Recent Court Rulings

Owner Is Responsible for Common Area Maintenance

December 20, 2017    

Facts: The owner of a movie theater signed a lease for space at a mall. Over a period of time, maintenance issues, like timely garbage removal, became apparent. The tenant asked the owner to take care of maintenance and upkeep, asserting that the lease and common area...

Trial Needed to Determine Whether Site Plan Change Was Permissible

November 22, 2017    

Facts: The lease between a multiple-phase shopping center owner and national tenant indicated that the tenant would occupy a space in building A of phase one in the not-yet-constructed property. The lease contained certain provisions concerning the construction process and the...

Estoppel Certificates Precluded Tenants from Collecting TIA

October 18, 2017    

Facts: Tenants sued both the former and the current owner of the building in which they leased commercial space for failing to reimburse them for improvements they made to the premises, as required under their leases. The current owner challenged the complaint on the grounds...

Landlord's Ownership Interest in Pylon Not Protected by Tenant's Lease

September 21, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center tenant affixed its name to a pylon sign on the property. The owner of the center disputed the tenant’s right to use the sign. The owner and tenant each asked a trial court for a judgment in its favor without a trial.

Decision:...

Tenant Not Bound by Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

August 24, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center owner decided to construct a new set of buildings within the shopping center grounds, which would house tenants that would be beneficial to its anchor store, a national clothing retailer. The retailer’s lease contains a clause that requires the...

Tenant's Use of Cooking Equipment Permitted by Lease

July 21, 2017    

Facts: A sushi restaurant began operating in the basement space of a mixed-use brownstone building that included other commercial space and some apartments. It became apparent that cooking odors were wafting into the first-floor commercial space, which was vacant but being shown...

Landlord Couldn’t Collect 'Additional Rent' Not Mentioned in Lease

June 21, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center owner and a restaurant tenant signed a lease for a certain amount of space. Under the lease, the tenant was required to pay monthly rent consisting of two components. The first component, called “Minimum Rent,” involved a flat, base amount...

Tenant's Inconvenience Didn't Override Owner's Decision to Terminate

April 26, 2017    

Facts: A tenant leased space in a shopping center for its restaurant. The tenant had an option to renew its lease, but had to exercise that option a year before the lease term was to expire. The tenant claimed that it sent a letter to the owner of its space, letting it know that...

Right of First Refusal Extinguished Upon Exercise of Option

March 15, 2017    

Facts: Two tenants leased space at a property. The first tenant had a right of first refusal to buy the entire property, including the second tenant’s space, if a third party made an offer. The second tenant had the option to buy its own space at a certain year in its...

Tenant Entitled to Yellowstone Injunction While Awaiting Lease Decision

February 22, 2017    

Facts: A souvenir shop tenant’s lease that was signed in 2000 required it to provide an estoppel certificate to the owner of the building within 10 days. There was a dispute between the owner and tenant as to whether that version of the lease or a new lease that had been...

Foreseeability of Tenant's Denied License Put Risk on Landlord

January 24, 2017    

Facts: In order to open and operate a daycare under state law, Florida daycare tenants must first sign a lease for space before applying for a license to operate the business. A daycare executed a five-year commercial lease for two store spaces in a shopping center while it...

Competing Restaurant Wasn't 'Similar in Concept'

November 22, 2016    

Facts: A restaurant with a 1950s American roadside diner theme leased space at a shopping center. Later, the owner signed a lease with a pancake house restaurant franchisee for space nearby. The tenant asserted that the new lease with the pancake restaurant violated a...