1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Slumlord vs tenant Breaking a Lease

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by jmonte, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. jmonte

    jmonte Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    About a year ago I signed a lease on a commercial property to operate my car dealership I was starting. The property came with 2 buildings, 1 was the main storefront to sell cars from and the other was a garage about 3/4 the size of the main. Both buildings were vital to my business as one was for sales and the other was to conduct the service and warranty work from. Stated in the lease said I started rent payments for main building in March 17 and rear building started may 1 2017 for the reason being is had to get his stuff out and finish general power and lighting. May 1st comes and his stuff is out but that's it, also come to find out the building is not complete. There were no interior walls just insulation and that was only 50% complete. When it rained the water would run down inside the structure being soaked up by the insulation at which time the insulation would come filing out. Also no lights were installed, I had to install some temporary lights and plug them into the one working outlet wired in the entire building. To add on top of that he left live exposed wires just sticking out from the frame work. I contacted him several times at least 1-2 times a month for 6 months and every time he fed me some bullshit. During this time the building had been vandalized and vandals broke the door lock making it useless. 1.5 month after informing him of the useless doors he showed up on the 1st of the Month for rent. At that time he took the door apart leaving a hole where the lock was suppose to be and proceeded to tell me to go buy a new one. No where in the lease does it state tenant is responsible for vandalism, actually States the contrary. When he tells me to go buy a new lock and asks for the rent I proceed to vent my frustration on the rear building, keep in mind I'm only able to operate at 50% capacity since my shop is not to code. Making a long story short I tell him he needs to replace the lock that's it's not my responsibility. So he storms out and leaves, leaving my business and my customers private information vulnerable to being stolen since I now have a hole where the lock once was. Later that night we texted me saying it was going to be a week before the new lock came in. I was forced to stay until close to midnight trying to secure these double doors. This pettiness went on the rest of the year with breaches of the lease the entire way on his part, to my belief. Well it's the end of the year and my business is failing because i cant open the shop without putting my customers in harm's way. So I dont and instead I give him my 30 day notice December 1st. No he is threatening to take me to court for unpaid remainder of the lease but no where in the lease does it state the penalty for breaking the lease nor did it say the penalty for not paying rent by the 5th of the Month , which is time allowed by state law in New Mexico. Keep in mind this lease was only 5 pages and was a preprinted template. So my question is do I have the law in my favor on counter suing him for reimbursement on all rent paid since I never got what was agreed in the lease and landlord breaching almost every paragraph of release in some way or another? Does he have a case in winning the remainder payments of the lease since he breaches it from month 3 of a 3 year lease? Please help and inform me if I have a case or if you think he does and I'm screwed. I think I need a lawyer either way though. Any advice will be appreciated. I've attached pictures of the damaged door , the unsafe and unfinished garage and of the entire lease. IMG_1508.JPG IMG_1510.JPG IMG_1506.JPG IMG_1502.JPG IMG_1403.JPG IMG_1500.JPG auploads.tapatalk_cdn.com_20180218_088ddab0d7e3ddf1929da27d62257e1b.jpg auploads.tapatalk_cdn.com_20180218_17bd063b1a46a0dcb9bcfdb8fede36c4.jpg auploads.tapatalk_cdn.com_20180218_a7143bbeb6f53044ff29e19eedd5f710.jpg auploads.tapatalk_cdn.com_20180218_b8dd87d753af5b8c8f1d23186e2e1541.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    10,344
    Likes Received:
    1,528
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I didn't read over your lease, but it sounds to me like you will probably be able to get away from this law pretty easily.
    Reimbursement of your paid rent is probably not going to happen though, but that doesn't mean you can't try. The argument will be that you would not have paid the rent if not satisfied with the conditions. You had ways to address these issues months ago.
     
  3. jmonte

    jmonte Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I did address these issues months prior. The first time, which was mid july i believe,he said it would be another month. So I took that as mid Sept, Sept came and passed and now it was beginning October. I mentioned it again, at that time he gold me there was flooding in Georgia so it put production behind and it was going to be another month. He didn't know thought that his handyman told me what he told him and that he had no money and needed me to pay rent again in order to get the materials. He also hired the handyman for the work and when it never happened handyman called him and asked him what was going on. At that time is when he told him he had no money. I guess beside the point really.
    Paragraph 16, it mentions damage not caused by tenant leaving tenant substantially deprived of use of property, tenant not due to owe rent. Could that be used to lay back rent payments? Since I was deprived of use of rear building. What a out when he never came and fixed the lock for a month and half and I had no access to my building through those doors.
    Also does it look like he has a case to collect the remainder payments if the lease.
    Seriously I could go through ever paragraph of the lease and give a time when he breach each and every line.

    Lastly how do I go about contacting a lawyer. I don't have much money now at all and am on the verge of filing for bankruptcy because I sank my entire savings in getting my dream up and running.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    10,344
    Likes Received:
    1,528
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Am attorney will cost you more than you will likely ever be paid from this. If you intend to make a claim your best route is through small claims. You are given a lot of leeway in small claims. If you can organize your argument reasonably well and support it with documentation then you may have a chance.
    You might at least visit a local attorney for a consultation, but I suspect you will have a hard time trying to recover anything from this. It would have been better to take action months ago and never have paid the rent at all.
     

Share This Page