Should I have to pay salon booth rent for the days that I am not there if somebody else is using my booth?

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Should I have to pay salon booth rent for the days that I am not there if somebody else is using my booth?

I have been working at a salon for the past 6 months. It is a small salon with only 4 stations and we are all booth rent. The owner has decided that she is going to bring someone in and work at our stations while we are gone (whether it be vacations, weddings, etc). Is this legal?? I am paying my booth rent and now she can charge someone else for my space? I know I am new to the business but this seems off to me. There is a part in the lease agreement that they have the discretion to grant use of stations to any other person but if that’s the case, should I still have to pay for those days?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, when you rent space--whether an apartment, a store or warehouse, or booth space--that space is yours and the landlord cannot let anyone else use it, under any circumstances.

That can change if the lease allows the landlord to do this. Ideally, if the lease allows this, it would also state how any money is apportioned--e.g. the landlord and the renter split the other person's payments; the renter gets a credit back on rent for days when someone else is using the space; etc. If the lease does  not address this issue, then there is no general rule--in the event of a dispute, courts would try to determine, in the context of the agreement, relationship, etc., what the lease "should" have said. A good argument could be made that that either the landlord needs to, in some proportion, split the proceeds of the other rental with you or credit you back for those days, on grounds that otherwise, the landlord  is unjustly enriched and/or that you should not have to pay for rental for days when possession is granted to someone else; however, while these are good arguments that may prevail in court, again, there is no set or definite outcome here. Ideally, you and your landlord should work something out and put it into writing, to avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation.


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