Q: Question on Retail Lease
I am a small business owner that has a five year lease with two additional five year lease options. We are currently coming to an end of our first five year lease option and will expire on January 31, 2019. We have informed landlord that we would like to exercise our second five year lease option within time frame of the existing contract and they came back telling us that they are not going to renew, no reason given. We have met all of our obligations to them and no where in the contract does it say that they can refuse renewal for any reason, only that they can change the lease rate to fair market value. Do we have any recourse for this? Thank you for your time.
A: Your option to renew is an enforceable contract right. So long as you have complied fully with the notice requirements and are not in default on the lease, it is your unilateral right to renew at the rates set by the lease.
If your position is valid then if you remain past the end of the current term the landlord would have to file a lawsuit and seek an order of eviction. But if you have validly renewed the lease then you should be able to defeat that eviction action.
You could go to court first by filing a case seeking a declaration from the court of your right but I would advise that you first retain an attorney to help you address this with letters and discussion with the landlord. Other terms may be negotiated in your favor in connection with the renewal.
A: File a lawsuit. If you have a contract and the other party refuses to honor the contract you take them to court and ask a judge to either make them do what they said they would do or to give you damages.
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