Schieber and Tare Secure Victory for Good Guy Guarantor

April 18, 2019 | Joshua M. Tare | Evan R. Schieber | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Commercial Litigation

Rivkin Radler scored a significant victory on behalf of a guarantor under a commercial lease, with important implications for commercial tenants and landlords that may be negotiating commercial leases.  311 West 43rd Venture, LLC v 15th Floor Media LLC et al, Supreme Court, Index No. 650851/2018, involved a dispute over the proper interpretation of the meaning and scope of a guaranty under a commercial lease.  After the tenant vacated the premises, the landlord sued both the tenant and the guarantor, claiming that under the terms of the guaranty, the guarantor remained responsible for all damages due after the tenant vacated the premises.  The guarantor argued that both the intent  and plain meaning of the guaranty was to limit the guarantor’s liability to only pre-surrender obligations.   Finding that landlord’s interpretation of the guaranty “makes little sense,” the Court rejected the landlord’s attempt to expand the guarantor’s obligations to post-surrender damages.

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