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What are the rights that a church has from the landlord.

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by HeatherP, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. HeatherP

    HeatherP Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The new landlord of our church is telling us that we can no longer have certain ministries in the church and then she took over a third of the rooms we had to operate in for her own business. It started as one room and that she would lessen the rent. Now however, she has taken 7 rooms and has not lowered the rent at all. The church doesn't have enough space left to operate as they had before. She has given a deadline for us to clear our items out of the church rooms that she wants. She wants a new lease written. The church is currently operating under the lease from the previous landlord. The new landlord is making new demands every day, requesting the church to move furniture, make changes, or work on the building. She interrupts church meetings, and comes into the building at will unannounced.
    What are the laws regarding the church's rights with this landlord.
     
  2. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    You probably want to start looking for new premises. You can battle it out with this person to the letter of the law, but it's pretty obvious that she wants you out and she will always be a problem.
    Your rights as a church are the same as any other tenant. Check the terms of your lease agreement.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Meaning what exactly?

    What is the term of the current lease (i.e., when does/did "the lease from the previous landlord" expire)?

    There are no laws specific to the relationship between a church and its landlord. There are, most certainly laws relating to commercial leases (which means leases for real property other than residential property), and you can find them by googling "ohio commercial landlord tenant laws."
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Ohio has a landlord tenant statute that applies to both commercial and residential but I doubt that reading it will be of any help to your church.

    2016 Ohio Revised Code :: Title [53] LIII REAL PROPERTY :: Chapter 5321 - LANDLORDS AND TENANTS

    Your landlady is bound by the lease she inherited from the former owners of the property. If your church elders want to inforce that lease, they will need to hire a lawyer.
     
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  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    All the answers above are good and I'll summarize succinctly. All your rights and remedies are contained within your existing lease. Review your lease, which contains your answers. Speaking to a landlord and tenant attorney may help but you can probably understand the most important lease terms yourself, such as the term and your right of renewal.

    If your landlord breached the terms then you may have damages and a position to negotiate for a remedy such as money damages. But your leverage and options will probably revolve around the length of your current lease. If you have an 8 year lease and your new landlord isn't happy (and so she's making a nuisance of herself), then you've got leverage and the right to stay for a meaningful period of time. But if you only have a short term left, e.g. 8 months, you really should consider looking for another place while considering what money damages you may be able to obtain to reduce the financial impact of your move - unless you can somehow agree to a renewal (assuming that you have no right to renew.)
     

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