Can I get out of my commercial lease if circumstances at my current location have been detrimental to my business?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2010

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Can I get out of my commercial lease if circumstances at my current location have been detrimental to my business?

4 months ago I opened a massage studio, 1 month ago my neighbor who owns the fruit shop next door (we are in a small 4 plex unit) had about 8 DEA cars show up and take her and her workers to jail for selling heroin. 1 week later she returns, I have some clients that know her that won’t come back they say for there safety because she “snitched”. This also was placed on-line, 1 of my major promoting sites and now new clients do not want to come in saying they feel unsafe.

Asked on July 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the other store is owned by the landlord, you may have grounds to get out of the commercial lease, since the landlord would be interfering with your business. However, if the other tenant (the neighbor) is independent of or not connected to the landlord, it is very unlikely that this would provide grounds to terminate the lease. The landlord is not responsible for the criminal actions of this tenant, any more than he is responsible if the area generally experienced an upsurge in crime, or if a competitor moved in across the street, or the city closed off the roads for repairs. If the landlord is complying with his obligations, the actions  of another party will probably not provide grounds to break the lease.

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 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.

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