Excessive heat, restrictive policies prompt tenant lawsuit

When considering the landlord/tenant relationship, many in Santa Cruz may only associate it with residential dwellings. Yet it should be remembered that many of the businesses that people frequent every day are in fact tenants renting commercial space. Just as residential landlords are responsible for ensuring that their units remain habitable, so too must a commercial landlord do all that is needed to provide a good working environment for its tenants. A failure in this regard affects its tenants’ bottom line, as clients, patrons and even employees may find frequenting such establishments unbearable. 

The proprietor of a recently reopened cocktail bar in New York’s famed Grand Central Station is claiming in a lawsuit that a failure to act by the local transit authority (which owns the space) has created such conditions in his establishment. He is claiming the malfunctioning air conditioning system has allowed temperatures to become so high as to be harmful to his business. Also mentioned in his lawsuit are the struggles he’s had in getting the transit authority to approve new signage, as well as the difficulty he has had in affording the fire marshals that the transit authority requires be present for private events. His issues are not news to the space’s previous tenant (also a cocktail bar owner), who claims he also had problems with the transit authority’s policies. 

While commercial tenants may agree to certain stipulations when they enter into a space, they may certainly not anticipate their landlords’ policies interfering with their businesses, nor having to deal with unhospitable conditions. Those who need to fight to ensure that their rights as tenants are not trampled upon may wish to work with an attorney to protect their interests. 

Source: The New York Post “Cocktail bar sues MTA for being a terrible landlord” Marsh, Julia, Jan. 23, 2018

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