Owner Wins

Estoppel Certificates Precluded Tenants from Collecting TIA

October 18, 2017    

Facts: Tenants sued both the former and the current owner of the building in which they leased commercial space for failing to reimburse them for improvements they made to the premises, as required under their leases. The current owner challenged the complaint on the grounds...

Tenant's Inconvenience Didn't Override Owner's Decision to Terminate

April 26, 2017    

Facts: A tenant leased space in a shopping center for its restaurant. The tenant had an option to renew its lease, but had to exercise that option a year before the lease term was to expire. The tenant claimed that it sent a letter to the owner of its space, letting it know that...

Competing Restaurant Wasn't 'Similar in Concept'

November 22, 2016    

Facts: A restaurant with a 1950s American roadside diner theme leased space at a shopping center. Later, the owner signed a lease with a pancake house restaurant franchisee for space nearby. The tenant asserted that the new lease with the pancake restaurant violated a...

Owner Could Withhold Consent to Reduced Rent Sublease

October 21, 2016    

Facts: Two guarantors promised to carry out the lease obligations of a restaurant tenant in the event that the tenant defaulted. The lease’s assignment and subletting clause required the tenant to get the owner’s consent to an assignment or sublet.

After the...

Guaranty Plainly Stated It Was Unconditional Guarantee of Payment

September 26, 2016    

Facts: An office building tenant was in default of its lease and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. The lease had been guaranteed. The guarantor hadn’t filed for bankruptcy. When the building’s owner informed the guarantor that it would have to cover the back rent...

Material Changes to Lease Didn't Relieve Guarantors of Rent Liability

July 25, 2016    

Facts: Two guarantors agreed to be liable for rent payments under a lease for stationery store space. Shortly before the lease was to expire, the tenant and the owner of the shopping center where the store was located entered into an amendment, extending the lease term. The...

Lease Was Unclear Regarding Initial Buildout Construction

May 25, 2016    

Facts: An owner signed a lease with a tenant for space to operate a convenience store. After the tenant took possession of the space it notified the owner that the owner’s obligation to remove or remediate any asbestos in the building was waived. The tenant began making...

Landlord Wasn't in Joint Venture with Tenant for Liability Purposes

May 25, 2016    

Facts: An owner signed a lease for nightclub space with a tenant. Under the lease, the owner was entitled to additional rent under certain circumstances. The owner had no day-to-day supervision over the property or the tenant. After a nightclub customer was attacked by a third...

Assignee Had Duty to Read Lease Documents

April 28, 2016    

Facts: A tenant assigned its lease for office space. The assignee later claimed that the owner was required to pay a tenant improvement allowance (TIA). The assignee based its argument on lease drafts that had discussed a TIA. But the final version of the lease, which the tenant...

Lease Signed by Owner's Agent Was Enforceable

April 28, 2016    

Facts: A woman purporting to be the owner of a property signed a lease with a tenant for space to operate its auto body shop. The lease required the tenant to make necessary repairs and improvements, and it specified that those improvements would be left behind at the end of the...

Initial Lease Term—Not Renewals—Used to Determine Fraud Claim

April 18, 2016    

Facts: The owner of a gas station signed a lease with a tenant. The tenant became a sublandlord when it signed a convenience store sublease for space at the gas station where a subtenant could operate its coffee shop. The sublease with the coffee shop subtenant was for a 10-year...

Disputed Charges Were Properly Classified as CAM

April 18, 2016    

Facts: The owner of a shopping center sued a tenant for breach of its lease. The owner had charged as part of common area maintenance (CAM) a prorated amount that it had to spend on fixing potholes in the parking lot and installing signs limiting the parking lot to customers....

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