The landlord of a large commercial space in the East Village consisting of a store front that spans half a city block and two basement spaces retained Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. after his tenant refused to pay rent. The tenant, a large food market and essential business, did not have to shut down by the governor’s executive order during the COVID- 19 crisis. The tenant hoped to withhold the rent during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic when owners were prohibited from bringing non-payment proceedings against commercial tenants to hedge for an amendment to the lease for a lower monthly rent. The anti-eviction laws and prohibition on commencing non-payment cases against commercial tenants have resulted in a large number of otherwise capable tenants taking advantage of these laws by not paying rent, knowing they will not face any immediate consequences due to court closures.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s landlord-tenant team, headed up by Dov Treiman and Carolyn Rualo, navigated around the anti-eviction laws and moved to terminate the tenancy for non-monetary defaults of the lease. The firm ultimately settled the case outside of the courtroom agreeing to a holdover period of 6 months, during which the tenant was permitted to restore the landlord’s faith and remain in possession of and operate its business, so long as it satisfied the arrears, paid ongoing use and occupancy during the holdover period, replenished the security deposit, and paid the landlord’s legal fees in full. If the tenant defaulted under the agreement, the owner could have moved to eject him. The underlying success was in bringing the tenant in full compliance of the lease to restore the relationship between the parties so that they can both flourish successfully from the space. Simultaneously, the lease was restructured and personally guaranteed by a new guarantor to replace the previous guarantor who was nearing retirement and no longer served to secure the lease.
Part of this success stemmed from Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. having sussed out the opposing party. This kind of research can lead to powerful settlements, even when the paralyzed court system puts landlords at such disadvantages. In this case, the research enabled Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to counter the tenant’s bluffed claim that it found better space and will leave the owner’s property vacant during a pandemic. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. saw through this façade and forced the tenant to come to the table with a deal fully advantaging the landlord
Through the help of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., our client achieved everything he had hoped, most importantly staying out of the courtroom and recovering his legal fees from the tenant.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s landlord-tenant team, headed up by Dov Treiman and Carolyn Rualo, won this case for their client.