Property in New York can be hard to come by, and one man says he tried to lock his interest down in a mixed-use building by signing a lifetime lease. He claims he is entitled to the third floor of the building. However, he says that the landlord is attempting to ignore the contract and cheat him out of the lease.
Documents regarding the case recently made their way to the New York State Supreme Court.
The building used to be owned by a company called Extell Development, but they sold it in 2013 for $8.7 million to the current landlord. The lawsuit says that the sale agreement noted that Extell would get to lease the third floor forever. It says that, when the tenant who was leasing it at the time left, the landlord wouldn't market the third floor at all, but would simply inform Extell that it was open.
However, that third floor is now open and at least part of it has hit the market. The lawsuit says that the landlord is trying to get around the agreement by saying the developer only gets to lease part of the space, rather than the whole floor, and that the rest can still be rented out.
This case shows how important it is for both sides to fully understand all of the fine print in any purchase agreement. Contracts can be written up in non-traditional ways, as this one allegedly was, and can lead to legal disputes if all parties don't know precisely what that will mean going forward. When a contract is breached, there are legal options, such as asking the court for an injunction.
Source: The Real Deal, "Gary Barnett says Noho building landlord is trying to cheat him out of lifetime lease," Kathryn Brenzel, Sep. 26, 2016