• Landlord Wins Superstorm Sandy Rent Abatement Suit
  • May 13, 2013 | Authors: Meyer Last; Janice Mac Avoy; Michael Mandelstam; Jennifer A. Yashar
  • Law Firm: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP - New York Office
  • In what is believed to be the first decision in a commercial lease case arising out of the devastating losses to landlords and tenants from Superstorm Sandy, the Civil Court of New York County found that a retail tenant of a lower Manhattan property was not entitled to a rent abatement from its landlord based on the tenant’s loss of electricity following the storm. In Maiden Lane Properties v. Just Salad Partners, 056312/13, N.Y.L.J. 1202598292879 (Civ., NY, Decided April 29, 2013), landlord Maiden Lane Properties, LLC (“MLP”) sued tenant Just Salad Partners LLC (“Just Salad”) based on tenant’s failure to pay rent for the months of December and January. Just Salad alleged that its failure to pay rent was justified, claiming that it was entitled to a rent abatement because MLP had failed to provide it with electricity during that time period. Further, Just Salad alleged that the property’s commercial tenants were not permitted to use the generator that MLP had provided for the residential units at the property. Therefore, Just Salad purchased its own generator in early December, which allowed it to resume business operations, albeit with “occasional lack of power,” until it reconnected to the property’s electricity at the end of January. Id. at *2. Just Salad further claimed that it was entitled to the costs of renting the generator and of mitigating its damages as part of the rent abatement.