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Itkowitz PLLC Obtained Summary Judgment Voiding a Commercial Lease Entered into by a Receiver of a Property, which was then in Foreclosure

On April 20, 2016, Itkowitz PLLC obtained summary judgment voiding a commercial lease ab initio entered into four years prior by a receiver of a commercial property, which was then in foreclosure. 

The order appointing the receiver specifically limited the receiver’s ability to lease the commercial space for periods no longer than one year.  Nonetheless, the receiver gave the commercial tenant a five-year lease with a five-year option to renew.  

In February 2015, our client purchased the building out of foreclosure and immediately sought to arrange for the commercial tenant to vacate the space.  The commercial tenant refused to vacate.  The client then filed a declaratory judgment complaint, seeking to declare the subject lease to be void as the lease resulted from the Receiver exceeding his authority without prior court approval.  The commercial tenant filed an answer and after a period of unfruitful discussions over a number of months, our client sought our assistance to resolve the problem.  

We immediately diagnosed that a motion for summary judgment needed to be made.  We did so and the tenant cross moved for summary judgment.  On April 20, 2016, The Honorable Justice Sylvia Ash, J.S.C., granted our motion for summary judgment declaring the lease invalid, directing that the tenant pay use and occupancy from the date our client purchased the property and going forward until eviction, and directed that tenant allow our client reasonable access to inspect and maintain the property.

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