Have Landlord’s Repairs Caused a Constructive Eviction?

So, here’s the scoop: a commercial landlord and tenant had a bit of a showdown in court, trying to figure out if the landlord’s actions ruined the tenant’s business and if the landlord’s repairs caused a constructive eviction. Let’s take a closer look at how this played out.

Both sides tried to get some pre-trial injunctive relief, but the court shut them down. The tenant said, “Hold up, I think I got pushed out without actually getting pushed out.” It turns out that the landlord was supposed to do some repairs without wrecking the tenant’s business operations. But get this – during some fancy façade work, the landlord accidentally turned the place into an icebox, with burst pipes and all. They sometimes forgot to lock up, so random vagrants even came in and slept on the bottom floor.

The court said, “Hmm, seems like there’s some real issues in play and some drama here.” And even though the landlord told the tenant had bailed ages ago before the repairs, the court wasn’t buying it. The tenant still had stuff on the premises, checked in now and then, kept the place insured, and paid rent. So, is this a constructive eviction claim? Still up in the air. For a commercial tenant, unlike a residential one, the tenant has to move out of the premises to allege a constructive eviction. Severely damaging the standard operations of the business will not suffice if it remains open.

As the case progressed, the landlord was trying to hustle for legal fees and other expenses, but the court said, “Let’s wait and see how this plays out first and whether the landlord’s repairs caused a constructive eviction.”

So, in the end, the court said, “Yeah, we’re not making any moves just yet.” Talk about a rollercoaster, right?