An owner of a neighborhood shopping center (a.k.a. “strip mall”) leased to national and local businesses.
A national restaurant franchise vacated its leased space more than 36 months early, simply mailing the keys back to the landlord, our client.
The defaulting tenant was unwilling to communicate and refused to make an offer to pay any part of the unpaid lease obligations.
We filed suit on the client’s behalf, asking the court to rule early in the case that the tenant had breached the lease and was liable for some amount of damages. We asked the court to set firm deadlines and the earliest possible trial date (on the issue of damages), all in an attempt to:
- make litigation affordable for the client, and
- force the tenant to acknowledge its liability.
Just prior to the trial date — and earlier than in most similar cases — the defaulting tenant paid nearly all of the client’s claims, including attorney fees and costs.