Recent Court Rulings

Out-of-Possession Landlord Not Liable for Injury to Tenant’s Employee

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: The employee of a tenant suffered serious injury after a heavy box fell on top of him. The victim blamed the accident on the leaky warehouse roof, which caused the box to become waterlogged and weakened the palette holding it up. He sued the landlord for...

OK to Evict Tenant for Growing Marijuana Without a Permit

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: What happens when a tenant signs a five-year lease on a warehouse for use as an indoor cannabis cultivation facility but can’t get the necessary permits because the property doesn’t have an adequate fire sprinkler system? The tenant figured the...

Court Nixes Tenant's Asbestos Negligence Claim Against Landlord

May 23, 2022    

What Happened: An office tenant moved out when quality testing of the air inside an office building revealed the presence of asbestos at unsafe levels. The landlord sued for unpaid rent, and the tenant countersued the landlord for negligence by undertaking repairs on the roof...

Tenant Not Liable for Elevator Damage Covered by Landlord’s Insurance

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: A government tenant that had leased the floor of an office building for nearly 30 years left behind a mess when it moved out. In addition to removing electronic door locks, office partitions, a fire and alarm system, and other items the landlord claimed as its own...

Shopping Center Tenant Not Liable for Pre-Assignment Environmental Contamination

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: In 2007, Renaissance signed a lease assignment and took over as tenant of property in a shopping center. When the landlord sought to refinance the property two years later, it discovered that the below-ground space contained excessive amounts of Perchloroethylene...

Landlord's Threat to Evict Doesn't Put Tenant Under "Duress"

April 25, 2022    

What Happened: A car wash tenant insisted that it had made an oral agreement with the previous landlord limiting its obligation to pay to fixed rent only. But the new landlord didn’t buy it and insisted that the tenant also pay operating expenses and taxes. Even if there...

Tenant Must Pay Post-Termination CAM Charges

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: A retail tenant asked out of its lease, and the landlord agreed. The result was a written termination agreement...

Unreasonable Rejection of Thrift Store Sublease Costs Shopping Center Owner $388K

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: A shopping center lease allowed a drug store tenant to assign or sublet the space “with Landlord’s consent...

Lease Encumbrance Impacts Property’s Fair Market Value Purchase Price

March 22, 2022    

What Happened: In 1990, a real estate developer signed a 99-year lease on property in Boca Raton on which it intended to build a shopping center. The lease fixed rent at $280,000 for years 2 through 29, and $910,000 per year after that; it also gave the developer the right to...

Tenant Who Didn't Thoroughly Inspect Defective Building Can't Claim Fraud

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: A Texas landlord leased a standalone building to a tenant for use as a restaurant. Even though the building needed a lot of work, the tenant accepted it “as is” without warranty of suitability for its intended restaurant use. The gamble came up snake...

Defaulting Tenant's Closure Doesn’t Justify Landlord's Changing the Locks

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: After warning that its business was struggling, a restaurant tenant paid only half the rent on June 1. Two weeks later, it closed the restaurant. When its demands for full rent went unheeded, the landlord changed the locks and re-entered the premises on June 24....

Construction Lien Is Enforceable Against Landlord that Contracted for the Work

February 20, 2022    

What Happened: A landlord and tenant hired a contractor to construct improvements on a leased movie theater. The subcontractor that installed the drywalls recorded a lien for the work and sought to foreclose when it didn’t get paid. The landlord asked the court to dismiss...