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I feel I was mislead by my commercial landlord Modifying a Lease

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by jcorrales821, Apr 25, 2014.

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  1. jcorrales821

    jcorrales821 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Prior to signing the lease agreement, the property manager reassured me that I shouldn't have any problems in getting my permits because the previous tenant fell under the same type of business (fitness facility). Upon signing the leasing agreement, I proceeded in obtaining my business license and when I went to apply for the certificate of use, they told me I needed to apply for a building permit because it's a change of use of the space. I explained that there was a fitness facility there and that I was not going to make any alterations to the space whatsoever. Yet it turns out the previous tenant had been operating their business as an office not a fitness facility. Now, I am required to get a building permit plus hire an architect in order to submit floor plans. I was not ready for this. Apparently, it'll cost me thousands of dollars which I didn't account for. Can the landlord be held accountable for misleading me? It turns out they haven't rented the space in 4 years. I suspect other people encountered similar issues. Now I'm stuck paying the rent for a business I can't operate because of this issue. I've invested a lot of money, effort and time and now I don't know what to do. I don't have $7,000 to pay an architect. What options and/or rights do I have?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    From the wording, "shouldn't" does mean "will".

    That aside, did you research before you bought?
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Can the landlord be held accountable for misleading me? NO, because if it wasn't in writing, he won't admit to saying what you heard.

    Your options are to pay the rent for the space you leased. If you fail to pay, you're likely to be sued for non-payment of rent, pursuant to an eviction proceeding.

    In any business lease, it's best to get EVERYTHING in writing, and have the lease reviewed by YOUR attorney before signing it.


    Just an FYI, in the future you could attempt to secure a ease contingent upon getting the proper licensing, or pay several hundred dollars as an option to hold the property until your licenses have been secured.

    If the LL made promises he couldn't grant, such as telling you the city would grant you the license, I suspect it isn't actionable, anyway.
    But, you, as is anyone, remain free to bring a tort action for detrimental reliance. I don't see that going very far, even if you hired a lawyer for another $5,000 to bring such a lawsuit. You're also free to bring it pro se.

    It takes six to eight months in my county to get such a matter heard.
    By heard, I mean motions heard.
    The case might not be resolved for three to six months beyond that.
    Then the fun begins.
    I suspect that means superior court for you, because its district court in Texas.

    I'm sure in California, it's that or more.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

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