Recent Court Rulings

Landlord's Insurer Can't Seek Subrogation from Tenant

January 29, 2019    

Facts:A landlord and a tenant signed a lease that provided that the landlord would insure the building and the tenant would insure its personal property inside the building. When the property was later damaged by a fire, the landlord’s insurance covered the loss. The...

Tenant's Yellowstone Injunction Appropriate Pending Outcome of Late Rent Claims

December 18, 2018    

Facts: A tenant rented space for its office on two floors of a building. When it attempted to exercise its option to renew its lease for an additional five-year term, the landlord offered to buy out the lease, but the tenant rejected the offer. A few weeks later, the tenant...

Landlord Must Pay for Tenant's Improvements Without Giving Express Consent

December 18, 2018    

Facts: A landlord leased so-called vanilla box space to a café tenant. The tenant was required to perform electrical work before it could open. Its contractor, an electrician, completed the work, and the landlord was informed that it had been done so the café could open. The...

Jury Trial Needed to Determine Maintenance Responsibility

November 21, 2018    

Facts: A jewelry store tenant that leased space in a shopping center complained repeatedly about a sewage smell and mold problem in the store. It claimed that it was losing business. Its complaints were documented in multiple emails over the course of several months. For its...

Lease Agreement Foreclosed Tenant's Ability to Collect Condemnation Award

October 31, 2018    

Facts: A large national retailer leased space in a shopping center that later had a major access point blocked by the state’s department of transportation as part of a “condemnation.” The landlord and tenant each asked the state for a “condemnation award...

Landlord's Promise to "Work on" Renewal Wasn’t Fraudulent Inducement

September 28, 2018    

Facts: A tenant rented space to operate its nail salon under a lease that was assigned to it by the original tenant. The lease provided for two additional five-year terms. In order to exercise a renewal option, the tenant had to give written notice 120 days prior to the end of...

Method for Determining Renewal Rent Must Be Sufficiently Definite

August 28, 2018    

Facts: A tenant that operated a market and deli entered into a lease for retail space. The lease was for five years ending in May 2016. The rental rate for the initial term was $5,500 for the first two years, and $6,000 for the remaining three years of the lease. The lease...

Lease Required Tenant to Make Interior Repairs

July 31, 2018    

Facts: A bank leased space for its branch in a retail center. Over the course of several years, the tenant experienced sewer backups and other plumbing problems. It repaired these problems without giving notice to the landlord. After the tenant suspected that water damage had...

Landlord Not Liable for Damage after Month-to-Month Tenancy Terminated

June 28, 2018    

Facts: A medical tenant clinic signed a lease that it renewed for an additional five-year term. During the initial and renewal term, the tenant paid monthly rent on time. After the renewal term was over, the tenant didn’t renew the lease formally; it continued to stay in...

Trial Necessary to Determine Whether Cotenancy Clause Constituted 'Liquidated Damages'

April 25, 2018    

Facts: A clothing retailer tenant signed a lease for space at a shopping center. The lease included cotenancy provisions that required the owner to lease space to three major tenants. If all three tenants were open and operating continuously, the retail tenant paid minimum rent...

Landlord's Unlawful Detainer Action Didn’t Bar Subsequent Lawsuit

March 29, 2018    

Facts: After a retail tenant stopped paying rent, the owner of the center asked a trial court for an “unlawful detainer” so that it could physically evict the tenant. An unlawful detainer action is a summary proceeding designed to adjudicate the right of immediate...

Landlord's Board Testimony Regarding Damages Was Improper

March 29, 2018    

Facts: A dry cleaning business subleased space in a shopping center. The business owner was also the guarantor on the sublease. The subtenant prematurely vacated the space. The landlord sued the subtenant. A trial court ruled in favor of the landlord, awarding it $343,000 in...