Do I sue the tenant or landlordif the landlord allows the same type ofbusiness in the same plaza?

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Do I sue the tenant or landlordif the landlord allows the same type ofbusiness in the same plaza?

There is no non-compete clause in our lease.

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You answered your own question, when you wrote "there is no non-compete clause in our lease." The law generally does not in any way restrict what busineses may be in a given mall or plaze--you could have 2, 3, 10, or 50 competing businesses in a row.

Any limitations must be those imposed by contract, including lease--i.e. if the landlord contractually agreed to not rent to businesses that compete with you, then you could enforce that contract against the landlord. But in the absence of a non-competition clause of some kind in the lease (the contract between tenant and landlord), there is no basis for a lawsuit or liabilty.

Similarly, there is no basis for a lawsuit or liability against the other busiess: they have no obligation to not compete with you, and have not broken any laws by doing so. In the United States. business may not sue other businesses simply because they compete--even if they compete next door. (Consider: how often have you seen car dealerships next to each other? Gas stations on two corners of the same intersection? McDonalds near Wendy's or Burger King? Etc.)


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