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Tenant/landlord rights Buffalo N.Y.

Buffalo, NY |

I am leasing a space in Buffalo N.Y.I opened a hair salon in March of 2006. My landlord has never taken responsibility for any problems or issues I have addressed him with. For example : September 2006 he had the front of the building painted. (outside) He did this only after the tenant next store painted his half yellow,so he hired painters to repaint the entire front black as it was. This took at least 1 week therefor I had to close during that time. He gave me no notice and when I returned my air cond. was broken and I'm still not able to get it to work properly. I phoned him he never returned my calls.
Above my space there are 10 apartments.The entrance to the apts. is in the front as well as mine. Through the entire winter of 2007 into 2008 one of the above tenants was selling cocaine and who knows what else out of a window on the side of the building. The landlord was made aware of this problem but chose not to address it. That tenant finally did leave after he was arrested.As you can imagine this hurt my business. Now on Friday Oct.31 2008 I go to work and the entire building is taped off with caution tape. The roof was being replaced. This was not an emergency, he knew for over 1 month this work was going to be done. He never told me or any of the other tenants. When I phoned him he told me if I can't do business to take it up with the roofing co. there is nothing he could do. He could have and should have told me in advance. He won't see it that way.As I said this work began on Fri.October 31,2008 and I was finally able to enter the building again on Wed. November 6,2008 Again a big loss of business.
My problem is that I am in a good location and it is not easy to move a business, but how much do I have to take. I have been avoiding confrontation with the landlord because I don't want to have to relocate, but I can't keep letting him walk all over me and thanking him for doing it?

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Attorney answers 1


Laws and contracts are one thing people's reliability and character are another. I certainly believe you have a sympathetic situation and you need to document it with letters, photographs and any other documents or evidence you can get to support and back up what has occurred. It sounds like you have a very cold and inconsiderate landlord, but it is difficult for me to give you good legal advise without looking at your commercial lease. Many commercial leases are very pro-landlord when it comes to business interuption for the making of repairs, etc... please review it closely to see what the lease says. it may have a provision requring reasonable notice, etc.. The language will likely be very technical legal language, but it needs to be reviewed. Commercial leases are enforced very strictly according to the written terms, as it is assumed by the law that both parties, as businesses, negotited the terms and reviewed them carefully before agreeing to them. As a result, courts are reluctant to overlook agreed upon provisions in a lease. However, if the lease is silent on these issues, you may have an agrument that the landlord should be responsible for your interuption of business, and you need legal representation. At a minimum, I would advise you to retain an attorney to look at your lease and write to your landlord on your behalf to express your position in a manner that is consistant with your rights. I hope this answers your question, and if you would like to speak with me further, please feel free to contact me.

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