Landlord Harrasment I leased a restaurant last year (2002).

Landlord Harrasment
I leased a restaurant last year (2002). I did not agree with most of the unfair terms on the lease, so the Landlord promised to get a revised lease agreement. It has been one year & I have not yet received the new lease.I am paying my rent on time every month. The Landlord is calling frequently, has visited the restaurant without previous notice- shouted and nearly hit me, saying I have to pay all estate taxes & water bills. The worst demand of his has been repeatedly asking me to pay the grease trap bill for (2001) the year when he owned the restaurant, I had not even leased the building. He has now sent a 3 Day notice to Pay or Quit.
Can I sue him for harrasment. Is the lease legal if I have not initialed on the first two pages of a 3 page lease?

I am going thru’ terrible mental tension and my business is suffering due to this. Pl. Help!

2 thoughts on “Landlord Harrasment I leased a restaurant last year (2002).

  1. Re: Landlord Harrasment
    The landlord’s oral promise to ‘get a revised lease agreement’ sounds way too vague to have any effect on the enforceability or interpretation of an otherwise-valid written lease. If you signed the lease anywhere, it is probably just as valid as it would be with each page initialed. The purpose of the supplementary initialing is to deter fraudulent substitution of differing internal pages. It has no direct effect on validity.

    If the lease you signed requires you to pay the water bill and/or the real-estate taxes, then you should pay them, and the landlord’s demands that you do so are valid. Such provisions are not at all unusual in longer-term commercial leases. I can’t comment on the grease-trap situation without more information.

    If you have been served with a three-day notice, you must pay as demanded, or the next step will probably be an unlaful detainer suit which could lead within a short time to a writ of possession and your eviction.

    If you want to stay where you are, you should pay the amounts validly due under the lease as it exists in response to the three-day notice. If you are reasonably sure the amounts demanded are incorrect, this may be a successful basis for defending against the unlawful detainer (UD) suit, but only a lawyer who has actually read both the lease and the notice (and interviewed you in person about the other issues) can tell you how good a case you have.

    If you want to claim unlawful harassment, that could be raised as a defense or even in a cross-complaint to the UD action, if filed.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

  2. Re: Landlord Harrasment
    typically an oral modification to an existing written lease is not necessarily enforceable against that written lease. however, if you can show or prove some sort of justifiable reliance on your landlord’s oral modification of the lease, as a substitute for additional consideration being needed, you may have a strong defense to an unlawful detainer suit down the road. you should probably pay what is demanded by your landlord at this time, to avoid an unlawful detainer suit, and then attack the validity of the lease and/or what you have had to pay that you feel the landlord is not entitled to. if you would like additional assistance, email me with the specific facts pertaining to when the written lease was signed, as well as when and how your landlord modified it orally. then i may be able to better advise you of your legal rights here.

    H.M. Torrey
    The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey
    800 West El Camino Real, Suite 180
    Mountain View, CA 94040

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