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Recent Court Decisions Discussing Lease Audit Issues

Case:  SS Silberblatt, Inc. v. US Postal Service
(No. 98-16570, 2000 US App. Lexis 964 (9th Cir. January 21, 2000)

In this unpublished decision, the federal appeals court in California ruled that the tenant was never in default of its lease even though the tenant unilaterally offset rent to recover overpaid lease charges.
Under the lease, the tenant was required to pay its share of real estate taxes as additional rent. The landlord received a refund on account of the real estate taxes, but refused to credit the tenant for the refund. The tenant then offset rent in the amount of its share of the refund. The landlord subsequently sued for nonpayment of rent. The court ruled in favor of the tenant, holding that the refund served to reduce the additional rent and therefore the tenant was never in default.

Case:  Sheplers, Inc. v. Kabuto International Corporation

On August 6, 1999 a case was decided by the US District Court of Kansas between a landlord (Kabuto) and tenant (Sheplers) over common area maintenance charges. The tenant brought the action against the landlord for declaratory judgment and an accounting under the lease between the parties. The parties' dispute concerned whether certain costs were properly chargeable to tenant as common area maintenance charges under the lease.
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Case:  Hart v. Vermont Investment Limited Partnership,
667 A.2d 578 D.C.App. 1995
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Case:  Hellyer Communications, Inc. v. WRC Properties, 888 F.Supp. 94 (S.D.IN 1995)

In this case, tenant sued landlord to recover rent which tenant claimed to have overpaid under a 1984 lease which had been amended on several occasions by reason of the actual rentable area of its leased premises containing less space than the amount represented by landlord.
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Case:  MTS, Inc. v. 200 East 87th St. Associates, 899 F.Supp. 1180 (S.D.N.Y. 1995)
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Case:  In Re Arrow Mill Dev. Corp. 185 B.R. 190 (Bkrtcy.D.N.J. 1995)
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Case:  In Re Institute Place Associates, 1995 WL 137308 (Bankr.N.D.Ill. 1995)
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Case:  Saks & Company v. Swiss Bank Corporation, 1995 WL 11044 (S.D.N.Y. 1995)
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Case:  P. V. Properties v. Rock Creek Village Associates Limited Partnership, 77 Md. App. 77, 549 A.2d 403 (1988).
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