Feature

Set "Reasonable" Time, Place, Manner Rules for Free Speech Activities at Center

January 30, 2024    
Balance your need to maintain order with the rights of political groups.     This November’s presidential election may be the most volatile in recent memory. In the months ahead, political groups and protestors may demand access to the common areas of your shopping center for...
Drafting Tips

Get Right to Use Base Year Tax Reductions to Calculate Tenants’ Tax Increase Payments

January 30, 2024    
Like many landlords, your lease may contain a tax escalation clause requiring the tenant to pay its share of any real estate tax increases that occur during the lease term. These increases are often measured off a base year, typically the first year of the lease. However, pegging future tax...
Owner Wins

Not Negotiating Renewal Rent Increase Doesn’t Make Landlord Guilty of “Unclean Hands”

January 30, 2024    
What Happened: A shopping center sent an email asking a restaurant tenant to renew its lease at an increased rent. The tenant signed the attached amended lease without reading it. Five years later, it vacated the property and stopped paying rent. The landlord served the tenant with a notice of...
Owner Loses

Tenant Not Liable for Accident in Parking Lot Under Landlord’s Control

January 30, 2024    
What Happened: An exterminator working for Best Buy suffered serious injury after slipping and falling in the store’s icy parking lot. He sued Best Buy and the landlord that owned the property for negligence. Best Buy denied responsibility for maintaining the parking lot in safe condition...
Owner Wins

Oral Lease Modification Doesn’t Get Good Guy Guarantor Off the Hook

January 30, 2024    
What Happened: The landlord sued a dry-cleaning tenant for nearly $200,000 in damages, including $46,733 in unpaid rent that accrued up to the time the tenant vacated. It also went after the good guy guarantor that “unconditionally, irrevocably and as a primary obligor” guaranteed the...
Feature

How to Give Small Tenants “Key Player” Disability or Death Termination Rights

December 27, 2023    
Include 10 terms in your termination option clause.     Extraordinary individuals are the driving force behind many startups and small businesses. But leasing to tenants that depend so heavily on such individuals is risky. The business could suddenly come to a screeching halt should...
Plugging Loopholes

Get Extra Protection Against Tenant Use of Premises for Illegal Activities

December 27, 2023    
New local laws may make landlords pay for tenants’ illegal business.    
Owner Loses

Court Temporarily Bars Landlord from Terminating Restaurant Lease

December 27, 2023    
What Happened: An Italian restaurant tried to assign its lease to a steakhouse, but the landlord refused and served notice of termination. The tenant denied committing any lease violation and asked the court to issue a temporary injunction barring the landlord from terminating the lease until the...
Owner Wins

Physically Absent Tenant Can Still Hold Over After Lease Expires

December 27, 2023    
What Happened: At first it looked as though the tenant had found a buyer for his dental practice to whom it would assign the lease just as it was expiring on Dec. 31, 2019. But the deal fell through, and the tenant sent the landlord an email in February notifying it of his decision not to renew the...
Owner Wins

Liquidated Damages Clause Is an Unenforceable Penalty

December 27, 2023    
What Happened: The COVID-19 pandemic forced the owner of an iconic cinema in Minneapolis to shut down and default on its lease with six years left in the term. The landlord sued for liquidated damages of $1.8 million, including $364,212 in unpaid rent and $1,444,258 representing the present value...