Recent Court Rulings

Delay in Remitting Insurance Money to Landlord Doesn't Make Tenancy a Holdover

January 27, 2023    

What Happened: Winter Storm Uri devastated a commercial building six weeks before the lease was due to expire. The lease required the tenant to carry commercial general liability insurance on the property, name the landlord as an additional insured, and remit the insurance...

Landlord Potentially Liable for Injury to Tenant's Independent Contractor

January 27, 2023    

What Happened: After the lease ended, a shopping center tenant hired a self-employed independent contractor to remove an exterior sign from the space. While performing the work, the contractor fell through a roof opening and suffered serious injuries. He sued the landlord,...

Liquidated Damages Clause Is an Unenforceable Penalty

December 22, 2022    

What Happened: There was no dispute that a Chicago hair lice removal salon that stopped paying its nearly $5,000 monthly rent was in default under the lease. The issue was whether the landlord could enforce the lease clause granting it 27 months of future rent as liquidated...

Who's Responsible for Restoring Office Space to Original Condition at Lease’s End?

December 22, 2022    

What Happened: The landlord and tenant performed a massive buildout to make the more than 100,000 square feet of office space leased suitable for a financial services firm with “immense computing power” and infrastructure needs. Once the 15-year lease expired, the...

Medical Center Exhibited Clear Intent to Abandon Leased Premises

December 22, 2022    

What Happened: Two years into a five-year lease, a medical center stopped paying rent and abandoned the property. At least that’s what it looked like to the property manager who found the place empty and stripped of all furnishings. The sign on the door indicating that the...

Tenant Not Liable for Post-Surrender Damages to Property

November 29, 2022    

What Happened: In the summer of 2018, a tax firm tenant shut down its business and moved out of the building it was leasing. The surrender was documented in a written agreement that the tenant and landlord both signed. A few months later, the property was sold. During a severe...

Lockout Is Illegal Because Tenant Didn't Abandon the Property

November 29, 2022    

What Happened: The tenant was behind on its rent, and the restaurant was closed. So, the landlord assumed that the property was abandoned and exercised its lease right to reenter and change the locks. It then sued the tenant for unpaid rent and late charges. The tenant denied...

Real Estate Agent's Duplicity Doesn't Invalidate Bankruptcy Debtor's Lease Rejection

November 29, 2022    

What Happened: J.C. Penney (JCP) subleased commercial property to Klairmont at below-market rates....

Another Tenant's COVID Frustration Defense Comes Up Empty

October 24, 2022    

What Happened: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A restaurant tenant struggled to pay rent after the governor issued a COVID-19 shutdown order in...

No Implied Warranty of Habitability in Commercial Leases in Nevada

October 24, 2022    

What Happened: Frustrated by the landlord’s failure to remedy unsanitary conditions at the site, a warehouse tenant moved out of the property and stopped paying rent. In the lawsuit that followed, the tenant claimed the landlord violated the implied warranty of...

Lease Doesn't Make Tenant Responsible for Real Estate Tax Increases

September 23, 2022    

What Happened: A nonprofit landlord leased property to a for-profit utility to operate a solar-powered electric-generating facility. The lease required the tenant to: