Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Maryland

Breaking a Commercial Lease

What is the worse case scenario for breaking my commercial lease in year three out of five. The landlord has refused to respond to our requests to repair the airconditioing unit insisting that it is our responsiblility to pay. In addition our business has changed such that the space we are renting no longer fits into our business model. So we are planning to leave. What is the worse case scenario for action taken against me?

Asked on 10/31/02, 12:17 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Ranji Garrett Law Office of Ranji M. Garrett
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Re: Breaking a Commercial Lease

I agree with the earlier response to your question that probably what the worst case scenario is is that the remaining rent will be accelerated, and the landlord will probably be able to recover attorneys fees and costs to boot. However, the first step to answering this question is to look at the lease (or, have an attorney review it for you) to see what the lease says will happen if its terms are breached. Many leases say that the remaining rent will come due, but that is not necessarily what your lease reads. So, you should take a careful look at the lease to see what it says about the penalties for a breach, or have an attorney look at it for you to give you some further details about what could happen based upon your particular lease and factual situation. Depending on how the lease reads, you may have an argument that it was the landlord's responsibility to maintain the premises in a certain fashion, including to repair the air conditioning, and therefore the landlord was in fact the person who breached the lease, perhaps giving you an excuse to move out.

Ranji Garrett

301-296-4474

Disclaimer: Please note that the posting of this response is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain information applicable to your situation. This posting is not confidential or privileged and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Answered on 10/31/02, 6:55 pm
Daniel Press Chung & Press, P.C.
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Re: Breaking a Commercial Lease

They accellerate the remaining rent and sue you for it - the full rent, plus attorneys fees and court costs. In a commercial lease in MD, the courts have not recognized any duty for the landlord to find a replacement tenant.

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Answered on 10/31/02, 12:53 pm

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