Next week, partners Greg Call and Jennifer Romano will present three courses to attendees at the National Retail Tenants Association National Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Greg is a long-time NRTA participant and presenter, and he received the NRTA Founders’ Service Award in 2007.  Greg will be teaching a course entitled “Read the Lease: Operating Cost

General Growth Properties has completed the spin-off of 30 shopping malls into a publicly traded real estate investment trust called Rouse Properties, the Chicago-based company announced.

The properties in question are scattered across 19 states and are located in either small U.S. cities or in what are viewed as second-tier centers in larger cities,

Simon Property Group was sued recently for using anticompetitive tactics to prevent key retailers from following through with lease agreements. Gumwood HP Shopping Partners LP alleges that Simon has a pattern of abusing its power to bully its tenants into complying with its wishes. The suit asserts Simon engaged in monopolization, attempted monopolization and restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act.
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Under many retail leases, the tenant is required to pay the landlord for electricity used to operate the retail store. Lease provisions regarding electricity charges are often complex or unclear, and provisions regarding how to allocate electricity use to each tenant and what rates to charge vary substantially. Often, retailers are charged for more electricity

Anyone who works with retail leases knows that leases are not all the same, and the parties cannot assume that cookie cutter language will meet all needs. However, if you work with leases in unusual locations, such as a theme park, the differences are even more significant and the impact on profitability can be staggering.
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As previously reported, Simon Property Group, Inc. recently acquired Prime Outlets Acquisition Company, LLC. This gained the attention of the FTC, which determined that the merger would result in reduction or elimination of competition among outlet centers in southwest Ohio; Chicago, and Orlando. Now, as part of a settlement with the FTC, Simon will divest some of its property and modify certain tenant leases.
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Traditionally, retail tenants have sought to include provisions in their leases explicitly giving them the right to audit landlords’ books, particularly with regard to common area maintenance (CAM) charges. However, case law suggests that a retailer may not be out of luck if its lease is silent as to audit rights. Tenants should also be aware that even where audit rights are set out in a lease, landlords often insert restrictive clauses that seek to limit tenants’ rights to recover overcharges in court.
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As shopping center occupancy rates have decreased, enforcing co-tenancy rights has taken center stage for retailers. The key to enforcing rights under a co-tenancy provision is to rely on the plain language of the lease.

For example, in the past year, courts in Michigan and Georgia have ruled in favor of Rainbow, USA in co-tenancy disputes based on the precise language of co-tenancy provisions in the leases. In both cases, the court relied on the plain language of Rainbow’s leases to hold that Rainbow was entitled to pay reduced rent based on the landlord’s failure to meet co-tenancy requirements under the lease.


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Like any charge under a retail lease, insurance charges can be the source of disputes between retail tenants and their landlords.  Special concerns arise when the landlord chooses to self-insure against certain risks.  It is not uncommon for a large landlord to self-insure at least a portion of its insurance obligations or for a landlord

Retail leases typically contain provisions allowing the landlord to charge the tenant a pro rata share of taxes paid by the landlord. The particular wording of the lease governs what the landlord can and cannot charge a tenant. Looking for ways to cut costs, more tenants are monitoring the taxes passed through by landlords and challenging certain charges.


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