Recent Court Rulings

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...

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...

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...

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...