Owner Loses

Farmer's Market 'Stalls' Violated Supermarket's Restrictive Use

January 16, 2015    

Facts: The lease between a shopping center owner and a supermarket tenant contained a restrictive-use covenant prohibiting the owner from leasing space to another grocery store or “food market.” The lease defined food market to include any vendor selling food items....

Tenant Not Responsible for Management Fees

September 29, 2014    

Facts: A bank tenant signed a triple-net lease for a standalone building in a shopping center. (Under a typical "triple-net" lease, the tenant pays all expenses, including property taxes and insurance, maintenance, and utilities, leaving the owner with no expense...

Tenant Didn't Have to Pay Expenses for Out-of-State Surveyor

September 29, 2014    

Facts: A bookstore tenant filed for bankruptcy. During the bankruptcy proceedings regarding whether its lease would be rejected or assumed, the owner sent the tenant a notice requesting access to the tenant’s space to perform an “as-built” survey of the space...

Lease Guaranty Not Enforceable Without Signature of Guarantor

July 25, 2014    

Facts: After an office tenant held over its space past its lease term and stopped paying rent, the owner sued the tenant’s president in his personal capacity, asserting that he was a guarantor of the lease and thus was responsible for paying the rent when the tenant...

Lease Excuses Tenant from Liability for Fire

June 25, 2014    

Facts: A dry cleaning business in a shopping center incorrectly installed commercial dryers in its space without using a professionally trained installer. It vented the dryers into the attic instead of to the building’s exterior. The shoddy installation later caused a fire...

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...