Owner Wins

Landlord Not on the Hook for Construction Defects in Improvements

September 21, 2021    

What Happened: Under a “build to suit” lease, a landlord purchased a property, made a construction contract with a builder...

Mold that Could’ve Been Discovered ≠ Breach of Implied Warranty of Suitability

September 21, 2021    

What Happened: Upon taking possession of the premises she had just leased for use as a daycare center, a tenant detected a strange odor. It turned out to be mold, and the environmental consultant’s report showed that it was all over the walls and in the carpeting of the...

Arbitrator Went Too Far in Awarding Tenant Lost Profits

August 24, 2021    

What Happened: After waiting a year and a half, the tenant claimed that the landlord was in violation of its lease duty to complete the repairs necessary to make the 10,000 square feet of leased space suitable for use as a laser tag/pizzeria establishment. As provided under the...

Just Because Lights Are Easy to Remove Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Fixtures

August 24, 2021    

What Happened: Nobody had any issue with the auto dealer’s removal of the “Ford” sign it had installed on the lot at its own expense and owned. But the tenant also took away six large light stands when its lease came to an end. The landlord claimed that the...

Contractor's Lien Against Tenant Doesn't Reach Landlord

July 21, 2021    

What Happened: A restaurant tenant hired a contractor to install kitchen equipment in its leased space. The tenant paid only $60,000 of the contractor’s $274,000 bill. So, the contractor placed a lien on the space to secure the balance. And since the tenant had since been...

Court Nixes Tenant's $3M Racial Discrimination Case Against Landlord

July 21, 2021    

What Happened: For the first six months of the lease, an African-American owner of a day spa had a “great” and “courteous” relationship with her landlord. But then came the middle-of-the-night call the landlord received from the Sheriff’s Office...

Tenant Took Too Long to Exercise Purchase Option

June 17, 2021    

What Happened: After evicting a liquor store tenant, a landlord sued for immediate possession of the property. But the tenant didn’t want to leave and offered to buy the property, citing the following option in the lease:

Tenant has option...

Commercial Tenant Can't Claim Breach of 'Warranty of Habitability'

May 19, 2021    

What Happened: The tenant admitted to not paying its rent. The only question was whether it had a valid defense for not doing so. The tenant’s argument: The landlord violated its “warranty of habitability” by failing to fix the leaky roof. As the landlord...

No Slam Dunk that COVID Left Restaurant Premises ‘Untenantable’

May 19, 2021    

What Happened: It’s become a familiar pattern. A landlord sues to evict a restaurant tenant for not paying rent. The restaurant cites COVID-19 as an excuse and asked the court to dismiss the case.

Email Doesn’t Prove Landlord Let Doctor Out of Office Lease

May 19, 2021    

What Happened: A doctor had a longstanding personal relationship with one of the principles of the company from which he leased office space. In 2019, after contemplating retirement, he reluctantly re-upped for another five years. And then the pandemic hit. Unable to see...

Tenant's Failure to Pursue Required Zoning Change Justifies Lease Termination

April 21, 2021    

What Happened: One nonpaying tenant that didn’t catch a break from the courts was the one that leased store space for use as a boxing studio. The lease obligated the tenant to “pursue and diligently prosecute a change” in zoning that would allow the property to...

Court: Pandemic Isn't a 'Casualty' Event

April 6, 2021    

What Happened: Another retail tenant has failed in its bid to use COVID-19 as an excuse for not paying rent. The tenant in this case was a New York City outlet of national retail chain The Gap, which claimed, among other things, that the pandemic and its resulting shutdowns...