Recent Court Rulings

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...

Tenant's Use of Cooking Equipment Permitted by Lease

July 31, 2017    

Facts: A sushi restaurant began operating in the basement space of a mixed-use brownstone building that included other commercial space and some apartments. It became apparent that cooking odors were wafting into the first-floor commercial space, which was vacant but being shown...

Landlord Couldn't Collect 'Additional Rent' Not Mentioned in Lease

June 29, 2017    

Facts: A shopping center owner and a restaurant tenant signed a lease for a certain amount of space. Under the lease, the tenant was required to pay monthly rent consisting of two components. The first component, called “Minimum Rent,” involved a flat, base...

Tenant's Inconvenience Didn't Override Owner's Decision to Terminate

April 19, 2017    

Facts: A tenant leased space in a shopping center for its restaurant. The tenant had an option to renew its lease, but had to exercise that option a year before the lease term was to expire. The tenant claimed that it sent a letter to the owner of its space, letting it know that...

Right of First Refusal Extinguished Upon Exercise of Option

March 29, 2017    

Facts: Two tenants leased space at a property. The first tenant had a right of first refusal to buy the entire property, including the second tenant’s space, if a third party made an offer. The second tenant had the option to buy its own space at a certain year in its...

Tenant Entitled to Yellowstone Injunction While Awaiting Lease Decision

February 28, 2017    

Facts: A souvenir shop tenant’s lease that was signed in 2000 required it to provide an estoppel certificate to the owner of the building within 10 days. There was a dispute between the owner and tenant as to whether that version of the lease or a new lease that had been...