Bellevue Properties, LLC v. United Retail, Inc.

1999 Tenn. App. LEXIS 800 (1999)

 

RULE:

In Tennessee, upon abandonment by a tenant, the suffering landlord is required to mitigate the damages suffered. This duty is to do what is fair and reasonable under the circumstances to reduce the landlord's damages. The burden is on the breaching party to show a landlord's failure to so mitigate.

FACTS:

United Retail, Inc. leased commercial property from Bellevue Properties, LLC. The term of the lease was 11 years. After less than 3 years, United Retail, Inc. vacated the property and ceased paying rent, without notifying Bellevue Properties, LLC. Bellevue Properties, LLC eventually found another tenant to rent the space to, but sued for the amount that it lost under the contract with United Retail, Inc. The trial court awarded Bellevue Properties, LLC the entire rent United Retail, Inc. owed, minus the amount that Bellevue Properties, LLC received from the new tenant. United Retail, Inc. appealed. The appellate court affirmed.

ISSUE:

Is a landlord compelled to cap his lease offer at the rental given to the breaching tenant in order to mitigate his damages as much as possible?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Upon abandonment by a tenant, the suffering landlord is required to mitigate the damages suffered. This duty is to do what is fair and reasonable under the circumstances to reduce the landlord's damages. The common law of this jurisdiction does not compel a landlord to cap his lease offer at the rental given to the breaching tenant. Bellevue Properties, LLC attempted to relet the premises. It advertised the premise at regional trade shows. The property in question was shown to four different prospective tenants. Therefore, reasonable efforts to mitigate the damages were taken.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.