves, Coolers & Displays Are Trade Fixtures, Not Landlord’s Personal Property

April 26, 2023    

What Happened: A strip mall tenant made extensive improvements to convert what had been a used clothing store into a grocery store. Over time, relations with the landlord soured. Convinced that he was paying too much for rent and CAM, the tenant decided to vacate and move to a...

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...