If you own commercial real estate that you rent out to your tenants, you want to know that you can get the money owed and that you’ll be able to hold your tenants to their contracts. Then, if your tenants default, you’ll be able to seek the money you deserve and litigate if necessary.
That’s what Mall of America has been doing. It is on a so-called “litigation spree” against several tenants that haven’t paid rent as agreed due to changes in the economy and other factors.
The mall has come to the news and reported that it has tried to work with tenants in the past, negotiating with them to help them stay afloat when times were difficult in business. That said, there does come a time when a business has to put its foot down and seek past-due rent to keep itself viable.
Malls are starting to turn to litigation
Mall of America has continued filing lawsuits through the economic downturn. It’s unfortunate, but many smaller businesses and chains have gone out of business since 2019. Mall of America has responded by finally deciding to move forward with litigation, taking multiple tenants to court and becoming more aggressive in its collection actions.
With government restrictions being lifted throughout the state and country, landlords may be feeling that businesses should be through the worst of the issues they were facing. As a result, their tolerance for past-due bills has potentially reached an all-time low.
Mall of America has currently pursued lawsuits against:
- Two children’s stores that owed $500,000 in back rent
- Dick’s last resort and two other tenants for $743,000
- Four tenants who owed over $600,000 combined
- Hard Rock Café for around $550,000 in fees and back rent
As a commercial property owner, you should know that you have rights, too. While you may want to work with your tenants or try to negotiate to keep those you have, there may come a time when you have to enforce the contracts that you have with others. If that means that you need to evict tenants or sue them to get back rent paid when it is due, then that may be something you have to consider.