The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to a plethora of executive orders and judicial memoranda that prohibit owners from enforcing their contractual rights against commercial tenants in default of their lease. Many New York City owners, in the exercise of good business sense and compassion, worked out deals with tenants during these harsh economic times. However, an owner’s hands are tied by a commercial tenant that refuses to communicate with its landlord towards structuring a resolution where both parties can survive the temporary, economic downturn that the pandemic struck across New York City. With what seemed like an unattainable goal in its prospect, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., strategized a resolution to relieve the constricted owner. After careful re-examination of the law on exercising self-help against a commercial tenant, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. created a step by step process to guide an owner on how to peacefully and successfully execute a self-help eviction of commercial tenants during the pandemic, without litigation and without violating any executive order or judicial directive.
While the strategy does not apply in every tenancy, the firm’s process is proven effective and was even tested as early as the morning after a commercial landlord-client, under our guidance, reentered and took possession of its space overnight. The tenant repeatedly contacted the New York City Police Department who reportedly went to the premises the next day and several times over the two ensuing weeks. The police department threatened to arrest the landlord though when that heat came on, we educated and convinced the officers that the issues are civil, non-criminal matters that must be resolved in court and most importantly cannot be resolved by an arrest. Ultimately, the landlord cooperated with the tenant and allowed supervised access for the tenant to obtain certain equipment that belonged to the tenant.
Adam Leitman Bailey, Dov Treiman and Carolyn Z. Rualo of Adam Leitman Bailey represented the landlord in this matter.