Our firm was recently retained to provide an amicus brief to an Arbitration Board, for purposes of helping the arbitrator to resolve a commercial landlord tenant dispute, in which the Tenant had stopped paying rent, ostensibly due to habitability defects, affecting both the leased premises and the common area. The Landlord responded by declaring a default in the commercial lease and promptly sought eviction based on that default. The questions before the arbitrator were the following:
- Who bears responsibility for curing habitability defects to the roof and the common area?
- Does the Tenant’s failure to pay rent constitute a Default that would result in termination of the tenancy?