Recent Court Rulings

Tenant Doesn’t Have to Own Property to Sue Trespassers

July 24, 2020    

What Happened: Trader Joe’s sued a political organizing firm that sent agents to the parking lots of its stores to gather customers’ signatures for ballot initiatives without its permission.

Court Orders Landlord to Stop Blockading Tenants’ Customer Access Roads

July 24, 2020    

What Happened: It was a long running dispute: The landlord thought the tenant owed Terminal Usage Fees; the tenant disagreed. In a civil society, there are courts to resolve these types of disputes. But instead of filing a lawsuit, the landlord took matters into its own hands by...

Money Damages-Only Lease Clause Isn’t ‘Unconscionable’

June 17, 2020    

What Happened: A lease contained the following provision: “None of Landlord’s obligations under this lease shall be subject to specific performance or injunctive remedies, and Tenant waives all rights with respect to such remedies.”

This clause basically...

Oral Promise of an Exclusive Not Reflected in Lease

June 17, 2020    

What Happened: “We would have never signed the lease without the landlord’s promise to evict the existing chiropractor tenant and make us the lone and exclusive chiropractic clinic in the shopping center,” claimed the tenant.

The landlord denied making...

Landlord Must Pay $19.5K for Harassing Tenant

May 19, 2020    

What Happened: While laws banning landlords from harassing tenants are common in residential settings, New York is one of the few states that extends this protection to commercial tenants. A small landscaping business owner claimed that her landlord crossed the line by filing...

Word 'Or' in Renewal Option Is Typo, Not Option to Renew Without Notice

May 19, 2020    

What Happened: A lease stated: “Tenant shall have the right and option to extend the Term for one (1) three (3) year option, exercisable by giving Landlord prior written notice, at least six (6) months in advance of Expiration Date, or Tenant’s election to extend...

Lease with No Specific Termination Date Can Be Terminated at Will

May 19, 2020    

What Happened: Soon after acquiring a hotel, the new owner terminated the lease with the beachside scuba rental concession tenant. The tenant cried foul and sued for damages. The case all turned on the following lease clause: “Term: this lease shall be enforced commencing...

Mall of America Avoids Getting Stuck with Sears’ Bankruptcy Assignee

April 7, 2020    

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

Cabinets and Monitors Are 'Trade Fixtures' that Tenant Can Remove

April 6, 2020    

What Happened: Ultimately, the tenant who leased property to open a marijuana retail store was found to have no excuse for moving out and not paying rent. But there was another question the court had to decide: Did the tenant have the right to take the bolted-down glass display...

Landlord Not Liable for Tenant's Lost Profits Caused by Construction Work

April 6, 2020    

What Happened: For Knicks fans, the Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in the middle of New York City’s Grand Central Station must have felt like an anomaly doomed to fail. And, ultimately, it did. The restaurant...

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,...