If for the past year I leased a retail space and the lease says the store is 1172 s.f. but I just found out that it is only 1105, can I get the money back?

The difference is 66.3 s.f. at .95 cents a s.f. After 12 months that adds up. Am I able to ask the landlord to pay me in full immediately and can I collect any type of additional fees for monies lost, like late charges?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were not leased the amount of space that was represented to you that you would have or which was specified in the lease, you should a claim for a proportionate return of the monies paid as well as to reform (or correct) the lease to reduce the rent going forward. From what you write, you appear to understand how to calculate the money likely owed you. You can recover the rent and also any other payments directly traceable to the error or mistatement in the square footage. For example, say you have a late fee equal to 10% of your rent. For each time you paid that late fee, you would have overpaid, and would seem to be able to recover that portion of the late fee related to the excess rent for the "missing" square footage.

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