Recent Court Rulings

Tenant's Control of Parking Lot Makes Accident Work-Related

November 23, 2021    

What Happened: A 70-year-old supermarket employee who just finished her shift stepped into a pothole while walking to her car. The workers comp board rejected her claim for benefits. Citing provisions in the supermarket’s lease making the landlord responsible for...

Expedited Holdover Eviction Available Even When Lease Terminates Early

November 23, 2021    

What Happened: Two years into its five-year term, a tenant leasing space for use as an airport hangar exercised its right to terminate early, without penalty, upon 180 days’ notice. The plan was for the tenant to remain in the space until the sides reached agreement on a...

Temporary COVID Closure Order Doesn’t Excuse Tenant’s Failure to Pay Rent

November 23, 2021    

What Happened: A fitness center tenant that had to close down temporarily in response to the governor’s COVID-19 pandemic closure orders remained in its space but didn’t pay rent for the time it was closed. The landlord sued, and the tenant relied on the lease force...

No Trial Needed to Rule that Assignee Breached Lease

October 18, 2021    

What Happened: Less than six months after assuming the responsibilities of the lease from the previous tenant, the assignee notified the landlord that it planned to close its furniture rental store. When it became clear that the assignee wasn’t going to pay the remaining...

Changing Locks of Deadbeat Tenant Was Constructive Eviction

October 17, 2021    

What Happened: A landlord was concerned that a fitness center that was way behind on rent would suddenly move and take all of its equipment. So, it went to court to get what in Illinois is called a “distress warrant” granting a lien on a tenant’s personal...

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...

Tenant’s Request for Buildout Delay Isn’t an Anticipatory Breach

August 24, 2021    

What Happened: Under the terms of a 10-year restaurant lease, the obligation to pay rent didn’t kick in until the buildout was complete and the tenant began operating in the space. With work on the premises still to be done, the governor issued a COVID-19 shutdown order....

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...

Leasing Mall Space to Medical Clinic Violates Landlord’s Duty to Operate Retail Establishment

July 21, 2021    

What Happened: A shopping center lease gave a fabric and crafting suppliers tenant the right to pay a lower substitute rent if the landlord violated its obligation to run the center as a “first-class retail project.” The problem began when the landlord leased space...

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...