Recent Court Rulings

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...

Lease Prohibited Tenant’s Request for Declaratory Judgment

February 28, 2018    

Facts: A landlord served a notice to cure on its tenant, claiming that the tenant had failed to have the space’s fire sprinklers inspected. A dispute as to responsibility for the sprinklers ensued between the landlord and tenant. The tenant asked a trial court to issue a...

Owner Gave Required Notice to Vacate Under Temporary Lease Agreement

February 28, 2018    

Facts: A tenant that operated two retail kiosks within a mall property thought that the owner of the center wasn’t providing adequate security. It sued the owner for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and constructive eviction after the owner...

Trial Required to Determine Whether Owner Took Control of Premises

January 31, 2018    

Facts: An owner and tenant signed a lease for a four-story parking garage with two retail spaces below it. The owner served the tenant with a written notice to cure 21 lease violations primarily related to the physical deterioration of the building caused by the tenant. In...

Owner Is Responsible for Common Area Maintenance

December 22, 2017    

Facts: The owner of a movie theater signed a lease for space at a mall. Over a period of time, maintenance issues, like timely garbage removal, became apparent. The tenant asked the owner to take care of maintenance and upkeep, asserting that the lease and common area...

Trial Needed to Determine Whether Site Plan Change Was Permissible

November 30, 2017    

Facts: The lease between a multiple-phase shopping center owner and national tenant indicated that the tenant would occupy a space in building A of phase one in the not-yet-constructed property. The lease contained certain provisions concerning the construction process and the...

Tenant's Breach of Lease Couldn't Be Cured

November 30, 2017    

Facts: A nonprofit art corporation leased space from the owner of a building that was connected with another property. The owner agreed that the tenant could make improvements after getting written consent. After the tenant had altered the structure of the building’s...

Estoppel Certificates Precluded Tenants from Collecting TIA

October 31, 2017    

Facts: Tenants sued both the former and the current owner of the building in which they leased commercial space for failing to reimburse them for improvements they made to the premises, as required under their leases. The current owner challenged the complaint on the grounds...

Landlord's Ownership Interest in Pylon Not Protected by Tenant's Lease

September 27, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center tenant affixed its name to a pylon sign on the property. The owner of the center disputed the tenant’s right to use the sign. The owner and tenant each asked a trial court for a judgment in its favor without a trial.

Decision:...

Tenant Not Bound by Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

August 30, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center owner decided to construct a new set of buildings within the shopping center grounds, which would house tenants that would be beneficial to its anchor store, a national clothing retailer. The retailer’s lease contains a clause that requires the...