Yes, Even Law Firms Can Be Subject to Hardcore Real Estate Laws

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on November 25, 2013

Rental agreements are ironclad – no room for interpretation, negotiation or ignorance. Such is the case for the English Court of Appeal’s case of a 1989 lease with the firm Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood. Apparently, the landlord, 1301 Properties Owner, had an issue stipulated in 10 pages worth of a 17-page complaint, claiming that there was still some unpaid rent amounting to $1.6MM in costs.real estate agents

The problem here, with the 450-partner law firm, now defunct, is that they’re currently not operating in that building. In fact, as already alluded to in here, they’re not operating at all. Since then, they’ve closed up shop. That, however, doesn’t nullify the rental agreement, as the law firm is apparently responsible for a hefty $45.5MM on the lease, a lease set to expire way out in 2020. Yes, even if you’re no longer living in a building, if the lease is set on a particular contract, you may be required to honor that contract completely.

As it stands, though, the landlord is only currently seeking the unpaid rent, apparently. However, the interesting thing about real estate law is the offset of costs due to new tenants. Liability is only an issue if the property currently has no tenancy. In this case, 1301 Properties Owner has a new tenant for that building; therefore, the liability against the law firm decreases.

Ironically enough, the new tenant is another law firm! Chadbourne & Parke LLC will be taking up shop in that particular building. Let’s just hope they do a lot better than the prior law firm and don’t get potentially stuck with having to pay dues for a place they no longer reside in.

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