Owner Loses

Ambiguous Lease Interpreted Against Drafter

June 25, 2014    

Facts: An office tenant’s lease contained two conflicting provisions regarding the time frame in which the owner was required to fix damage to the tenant’s space. After a roof collapse led to flooding and damage that forced the tenant out of its space temporarily,...

Mediation Necessary to Determine Sidewalk Liability

May 27, 2014    

Facts: A shopper tripped and fell on a two-tiered sidewalk in front of two retail stores. The sidewalk was marked with red paint to warn pedestrians about the drop-off from the upper to the lower level. Still, various employees of the tenants noted that they had witnessed...

Default Judgment Set Aside for Tenant's 'Excusable Neglect'

May 27, 2014    

Facts: A mall owner sued a tenant for allegedly breaching its lease, asking for more than $190,000 in accelerated rent and other fees. After the tenant didn’t respond to the litigation, a trial court entered a default judgment against it. The tenant later asked the court...

Lease Required Owner to Make Major Repairs to Property

April 30, 2014    

Facts: A tenant that operated a printing business signed a 15-year lease for space. The owner of the building later demanded that the tenant replace the aging heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system and parking lot. The tenant claimed that was the owner’s responsibility...

Owner Couldn't Use Self-Help to Evict Tenant

April 30, 2014    

Facts: A tenant rented space to operate its dental practice. After the building was bought by a new owner that intended to turn the building into a hotel, the tenant received a notice of cancellation. The lease gave the owner the right to cancel the lease if it intends to apply...

Owner Can't Sue for Future Rent Without Acceleration Clause

March 26, 2014    

Facts: After a flood damaged its store in a strip mall, a sporting goods tenant announced that it would be closing its store and moving out. The tenant informed the owner that it was no longer able to get and maintain adequate insurance as required by the lease. The tenant was...

Definition of ‘Adjoined’ Not Affected by Unusable Space

January 28, 2014    

Facts: A foot care clinic rented office space and exam rooms in a strip mall. Its lease provided that the owner wouldn’t place a retail business in space “adjoining” the tenant. The owner subsequently leased space in the strip mall to a liquor store. The liquor...

Use of Specific Tenant's Name Binding on Owner

December 17, 2013    

Facts: A shopping center owner and a women’s clothing store signed a lease for space next to a large national bookstore. The lease’s cotenancy provision allowed the tenant to abate its minimum monthly rent if the bookstore stopped operating. After several years, the...

Owner Liable for Shopper's Injuries Outside Tenant's Store

December 17, 2013    

Facts: A shopper was hit by a motorist on the sidewalk outside of a shopping center tenant’s store. The shopper sued the center’s owner and the tenant. The owner and the tenant each asked a trial court for a judgment in its favor without a trial. Each said that the...

Tenant Not Required to Pay Owner’s Attorney’s Fees

November 22, 2013    

Facts: A supermarket tenant signed a 25-year lease with the owner of a shopping center. Under the lease, the tenant was to pay base rent plus additional rent, which included items like its pro rata share of taxes for the center. Like some of the other tenants in the center, the...

Tenant Entitled to Time to Gather Evidence in Breach-of-Lease Claim

October 25, 2013    

Facts: A used car dealership breached its six-year lease for a one-acre commercial lot where it sold trucks. It failed to pay the full amount of rent and other charges when they were due. The lot’s owner terminated the lease and sent the tenant an eviction notice.

Tenant Disputed Rent Calculation Based on CPI Adjustment

September 23, 2013    

Facts: The lease between the owner of a warehouse and its tenant set out base rent for the first several years of the lease. Under the lease, every seven years the base rent would be adjusted to include the original base rent plus an amount calculated using changes in the...