The landlords of New York properties may hope that the relationships they share with their tenants will eventually evolve into friendships. Feeling such closeness may make the business matters inherent with their relationships to become mere formalities. Yet such arrangements are often not possible, especially when dealing with commercial properties. The complexities of operating a business often require tenants to ask a lot of their landlords, or may even prompt them to renegotiate their agreements to reflect changes with their companies. In such a situation, handling matters informally may inevitably lead to disputes.
An ice cream parlor owner in Massachusetts was apparently forced to learn this lesson the hard way. The woman and her husband opened the location in the late 1970’s and established a business there. That business was later sold, and has since changed hands again to new owners, who became involved in a lease dispute with the landlord in 2017. The new business owners had been presented with a new lease earlier, yet did not agree to the terms. They then sued the landlord for not allowing them to renegotiate before leasing the space to a new company. They also claim that provision of their previous lease should have allowed them to buy the building. Their lawsuit, however, was ultimately dismissed.
The landlord’s daughter has since stated that her parents had often negotiated lease agreements informally, thus implying that to have potentially been the reason for this recent dispute. Given the stress that can come from lease disputes and the time that they can take be resolved, one might be better served by relying on a formal, well-researched process when setting up lease agreements. An attorney may prove to be a valuable asset to rely on during such a process.