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If the lessor is actually the original tenant who has sub-let the property, it could be either depending on what agreement the lessor has with the owner.
Usually, the original tenant/lessor directs the sub-tenant to pay the owner directly. However, it doesn't have to be this way. The sub-tenant can pay the lessor and the lessor can turn around and pay the owner. Doing it this way just creates an unnecessary step (unless the sub-tenant is paying more rent than the lessor was).
It is still the lessor's ultimate responsibiliy to make sure the rent is paid, and if the sub-tenant does not pay, the lessor has to.
In my situation, there was a lease between the sub-tenants (multiple sub-tenants in a warehouse) and the lessor. The lessor collected the rent from the sub-tenants and made up the difference to pay the full amount of rent. Would the rent paid by the sub-tenants be considered the personal property of the lessor or the owner?
If the lessor ended up not paying the rent, could the owner of the property sue under a theory of criminal theft? What is the normal cause of action to sue for unpaid rent from the original lessor?
Thanks for all your help.
No, this is a civil matter, not criminal.
You could sue for "breach of contract" because of the lessor's failure to pay the rent. You would be entitled to all non-paid amounts, past and future (through the end of the lease term).
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