Case Study

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., Wins Judgement for Commercial Landlord in Supreme Court Plenary Breach or Lease Action

Representing a commercial landlord in Supreme Court, Nassau County—after first obtaining possession of the premises in a summary proceeding—Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., obtained a judgment against a commercial tenant for breach of a lease agreement, based on the tenant’s failure to pay rent and additional rent. The court awarded damages both for the rent owed through the date the tenant vacated the premises and for the time period after vacating until a new tenant began paying rent for the premises. 

The tenant first unjustifiably stopped paying rent in the fall of 2018. We commenced a non payment proceeding. The tenant, through counsel, agreed to vacate the premises before expiration of the lease. However, as part of that agreement, we expressly carved out and reserved our client’s rights under the lease and did not release the tenant from its lease obligations. 

Without a guarantor of the lease, any monetary recovery would need to come from the tenant itself. Accordingly, after the tenant vacated, we tracked the tenant to its new location and monitored as the tenant continued to operate via the same business entity. Meanwhile, the landlord marketed the empty premises and, several months later, signed a lease with a new tenant. 

We then calculated all of the tenant’s rent obligations through the date that the new tenant began paying rent. These included base rent and additional rent in the form of real estate tax payments, water/sewer charges, a proportionate share of insurance charges, a proportionate share of monthly maintenance and service charges, and late fees. The lease also permitted the landlord to recover damages associated with abandoned property left behind by the tenant and expenses that the landlord incurred in restoring the premises to a specific condition, including, fixing physical property damage caused by the tenant. 

After application of the tenant’s security deposit, which the landlord retained, we commenced a Supreme Court breach of contract action. The tenant failed timely to answer the complaint. We moved for default judgment. By decision entered on April 22, 2020, the court granted our motion for the full amount sought, holding that, “Plaintiff established its entitlement to judgment in  the sum of $107,569.11, representing the rent charges . . . due under the lease and a first extension and amendment to the lease agreement and rider (see CPLR 3215[F]).”

Vladimir Mironenko represented the landlord in the summary proceeding and in the Supreme Court action. Marianne Sanchez assisted with motion practice. 

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