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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34334
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA
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Landlord has now agreed to let us in the building we rented

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Landlord has now agreed to let us in the building we rented but he has not given us a key. He lets us in at 10am and sets the door knob to self lock. He said to put a piece of wood in the door to stop it from closing. He is now requesting us to increase our insurance to a higher amount. We have obtained the insurance he requested per lease agreement and the insurance agent said he was given a copy of our lease agreement from the landlord and he tried to explain to the landlord that he needed to sit down with us the tenants to renegotiate the contract or he could not order a insurance policy with higher limits.
We have paid the rent for the month but he continues to make ultimatums.
We feel like we are being held hostage and that we have to do everything the landlord requests or he will not give us the keys. What remedies do we have? I know we can issue him a notice of breach but we have a large investment in the property at this point.
Hello again,
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What remedies do we have? I know we can issue him a notice of breach but we have a large investment in the property at this point.
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I hate to say it, but I think that your recourse here is to either threaten to or actually file suit against him for breach of contract for a return of your rent and improvement money since he has clearly breached the agreement.
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I find it incomprehensible that he would be attempting to charge you rent during a period when he was months behind giving you physical possession as dictated in the lease contract. And to tell you to put a piece of wood in the door instead of simply giving you a key is just bizarre. If he hasn't given you a key so you can come and go as you please, then he still hasn't delivered possession of the property.
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If you don't want to go directly to suing, you could contact a local real estate attorney, lay out the situation, and then ask him to write a "demand letter" stating you want full possession as promised under the lease contract or you will file suit for breach of contract for all your damages incurred to date.
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It sounds like this landlord is an old timer who thinks that he can run the show regardless of what any contract says.... This is also the type of landlord who will come around and snoop on the property without notice because he owns it and he thinks he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants with it.
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Thanks
Barrister
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