Feature

How to Protect Yourself When Giving Tenants an Option to Contract

September 18, 2020    
By enabling tenants to surrender part of their space, contraction options can keep tenants viable, out of bankruptcy, and in their leases. This may be the perfect antidote to the staff reductions, stay-at-home orders, and uncertainty over future space needs created by the pandemic.
Traps to Avoid

Think Twice Before Listing Guarantors by Name

September 18, 2020    
Listing the name of the person or entity that guarantees a tenant’s lease performance in the text of the guaranty seems like a perfectly normal and sensible thing to do. But it can have unforeseen and unfavorable legal consequences. The problem is that adding, subtracting, and changing...
Winners & Losers

Does COVID-19 Closure Trigger Force Majeure Rent Relief for a Retail Tenant?

September 18, 2020    
Historically, boilerplate force majeure clauses have excused parties from performing lease obligations made impossible by unforeseen and unpreventable events, including government actions that make performance impossible. During the pandemic, retail and restaurant tenants across the country relied...
Owner Wins

Owner Wins Chance to Prove Accelerated Rent Claim at Trial

September 18, 2020    
What Happened: Six years into its 10-year term, an owner exercised its lease right to adjust a dental clinic tenant’s rent. But the clinic refused to pay the increase and moved out. The owner claimed the clinic was in default, terminated the lease, and demanded $1.5 million in accelerated...
Owner Wins

Previous Owner's Acceptance of Late Rent Doesn't Waive New Owner's Right to Timely Rent

September 18, 2020    
What Happened: A medical tenant repeatedly paid rent late without late fees or any other penalties. But then the building was sold. And the new owner wasn’t as forgiving or tolerant of the tenant’s personal stresses and “business ups and downs” as the previous one. Within...
Owner Wins

Tenants Must Pay Neighbors $7.4M for Negligent Use of Warehouse

September 18, 2020    
What Happened: Only 10,000 of the tenant’s 560,000 square-foot recycling warehouse had fire department approval for occupancy. And while the tenants were advised to do so, they never installed the necessary, code-compliant sprinkler and water flow systems. So, when the warehouse burned down...
Feature

Rework Lease Notice Provisions for the Pandemic World

August 25, 2020    
By Matthew S. Raczkowski, Esq.
In the News

Collecting Post-Petition Rent from Bankrupt Tenants

August 25, 2020    
Now that most states have lifted their moratoria on commercial evictions, tenants strapped by COVID-19 losses are increasingly seeking refuge in bankruptcy courts. But while the automatic stay buys tenants some time to decide whether to reject their lease, tenants in bankruptcy still have to pay...
Pop Quiz

Does Tenant Have Right to Compensation If the Leased Property Is Condemned?

August 25, 2020    
SITUATION Commercial property is condemned. The tenant, a petroleum company, seeks a portion of the condemnation award compensating it for its remaining leasehold interest. The lease includes the following two provisions dealing with the tenant’s rights in the event the property is condemned...
Owner Wins

Tenant Can't Avoid Summary Eviction Suit by Moving Case to Federal Court

August 25, 2020    
What Happened: After paying only partial rent in April, Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) paid no rent in May, claiming that the Louisiana governor’s COVID-19 order closing “all malls, except for stores in a mall that have a direct outdoor entrance and exit that provide essential...