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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.
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I am considering suing my commercial landlord of

Customer Question

I am considering suing my commercial
landlord for breach of contract. I am one of 4 tenants in a warehouse/office setting. According to my lease, for $5000/mth rent I am entitled to 5000 sft warehouse and 800sft office. For the past 2 years of occupancy I have only been allowed 3400sft warehouse and 450sft office. In spite of numerous requests to the landlord to either give me my space entitlement as per the lease, or adjust my rent downward,nothing has been done.
Additionally,the landlord has violated the Quiet Possession clause by bringing in a new tenant that is in direct competition with my business.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns, and I genuinely appreciate you requesting me directly.
I have reviewed the facts and agree that you likely have grounds to sue for both breach of contract and potentially for 'partial constructive eviction' if part of your property was not provided to you. The latter is a bit harder to prove if you initially moved into a smaller space since the landlord may argue that you both negotiated and amended the terms to include the smaller space instead. You can choose to take him to court and seek a reduction in rent based on the percentage of loss of your space, and provided that such terms are in writing, you should be able to prevail.
Hope that helps!
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
PS. I will be stepping out for a few minutes so if you have a follow-up, there may be a delay with my response--but please know that I will return and respond should you seek further clarification.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The space allotment is clearly spelt out in the lease. The lease terms were never amended to include a smaller space. The new tenant is in direct conflict with my business - since I now have to share a warehouse with this tenant, he has access to all my customer information and will definitely be trying to poach my customers as he is new to the business. The landlord took on this new tenant without any discussion with me.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Was there a clause in your agreement barring similar businesses from operating on the property lot with you? If yes, how exactly is that clause drafted?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No there was no such clause in the lease. But I am now prevented from operating my business in an unencumbered fashion, with the potential for my goods being mixed in with the competitor's.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Then you cannot sue for something the landlord never promised or agreed to. Some leases do indeed have limitations on competition as a condition of operating your business on the property, but that is an option and is not a rule. If nothing like that was entered into your lease as a condition you are not legally able to sue for it as injury. Should the competitor steal your items or your lists, your cause of action would be against the competitor at that point and not the landlord, who is contractually free to let his property to anyone if no limitations exist in your agreement with him.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As a freight forwarder, I receive merchandise on behalf of my customers then ship said merchandise overseas to the customer. I do not have ownership of the merchandise - I am basically a broker/middleman. If my landlord files a lien on my property for unpaid rent, is my customers' merchandise exempt from such lien since I do not own the merchandise?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
No, it is not exempt from lien. Since the merchandise is under your control, it is presumed to be owned by you, and becomes your asset that can be pursued by the landlord. You would need to go to court and prove that the assets do not belong to you to get the lien lifted.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.

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