Tenant Wins

Owner's Material Breach Is Incurable

December 23, 2015    

Facts: An owner and tenant signed a lease for office space, whereby each party would perform renovations to the space to convert it from industrial to office space. The owner was to perform its renovations first. After the owner missed the deadline to turn the space over to the...

Tenant Must Abandon Space to Rely on 'Constructive Eviction'

November 24, 2015    

Facts: A national department store tenant withheld its rent and engaged in self-help remedies after the owner of the shopping center repeatedly failed to repair problems with the building, including leaking plumbing and a dilapidated appearance both inside and outside the...

Tenant Not Obligated to Exercise Lease Option

September 30, 2015    

Facts: A bank tenant entered into two ground leases for properties on which to build a bank branch and parking lot, respectively. The tenant was responsible for procuring all necessary permits. The ground leases provided a contingency period—the “Approval Period...

Space's Increased Value Didn't Raise Rent Rate

September 30, 2015    

Facts: A luxury retailer (subtenant) subleased space for its flagship store. The sublandlord was an affiliate of the owner of the building. The sublandlord informed the subtenant that the property would be redeveloped in two years, and, in the meantime, the subtenant would have...

'Course of Conduct' Used to Clarify Ambiguous Lease

April 17, 2015    

Facts: Since the start of its lease with a tenant, a building owner paid for electricity for the tenant’s space and charged the tenant 50 percent of the cost as part of the additional rent due. The lease didn’t require the owner to provide electricity, it just...

Owner's Termination Right Wasn't 'Ongoing'

April 17, 2015    

Facts: When an anchor tenant closed its store at a shopping center, the cotenancy clause in a lease between an arts-and-crafts supply retailer and the center’s owner was triggered. When the owner had failed to obtain another anchor tenant after six months, the tenant...

Owner's Duty of Care Stemmed from 'Unusual' Lease Provisions

March 31, 2015    

Facts: The employee of a tenant who rented retail space was injured when a light fixture fell on her upper back and neck while she was working. The employee sued the owner. The owner asked a trial court for a judgment in its favor without a trial. The trial court granted the...

Statute of Limitations Barred Suit Against Center's Owner

February 27, 2015    

Facts: A supermarket customer fell and was injured in the parking lot at the shopping center. She sued the tenant, claiming that the fall occurred because of a defective and dangerous condition there. The tenant notified the customer that the center’s owner was responsible...

Owner Must Give Proper Notice for Fixture Removal

February 27, 2015    

Facts: An owner claimed that its restaurant tenant breached the lease by failing to remove “trade” fixtures before moving out. The tenant argued that it wasn’t required to remove the fixtures because the owner hadn’t complied with the lease terms...

Tenant Entitled to Yellowstone Injunction

January 29, 2015    

Facts: The owner of space rented as a liquor store sent the tenant a notice of default of the lease’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws (ABC Laws) compliance provisions. The tenant asserted that it had not breached the lease. The tenant claimed that the notice was “...

Tenant Is 'Prevailing Party' Under Fee-Shifting Provisions

January 29, 2015    

Facts: A retail lease provided that attorney’s fees and expenses would be awarded to the prevailing party in “any dispute” between the owner and tenant arising out of the use or occupancy of the space. The owner later sued the tenant for several claims...

Tenant Not Responsible for Management Fees

September 26, 2014    

Facts: A bank tenant signed a triple-net lease for a standalone building in a shopping center. (Under a typical "triple-net" lease, the tenant pays all expenses, including property taxes and insurance, maintenance, and utilities, leaving the owner with no expense...