Salt Lake City, UT asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Utah

Q: If commercial lease has no damages clause, what happens if tenant is not in space by date noted in lease? get damages?

Landlord did not have space ready by the time lease said. Can I get damages from them even though there is no language in the lease about what happens in this case and no language about damages whatsoever?

1 Lawyer Answer
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: In my opinion it would be difficult to persuade a Court that you should get damages. If the lease is silent on the matter, you would have to show detrimental reliance. Meaning, that they knew it would cost you if you didn't get the space on time, and that you relied on their representation that you would get the space on time.

For example, you were paying for space in a hangar and the nearest hangar from the one rented was 500 miles away and an additional $1,000/month and the hangar owner knew it and that you would have to take the plane to that hangar if you couldn't get the one you were contracted to receive.

If that happened then you would have shot at damages, but if you are opening up a store and you are suing for lost profits, the damages would be too hard to calculate and too speculative.

Typically when the timing is super important, the parties will put in language that deals with the possibility of not meeting deadlines.

I hope this informs your conversation on the matter.


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