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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing law
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I own a retail gift store. There is a retail gift store next

Customer Question

I own a retail gift store. There is a retail gift store next to me.
We have the same landlord. The landlord wants the other retail owner to stay happy in her space. ( I moved nextdoor to her a year ago)So he has allowed her to tell me what I cannot sell on my website
Isn't this Illegial??
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Do you have a written lease?

Is there anything in the lease concerning this?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Dave

Are we still connected?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Yes. I'm waiting on a reply to my info request.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank You Dave!
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Before I answer your question I need to know if there is a lease and if there is do any of the terms cover this situation?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

THanks Dave, there is a signed lease. It says nothing about website business. Only that Leasee "cannot sell "goods that conflict with business in Somrack Plaza"

but nothing about web sales.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - If the web sales are in conflict you could have a problem. The lease could be read to mean any sales from the premises or it could be interpreted to mean any sales regardless of how sold. You have two choices. You can ignore the other tenant and continue to sell on the web and force the landlord to declare the lease in breach and then have a court decide what the lease means or you can allow the current situation to continue. Certainly the lease doesn't say the other tenants make the decision so it would be up to the landlord to object to the products you are selling. He cannot designate the authority to the other tenants. These "non-compete" clauses are sometimes difficult to define as the term "conflict" can mean anything. My opinion is you can ignore the other tenant as the tenant is not the one who is a party to your lease and you can tell the landlord the lease doesn't cover web sales. Then it will be the landlord who will have to make the decision as to whether to declare you in breach. This is simply a contract issue and has nothing to do with being "legal" or "illegal".
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Lots of great info there. Thanks

Concerning another matter with my landlord and' next door retai'l..

After I signed the lease and moved next door to this other gift store.

The owner of next door gift store gives landlord a long list of "Vendors" that I cannot order from. There was no request to sign the list. It' s just her list in my files.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX vendor in particular, Two's Company, which is a gift catalog with 2000 items in it. Two's Company is upset because I have had to stop buying from them..

Every gift store on our 7 block long street orders from this catalog with out conflict.

My question is...Since my lease says that I cannot sell "Goods"

It says nothing about Vendors...and I feel that I can order from same vendors as long as it is not the same "items" in her store. So if I am not ordering same items, then that is not a conflict.

But as you said in your last comment...this is a conflict between my landlord and I and not so much a legal matter?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
This is ridiculous. You can buy from whomever you please unless there is something in the lease restricting that activity. The other tenant is not a party to the lease and has no control over what you do. Only the landlord can enforce the lease so you can simply ignore the other tenant and her "lists" or whatever. The issue is strictly between you and your landlord.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes,,soo ridiculous!

Since my lease uses the word "goods" instead of 'vendors'

That's what my big question is before I proceed with my landlord.

Lots of gray areas I'm finding with it.

Any thoughts on the wording in the lease of "goods" verses "vendors"

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Typically the wording is applied to the SALE not the PURCHASE of the products sold. "Goods" is the merchandise and "vendor" is the person who sells the goods. I am assuming the lease refers only to the "goods" you are selling and not who you buy the goods from which would be the vendor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Great explaination Dave. Very helpful..I will have more questions..

I have to go to work now. I believe I paid for a will I be able to continue with you if I pause for a day?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
You can come back at any time however it don't get paid unless you accept my answer.
Dave Kennett and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good Morning

This is my 3rd senario that I would like your thoughts on:

Subject: Rosy Rings candle company

Before I moved next door to "problem gift store" I was across the stree from her.

Her and I agreed that I would give up Rosy Rings candles and she would continue to sell them.

Rosy Rings Company was very unhappy about that because I sold a significantly larger amount per year than her.

Rosy Rings called problem store to tell her that they wanted me to sell their candles.

After that she wrote a statement to our landlord that states that I am not allowed to sell Rosy Rings. My landlord agreed to the decision.

SO, now She is not selling them because Rosy Rings decided they did not want to sell to such a person.

and My landlord says that I cannot sell them because it is a breach of contract although It is just a statement on a piece of paper that I have not signed.

So I am not selling these candles which were a big souce of income for my store and people ask me for them!!



Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Frankly this all sounds rather ridiculous. You have two choices. You can put up with it or you can start selling the candles and whatever else you want if the other store is not selling it. You are not selling "comptetive" goods if your neighbor doesn't sell the item. This is totally unreasonable and I believe a court would agree if your landlord tries to evict you.