Recent Court Rulings

Mall of America Avoids Getting Stuck with Sears’ Bankruptcy Assignee

March 17, 2020    

What Happened: When Sears went bankrupt, its...

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,...

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:

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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...

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...

No Relocation Benefits for Tenants Forced Out by Sale to Government

February 19, 2020    

What Happened: A city in Oregon purchased commercial property that it intended to develop for a City Hall. The sale agreement required the owner to deliver the property free of tenants. The owner kept its end of the bargain by informing the tenants of the sale, ending their...

Subway Not Liable for Franchisee's ADA Violation

February 19, 2020    

What Happened: After experiencing what he felt was rude and humiliating treatment by a Subway employee while ordering a steak sandwich, a customer brought an ADA lawsuit against not just the restaurant where the incident happened but the franchisor company, which it claimed was...

Lease Clearly Shows that Landlord Owns Tenant Improvements

January 23, 2020    

What Happened: Erection of a reception desk and bar fixture containing sinks for mixing hair color were among the improvements made at the landlord’s expense before a hair salon tenant moved in and opened shop. The reception desk and color bar were also among the assets...

No Constructive Eviction Where Tenant Didn’t Notify Owner of Sewage Problem

January 23, 2020    

What Happened: After experiencing repeated problems with the building sewage system, a bank branch tenant decided to move out. In its notification letter, the tenant claimed that it was subjected to “hazardous environmental conditions”—namely, mold and sewage...

Tenant's Nuisance Claim Against Owner Isn’t an Open-and-Shut Case

January 23, 2020    

What Happened: Sharing an office building with a gym where individuals and classes deliberately dropped free weights to the ground as part of their “Cross Fit” training made it hard for a tenant to carry out its radiation practice in peace. Frustrated with its...

How Much of Replacement Tenant’s Rent Must Landlord Offset Against Original Tenant’s Debt?

December 26, 2019    

What Happened: An auto detailing tenant acknowledged installing a parking lot area without the landlord’s authorization and then vacating with 19 months remaining on the lease. The question: How much, if any, of the rent the landlord received from the new tenant...

Eviction Court Had No Authority to Cut Tenant’s Rent

December 24, 2019    

What Happened: After spending more than $45,000 for improvements, a tenant claimed that it discovered that the premises it leased for five years for use as a hair salon was only 452 square feet rather than the 600 square feet the landlord represented. So the tenant asked for a...