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Rights of Commercial Tenants & Yellowstone Injunctions

Rights of Commercial Tenants & Yellowstone Injunctions

Although a commercial tenants lack some fundamental protections afforded to residential tenants, this does not mean that commercial tenants have no rights with regard to conditions and services.

If conditions get bad enough, and this does happen, a commercial tenant is entitled to break their lease; for example, if the building is destroyed or damaged without fault of the tenant so it becomes "unfit for occupancy," a commercial tenant, depending on the lease provision, may have the right to surrender possession of all or part of its rental space and be relieved of further liability to pay rent, in whole or part.

Another issue is uninterrupted building services, which can be crucial for a commercial tenant's business. A business may be hampered severely if a leak is destroying merchandise or if it cannot use its freight elevator.

When a lease contains a provision for an essential service, any landlord that intentionally fails to provide a service that is necessary for the customary use of a building, then the conduct may be considered a criminal violation.

Commercial tenants do have legal and equitable rights and remedies when seeking repairs and services from a landlord, especially when defending a summary eviction proceeding.

When a landlord is seeking to terminate a lease because of a claimed default by the tenant, the tenant can ask the New York Supreme Court for a Yellowstone injunction. For example, the landlord serves the tenant a notice to cure because of an alleged violation of the lease terms.

In order to prevent the landlord from prematurely terminating the lease, the tenant may go to court to seek the Yellowstone injunction and a temporary restraining order.

With the Yellowstone injunction, the tenant is given the right to cure the alleged default, without the notice to cure expiring. Without this injunction, the notice of cure can expire before the judge has the opportunity to determine whether the tenant was in default or not, thus the landlord could terminate the lease.

If you are a commercial tenant in a commercial building, and your landlord has served you with a notice to cure some alleged violation of your commercial lease, and demands that such cure be effected within a specified period of time, or threatening that the landlord will commence legal proceedings for your eviction from your commercial space, it is critical that you take action immediately.

We can help you assert your rights to occupancy of, and rights in, your existing commercial space. We are experts at Yellowstone injunctions and the rights of commercial tenants and are prepared to assist you.

Don't delay. Contact the Law Office of Steven R. Sutton, Esq., 630 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017, for assistance and a free consultation. Call (212) 696-0090 or email us at We will fight for your rights! "The Law Firm with a Heart!"


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