Owner Wins

Another Restaurant Tenant’s COVID-19 Impossibility Defense Bites the Dust

June 23, 2022    

What Happened: February 2020 was the last month a high-end steak house restaurant tenant paid full rent. When COVID-19 hit, the restaurant had to shut down and later could open only for outdoors and indoor dining at very limited capacity. In September, the tenant moved out at...

Out-of-Possession Landlord Not Liable for Injury to Tenant’s Employee

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: The employee of a tenant suffered serious injury after a heavy box fell on top of him. The victim blamed the accident on the leaky warehouse roof, which caused the box to become waterlogged and weakened the palette holding it up. He sued the landlord for...

OK to Evict Tenant for Growing Marijuana Without a Permit

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: What happens when a tenant signs a five-year lease on a warehouse for use as an indoor cannabis cultivation facility but can’t get the necessary permits because the property doesn’t have an adequate fire sprinkler system? The tenant figured the...

Court Nixes Tenant's Asbestos Negligence Claim Against Landlord

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: An office tenant moved out when quality testing of the air inside an office building revealed the presence of asbestos at unsafe levels. The landlord sued for unpaid rent, and the tenant countersued the landlord for negligence by undertaking repairs on the roof...

Landlord's Threat to Evict Doesn't Put Tenant Under "Duress"

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: A car wash tenant insisted that it had made an oral agreement with the previous landlord limiting its obligation to pay to fixed rent only. But the new landlord didn’t buy it and insisted that the tenant also pay operating expenses and taxes. Even if there...

Tenant Must Pay Post-Termination CAM Charges

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: A retail tenant asked out of its lease, and the landlord agreed. The result was a written termination agreement...

Tenant Who Didn't Thoroughly Inspect Defective Building Can't Claim Fraud

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: A Texas landlord leased a standalone building to a tenant for use as a restaurant. Even though the building needed a lot of work, the tenant accepted it “as is” without warranty of suitability for its intended restaurant use. The gamble came up snake...

Scaffolding Around Building Isn't Partial Constructive Eviction

January 26, 2022    

What Happened: An office tenant first became disenchanted when the HVAC system failed and it had to install a new air conditioning unit at its own expense. Two years later, the landlord had to bring in a contractor to completely replace the building’s terra cotta façade....

Owner of Unleased Commercial Property Can Testify about Its Fair Market Value

January 26, 2022    

What Happened: A Texas owner paid $60,000 for a warehouse back in 1999. In 2014, he leased the property to a welding firm. After a short lease term, the building remained empty for several years with the owner steadily investing in improvements for future rentals. But in 2018, a...

Is Holdover Rent of 200% of Base Rent a Valid Liquid Damages Provision?

January 26, 2022    

What Happened: After siding with the landlord on all claims, a New York court had one more issue to decide, namely, whether the lease clause requiring the tenant to pay 200 percent of base rent as holdover rent was enforceable. The tenant claimed that 200 percent was an...

Tenant’s Duty to Pay Extra Rent for Opening Competing Business Covers Future Affiliates

December 22, 2021    

What Happened: A lease required restaurant corporation tenant Crab House Ltd. to pay additional rent if it or any “affiliated company” were to open a competing business within a five-mile radius. A couple of years later, Crab House was acquired by Landry’s...

Tenant Can't Renew by Conduct When Lease Requires Renewal by Written Notice

December 22, 2021    

What Happened: A lease provided that it would expire in July 2016 unless the tenant exercised its renewal option. The tenant acknowledged that it never provided the required written notice but contended that it renewed via its conduct, noting that the landlord accepted its...