Legal Question in Business Law in California

Urgent Help Needed, Contract agreement not being honored

HI people, I was given a verbal contract by a relative to lease a spot on one of their properties. I moved, sold house, built business, put in all utilities.I was told I would get a 5yr lease. After moving and starting the permit process 1&half yrs ago, I am to open in 4wks. But my relatives now have a property mgmt company running their leases. The mgt co will now only give me a 2yr lease, with a month to month after that. I have invested $140,000.00 to date on this project so far. I would have never done this for a 2yr contract, the agreement was for 5yrs. My relative said not to worry they won't throw me out after the two years, but if they can't even honor the original lease agreement, how can I put any trust in them. Is there any legal action I can take to protect myself and recover my losses should I not recieve the original contract agreed upon, and there are witnesses who were present. This is an urgent time sensative matter, all responses appreciated! ASAP

Asked on 2/03/06, 12:29 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Ardzrooni Law Offices of Edward Ardzrooni

Re: Urgent Help Needed, Contract agreement not being honored

Because you have made such a heavy investment of money, skill, and time as a result of your reliance on your relative's promise, you doubtless have contractual recourse and rights against that relative, even though your agrement is not in writinig.

It will be easier to establish your rights (by negotiation, if at all possible, because court action should be a near last result) if there was agreement on how much the rent would be under the 5-year lease the relative promised.

It is important to decide whether to go ahead and open your business (probably should, now that you have gone this far), but that will depend on several factors.

Even though you have a kind of a "shocker" problem, it appears to me to be a problem within a fairly well defined set of facts. Good negotiating attitudes on your part and on the part of your representatives will probably pay off. This leasing company is obviously only an agent for your relative, and does the relative's bidding. vwen thoufh the leaing company might "posture" and put up an "iron front," its members might well be wise enough to want to keep your relative out of court by making a reasonable deal with you.

You definitely need the 5-year lease. Patient and persistent and diplomatic and very strong, non-capitulative negotiation should prove fruitful. You need to get going right away.

If you wish to consult me directly, please shoot me an e-mail, including your telephone number(s) and I will get back to you and discuss this with you. There will be no fee charge for your preliminary diswcussions with me.

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Answered on 2/03/06, 5:17 pm
Michael Olden Law Offices of Michael A. Olden

Re: Urgent Help Needed, Contract agreement not being honored

i both agree and disagree with mr. Ardzrooni. negotion is very well founded but just think of this. you have taken posititive steps and put in substqantial money inot this business and if you do not get what they have orally promissed you ---- then you shold take the aggressive stance and not only threten to but sue them for the moneny you put out at your expence!!! you could lose but based upon the facts you have given us in this brief paragraph you sound like you have a good set of facts. of course once you see an attorney in person and answer all his/her questions this might change a little or greatly --- don't forget stand your ground as they cannot bennifit from your controbutions to their property so don't give up .....

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Answered on 2/03/06, 7:59 pm
Gregory Cartwright The Cartwright Law Group, APLC

Re: Urgent Help Needed, Contract agreement not being honored

This is a difficult area of the law because all interests in real property OR agreements lasting more than a year are required to be in writing. It does not appear that yours is.

However, there are exceptions to every rule, including this one.

If you would like to drop me an email today with your contact information, perhaps we can discuss this further.

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Answered on 2/03/06, 12:55 pm
Matthew Mickelson Law Offices of Matthew C. Mickelson

Re: Urgent Help Needed, Contract agreement not being honored

It appears you may have had an oral contract to provide a lease, which may or may not be required to be in writing. This is a difficult situation, but you may have some remedies. Feel free to contact me if you wish.

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Answered on 2/03/06, 1:15 pm

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