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By Annabelle Hentz, Law Clerk The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recently upheld a Superior Court’s ruling that rent acceleration clauses are enforceable by commercial landlords against defaulting commercial tenants. Rent acceleration clauses allow for unpaid rent to constitute liquidated damages when a tenant defaults— regardless of the amount of unpaid lapsed time. Case Background […]

Most astute entrepreneurs will avoid running a business as a sole proprietor or as part of a partnership and opt to limit their personal liability by forming a separate entity to operate the business. A corporation or a limited liability company (“LLC”) is often the best vehicle to shield the business owner’s personal assets from […]

After a summary process trial before him (without a jury), a Superior Court judge recently held that a commercial landlord could not evict a tenant despite proving the tenant had repeatedly breached provisions in the lease because the breaches were not material. While the facts in making this decision were unique and specific to this […]

Jon Friedmann recently represented Robert DeVoe as both trustee of R&M Realty Trust and individually in a case tried in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts (Lassman v. DeVoe, No. 18-01192, 2022). The case involved a commercial lease between Nouhad B. Bechara and Mona M. Bechara (“the debtors”) and R&M Realty […]

Given the effects of Covid-19, the commercial real estate market has been interesting for commercial landlords and tenants alike. Landlords and tenants are both trying to evaluate the immediate and long-term future of their leased premises. Many landlords and tenants are taking advantage of the current market in an effort to better their long-term positions […]

UMNV 205-207 Newbury, LLC (referred to as “UMNV”) leased its Newbury Street location to Caffe Nero Americas, Inc. (referred to as “Caffé Nero”) for a 15-year term starting June 1, 2017. The lease stipulated that Caffé Nero was to use the leased premises “solely for the operation of a Caffé Nero themed café under Tenant’s […]

Two recent decisions from the Massachusetts Housing Court revisited and clarified the importance of procedural details to landlords seeking to evict tenants. While the procedures reviewed dealt with residential evictions, the message is equally important in commercial settings. The first step to commencing an eviction is to provide the tenant with notice of his or […]

by George Georgountzos A lease functions as the basis of the contractual agreement between the landlord and tenant, outlining the parties’ obligations to each other. When disputes arise, parties, counsel and courts look to the lease as the starting point in determining what the parties agreed to and whether there has been a breach. Peculiar […]

by George Georgountzos Landlords who lease residential units face new challenges in dealing with legalized marijuana use. Legal use of medicinal marijuana has been around for a while and Massachusetts courts have addressed issues about offering reasonable accommodations for individuals who are prescribed marijuana under a doctor’s care. Now that Massachusetts has legalized recreational use […]

by Robert P. Rudolph According to the US Census Bureau, there are nearly one million renter-occupied housing units in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is estimated that 75 percent of rental units are owned by small property owners who do their own management instead of contracting it out. When a new tenant moves in, it […]

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