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I own a small business and have a shop inside a specialized…

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Hello, I own a small...
Hello, I own a small business and have a shop inside a specialized shopping center in downtown Las Vegas called Container Park, known for catering to small businesses like mine. I made the decision to go there with my wife as I assumed they would be more flexible toward new business owners as they had advertised. The park hours are 11am to 9pm and is open 7 days a week. Obviously a lot for one person so at first, I asked my wife to help out. Unfortunately we separated in July and since then, I have not been able to respect the hours of the park so I started shortening my days to cope with the extra time spent at the shop. Also, given the extra bills I had to cover, I had to become a Lyft driver and occasionally attend conventions out of town to sell my products and get extra income. Both would require me to either leave the shop early or close it up for the day. Point should be made that the park generates very low traffic so there are days where less than 5 customers walk in my store. Obviously a waste of time...Anyways, up until a few weeks ago, there was no major concern, the park had indeed voiced their opinion on the matter and I had explained my situation to them which they were sensitive to at first. However, a few weeks ago, the GM announced that she would be enforcing a rule, apparently contained in the agreement, where she would fine tenants 75$ per tardiness up to twice a day, or 75$ flat if you don't come in at all. Flawed logic to begin with if you ask me. I then told them that given my situation and the low level of traffic the park generates, I have to operate the way I do and do not see a foreseeable solution. So I gave my notice and will be leaving at the end of the month. Since this discussion I have been given over 1000$ in fines and need to sort this before it gets out of hand. Please help!
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 58 minutes by:
12/23/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 126,894
Experience: Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

Does the lease contain the provision for the $75 fines? Are you violating the provision of the lease?

Have you thought about hiring a part time employee?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Here is the provision in the lease.Fines for Violations of Rules and Regulations. Licensee at all times shall comply with and abide by all Rules and Regulations (as amended) governing the operation of the Container Park. In the event Licensee is in violation of the R&R, Licensee may issue fines to the Tenants/Licensees in the Container Park, by forwarding to Licensee written notice of the violation (the "NV"). The NV shall specify the date of the violation and the basis for the violation. The fine for the first NV shall be in the sum of $75.00, with the second fine for the same or substantially similar violation being $100.00, and all additional fines for the same or substantially similar violation being $150.00 each during the term of the License, as extended, if applicable. Fines shall be payable to Licensor within five (5) business days of receipt of a NV from the Licensor. In the event Licensee is issued three (3) or more fines for the same or substantially similar violation in any rolling three (3) month period, Licensor, in its sole discretion shall continue to fine the Licensee at the highest fine rate, and may, in its sole discretion provide notice that upon the next violation for the same or substantially similar violation within the following six (6) month period, Licensor may terminate License upon
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Licensee being provided written notice thereof by Licensor. Notwithstanding reference to the rolling three (3) month period above, the amounts of the fines after the second fine shall not reset during the License term (as may be extended), and all violations of the same or substantially similar nature shall incur the $150 fine thereafter, unless no same or substantially similar violation shall be imposed for a period of one year after the last such fine, then in such event, the fine amounts shall be reset for all subsequent fines.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
thank you for picking up the question.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

The issue is DID you violate the park rules, I mean here is the issue for you, if you are under the terms of that lease and you did commit a violation, the owner can enforce the terms of that lease as written and the court has no choice but to uphold the fines.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thanks, ***** ***** see. As I explained, after my separation I had to shorten my days and get income outside of the shop so I wasn't respecting park hours. What I am trying to find out is if not respecting the hours is explicitly considered a violation under the provisions in the contract.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I have the full agreement I can attach if you'd like to have a look, it's fairly short.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Well the clause you posted above says they can fine for not following Rules and Regulation, so you need to look to the R&R, not just the contract.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Here's the part in the rules and regulations document.22. Licensee is required to abide by Licensors designated hours of operation of which may change from time to time at Licensors sole discretion. Licensee shall likewise be required to conform to downtown special event hours, which may deviate from the standard hours of operation, which special event hours shall be applicable when Licensor gives notice of special event(s) and provides notice of the hours of operation during the special event(s). Any Licensee who wishes to deviate from Licensors designated hours of operation must request said change in writing, and Licensee must obtain from Licensor written approval to deviate from the designated hours of operation. Licensor maintains the right to require Licensee to extend or reduce the hours of operation based on events and circumstances.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

So, in accordance to that rule, you needed management's written consent to change your hours. If you did not get that permission, then legally the court would have to enforce the contract above as written. So, if that is what is written, the law has to bind you to that and you need to conform, even if you need to get a part time employee to cover those hours.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thanks again. Lastly, would they have to prove that I didn't respect hours or is their email notification saying that I wasn't respecting hours sufficient for them to enforce?
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply. Hope you had a good holiday.

They would have to prove you were not following their hours and were not open during those times.

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