Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Court reviews whether a landlord had a duty under a commercial lease to repair a tenant's leaky roof

C.F. PROPERTY, LLC v. RACHEL SCOTT ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. September 27, 2011)

This is a landlord-tenant dispute involving commercial property with a known and disclosed "leaky roof." The lease states that the "property" is leased "as is where is." In an email sent prior to the execution of the lease, the landlord stated it would "talk about" repairing the roof after the first year. The leakage increased dramatically after the first year. The tenant began withholding rent.

The landlord filed an unlawful detainer action and the tenant filed a counterclaim for damages resulting from the leaky roof. A bench trial ensured. The court held that, by telling the tenant it would "talk about" repairing the roof, the landlord misrepresented that the roof was repairable when the landlord knew it could not be repaired, and that the landlord had a duty under the lease to repair the roof. The landlord appeals. We reverse the judgment and remand for a determination of the damages due the landlord under the lease.

Opinion available at: