What to do if my father has been running a small grocery/liquor store for the past 10 years but the landlord is trying to evict him by spiking up the rent on the lease renewal?

The first year will increase by $1200 from its current price and each following year will increase by $1000. However, he was informed by one of his customers that there might be asbestos in flooring. The landlord had never informed my father of this. A technician came and took a sample. While we wait for the results, he has been extremely stressed with the possibility of asbestos and related health issues to exposure and the spiked rent prices for the new lease. Is it possible to sue for pain and suffering? Is there anything we could do about the increased rent?

Asked on August 18, 2013 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no recovery for "pain and suffering" in commerical contract/lease cases.

2) In a  commercial lease, when the lease expires or when an increase is otherwise permitted by the lease, the landlord may ask for any size increase he wants (limited only by any limitations or restrictions in a then-still-in-force lease); there is no protection against the landlord increasing the rent beyond affordable levels.

3) If there is absestos and if the lease continues, then the landlord may have to remediate (i.e. remove and correct) the absestos; however, if your father does not sign the lease renewal, that would be moot, since he will not be renting there, anyway.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.