Valentino Appeals Fifth Avenue Lease Loss, Hit with $200 Million-Plus Lawsuit from Landlord
An alert by Real Estate attorneys Janis Boyarsky Schiff, Elena Otero, Meg Raker and Danielle Moore was cited in a Fashion Law article about clashes between retailers and landlords regarding rent in light of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The article highlights a New York state court ruling against Fifth Avenue fashion house Valentino, which had argued that the pandemic had made retail untenable, excusing its performance in its leasing agreement. Days after the ruling, Valentino's landlord filed its own suit accusing Valentino of breaching the terms of the lease.
The article quotes Holland & Knight's alert, "Leasing Guidance During COVID-19: A Look at Various Lease Covenants," to contextualize the Valentino's court battle, explaining that landlords have been "inundated with requests from tenants regarding their financial obligations under their leases," with some involving litigation. According to the attorneys, "in most instances, tenants will remain legally obligated to pay rent," but landlords should take business considerations into account when responding to these requests. Doing so will ensure the landlord-tenant relationship remains positive, which is critical for "both parties to weather this pandemic and succeed in the future."
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