Q: Covered business claim, landlord is forcing to evict because of utilities
I am a business owner, and my building had a covered claim under my landlords policy. A water heater broke. This happened in feb 2023. The insurance company refused my contractors, and used the ones they picked, along with the ones my landlord chose. The building is still not accessible in terms of working, I have a catering company. The landlord has just threatened to evict me because the utilities, which have been run up by her contractors has not been paid by her or the insurance company. I understand they have a right to choose their contractors, but they are saying I am responsible for bills because my contractors had access to the building. I don't care who they choose, but this has been going on since february. And suddenly she wants utilities? Lease is ambigious, and says Landlord has the right to termiante lease in the event of a covered loss. If the landlord chooses to repair then they are reponsible for repairs. What is the law?
The first step would be to look to the lease agreement. It should speak to what happens if there is a breach in the agreement and how to move forward from there. It may even speak to a situation where you are disallowed occupation of the property due to some repair work and what their duty is to provide an alternate space or accommodate you somehow.
Always look to the contract first, then if the contract is ambiguous you start looking at the law. Contract law is more about making the injured party whole or in the same position that they would have been, had the contract been fulfilled, so it isn't likely that you would be able to recover more than you can show in damages if you sue them, unless they are acting egregiously.
It isn't uncommon that they chose different people than your preferred contractors to work on property damages, that is pretty standard that they get to choose who they work with.
I hope this helps.
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