Shopping malls or smaller retail spaces can be beneficial for both the landlords and tenants involved in this transaction. However, this type of property can lead to many disputes and poses unique challenges to both parties involved. At Antonoplos & Associates, we commonly assist clients with signage rights, pre-lease representations by landlords of mall traffic, and enforcing restrictions on competing businesses.
Those Affected by Shopping Mall Lease Disputes
Shopping mall leases often involve parties other than the landlord and tenant of the property. At Antonoplos & Associates, we advise and act for landlords, tenants, assignors, assignees, sub-lessors, sub-lessees, personal grantors, and others having an interest affected by or related to a shopping mall lease, such as business partners, franchisors, and joint venture parties.
Common Issues with Shopping Mall Leases
Shopping mall lease disputes may include any of the following matters:
- Rent Arrears and Defaults
- Interpretation of Commercial Leases
- Lease (or License) for Use of Space for Advertising or Signage
- Non-Rent Payment Obligations
- Permitted and Prohibited Use of Premises
- Termination and Cancellation Disputes
- Subleasing and subtenants
- Tenant Improvements
- Lease Renewal Disputes
- Enforcement, Eviction, Re-entry, and Relief from Forfeiture
- Injunctions, Stays, and Other Equitable Relief
Rent Abatement Issues
If a lease includes terms for rent abatement, disputes may still arise over conditions such as:
- Repairs and maintenance that restrict visibility or access to the leased premises
- Changes to parking and common areas
- Failure to repair or maintain the leased premises or common areas
- Breaches of rights to quiet enjoyment
- Loss of anchor tenants and co-tenancy requirements
Disputes Concerning Additional Rent, Rent Calculation Disputes, and Online Sales
In some shopping mall leases, the amount of rent that a tenant pays is calculated based in part upon the revenue that the tenant generates. However, as businesses generate more income from e-commerce, shopping mall landlords seek to include online sales as part of the tenant’s revenue for rent calculation purposes.
Though a shopping mall landlord may want to include online sales in rent calculations, such inclusions for rent calculation must be enforced through the terms of the lease, the expectations of the party, and other relevant circumstances that may impact the interpretation of the specific lease.
Injunctions, Mandatory Orders, and Preservation of Rights Pending Trial
Many shopping mall leases require no notice or short notice periods in the event of a breach that allows a landlord to evict or re-enter the premises. Such actions have a dramatic and normally irreparable impact on a business. Furthermore, if a breach of contract occurs, court assistance may be required to seek to prevent the landlord from enforcing such terms of the lease. If this occurs, it is vital that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Similarly, shopping mall landlords may seek court assistance if a tenant’s action or inaction has caused and will continue to cause harm to both the shopping mall’s visitors and other tenants. If this occurs, a shopping mall landlord will typically seek injunctive relief to avoid further harm to the shopping mall.
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