Can our old store landlord come after us if the new store tenant that took over our location doesn’t pay their rent?

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Can our old store landlord come after us if the new store tenant that took over our location doesn’t pay their rent?

We rented a retail location and had a lease which ended this year. We closed our business and a new owner opened up a store in our location and signed a lease with the landlord for this year. Our landlord says our lease is still valid though too and has informed us that if the new tenant doesn’t pay one of the rent payments, he will come after us for the unpaid rent. Is that legal since he has a lease with the new tenant? Wouldn’t his new lease make ours void? How can you have 2 leases for the same location?

Asked on April 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can't have two leases for the same rental property.  That would definitely be illegal.  If your lease ended as you say then so did your obligation to pay.  But at this point in time all you should do is sit and wait and see what happens and if he does in fact sue you, take it to an attorney to look at - contract and suit papers - and send him a letter advising him of the true facts.  Good luck.


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