Think Twice Before Withholding Rent for Minor Alterations to Space

After a recent New York case, it may be more difficult for tenants to prevail on certain claims for rent abatement. You can no longer assume you'll be entitled to rent abatement if the owner makes improvements or alterations you haven't agreed to or that aren't mentioned in the lease—especially if the change will have little or virtually no effect on your ability to do business. If the owner makes unauthorized changes to your space, carefully consider whether it's worth a court battle to stop the changes or undo them, or stop paying the rent altogether.

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