Breach of a Commercial Lease Agreement

Business Cards Overnight, Inc. doing business as Wholesale Printing Specialists v. Salvatore N. Lupoli and Nicholas A. Lupoli, Jr. As Trustees of The Riverwalk Realty Trust, II doing business a Riverwalk Partners, LLC and John S. Crowe, As Trustee of Riverwalk Realty Trust doing business as Riverwalk Development. Essex Superior Court, C.A. No. 2008-1867. This is an action for breach of a commercial lease in which G & P represented the Plaintiff/Tenant. The Plaintiff rented certain commercial space from the Defendant landlord. When negotiating a new lease with the Defendant/Landlord, the Plaintiff/Tenant realized that it had been overpaying its rent and trash removal costs since the inception of its tenancy, because it had been paying for 7,556 square feet of space when it only had 6,427.97 square feet of total space. An architect’s measurements of the usable square feet of space at the subject premises showed that there was only 6,427.97 square feet of usable space at the subject premises. While the lease provided for 7,556 square feet of rentable space, the rent calculation per year was a flat rate and the lease did not specifically provide that it was based upon square footage. The key issue in the case, upon which the Defendant/Landlord moved to dismiss upon is whether Plaintiff’s breach of lease claim seeking reimbursement of rent paid must fail as the lease is for a flat fixed fee amount regardless of the amount of square footage. The Plaintiff filed a cross motion for summary judgment seeking reimbursement of overpayment of rent based upon a breach of contract theory. G & P obtained summary judgment as to liability on behalf of its client and the matter is to be scheduled for an assessment of damages hearing.

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