Wednesday, December 25, 2013

May Centers, Inc. v. Paris Croissant of Enfield Square, Inc., Et Al. case brief

May Centers, Inc. v. Paris Croissant of Enfield Square, Inc., Et Al. case brief summary
599 A.2d 407 (1991)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff landlord brought an action against defendant corporate tenant to recover unpaid rent, common assessments, and attorneys fees pursuant to a lease between them, and the action also sought recovery from defendants, the individuals who acted as guarantors of the tenant's liability under the lease.

CASE FACTS
The parties entered into a 10-year lease, and the guarantors agreed to guarantee the lease payments for the first two years. The guarantors agreed to extend their liability for the duration of the lease if the tenant was in default of the lease during the first two years. The tenant normally paid rent after the 15th of each month. The tenant received notices of default on its rent payments after the two-year guaranty period had expired, and the landlord claimed that the tenant was in default during the month that the guaranty expired.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found in favor of the landlord as against the tenant and awarded the landlord the amounts due under the lease. 
  • The court found in favor of the guarantors in the landlord's claim against them, finding that the landlord did not prove that the tenant was in default of its rent prior to the expiration of the guaranty period. 
  • The court determined that the parties had established a course of conduct whereby the rent was accepted after the 15th of each month. 
  • The landlord's acceptance of the rent check after the 15th of the month during which the guaranty period expired discharged the rent and waived any right to claim default in that month.

CONCLUSION
The court entered judgment against the tenant and in favor of the landlord, awarding the landlord the claimed amounts due. The court entered judgment in favor of the guarantors on the landlord's claim against them.

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