Landlords gain an inch…literally, as Top Court “modernizes” Feudal Common Law “one inch rule”

The decision carves out an exception to the “one inch” rule, a vestige of feudal common law that allows for a full rent abatement if a landlord takes even one inch of a leased property. Ciparick said the court’s ruling was in line with more modern interpretations of real estate law.

Looks like this issue hails from back in the day when real estate landowners were actually “lords” and everyone else was a  “vassal” (serf?). Congratulations on your win after all these centuries, guys.

This from Thompson Reuters, Feb 21, 2012:

“ALBANY, N.Y., Feb 21 (Reuters) – Finding an exception to a longstanding real estate rule, New York’s top court has held that a minimal encroachment by a landlord upon a tenant’s space does not justify a rent abatement.

In a 6-1 decision released Tuesday, the Court of Appeals ruled that Eastside Exhibition Corp, which operates City Cinema on East 86th Street, was not entitled to a rent abatement after its landlord made renovations that took up 12 square feet of the two-story, 19,000-square foot movie theater.

“We recognize that there can be an intrusion so minimal that it does not prescribe such a harsh remedy (as rent abatement),” Judge Carmen Ciparick wrote for the court.

The decision carves out an exception to the “one inch” rule, a vestige of feudal common law that allows for a full rent abatement if a landlord takes even one inch of a leased property. Ciparick said the court’s ruling was in line with more modern interpretations of real estate law.

“Given…modern realities that a commercial lessee is free to negotiate appropriate lease terms, we see no need to apply a rule derived from feudal concepts,” she wrote…”

http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/New_York/News/2012/02_-_February/High_court_carves_out_exception_to_rent_abatement_rule/

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