Feature

How to Use Your Lease to Limit Coronavirus Disruption, Damage & Liability

March 17, 2020    
We’ll look at three coronavirus scenarios and the lease clauses you can use to address them.   The coronavirus has taken the world by surprise. And that includes commercial landlords and tenants. But there’s a big difference between lack of warning and lack of preparation. And you...
Plugging Loopholes

Ensure Post-Assignment Lease Changes Don’t Let Original Tenant Off the Hook

March 17, 2020    
The nice thing about lease assignments is that you can always go after the original tenant if the assignee violates its lease obligations. At least that’s the common assumption. But if you modify the lease after the assignment, you could end up inadvertently losing your right to hold the...
Owner Wins

Mall of America Avoids Getting Stuck with Sears’ Bankruptcy Assignee

March 17, 2020    
    What Happened: When Sears went bankrupt, its Mall of America (MoA) lease was taken over not by another retailer, restaurant, or amusement venture, but by Transform Leaseco LLC, a “very unshopping-mall-like” corporate entity created by Sears executives to secure...
Owner Wins

Tenant Responsible for Landlord’s Property Removal Costs

March 17, 2020    
What Happened: A landlord sued a warehouse tenant for unpaid rent and the $9,000 it spent to remove the seven trailers, two tractors, two refrigerators, two pianos, furniture, and other property the tenant left behind after being evicted. While admitting liability for the rent, the tenant denied...
Owner Loses

Duty to 'Perform' Improvements Includes Duty to Pay for Them

March 17, 2020    
What Happened: The following clause, which refers to California Title 24 requiring buildings to meet specific energy efficiency standards, was at the center of a dispute between a landlord and its optical components manufacturing tenant: Landlord shall be responsible to perform all work to the...
Owner Loses

Tenant Not Responsible for Attack in Parking Lot

March 17, 2020    
What Happened: Two unknown assailants attacked a GameStop customer in the parking lot of the property it leased. The customer sued GameStop for negligence. GameStop argued that it's not liable for what happened in the parking lot, because it doesn’t control that property; the landlord...
Feature

How to Avoid Liability for Retail Tenant's Sale of Counterfeit Goods

February 19, 2020    
We’ll give you seven lease protections against liability for “contributory infringement.”     Big fashion houses and producers of luxury goods have found a new and effective way to combat counterfeiting: Rather than chase after the small-potatoes vendors that sell...
Beyond the Lease

Tenant Trademark Infringement: Prevention & Response

February 19, 2020    
If a retail tenant uses leased property to sell counterfeit goods, like knockoff Rolex watches, the brand owner can sue not only the tenant but also the landlord, which is often a preferable option considering that the landlord usually has deeper pockets. And landlords who know about but turn a...
Pop Quiz

Do Tenants in Breach Get Discount on Damages if Replacement Tenant Pays Higher Rent?

February 19, 2020    
SITUATION: With 24 months remaining on its lease, a tenant vacates the premises and stops paying its $10,000 per month rent. After six months of marketing and sales efforts, the landlord finds a replacement tenant willing to pay $15,000 per month. The replacement tenant also pays the landlord a $...
Owner Wins

Landlord's Settlement with Tenant Doesn't Let Guarantor Off the Hook

February 19, 2020    
What Happened: Roughly 18 months into a five-year lease, the landlord sued to evict a tenant for late payment of rent. After settling with the tenant out of court, the landlord asked the tenant’s guarantor to pay the rent for the remaining months of the lease.