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Commercial Tenant Rights


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#1 Erinj09

Erinj09

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 06:36 PM

This is long, but anyone who has the time to read the details: Does a commercial tenant have legal protection from sexual harassment by LL's agent? I read in a CA case that the court found that a commercial tenant generally has the same protections as a residential tenant.


The only thing that I can think of is a breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.  I made notice to the LL who refused to fire the employee although the employee admitted to being a sex addict.  He admitted in a letter to the company and myself of "improprieties" on company property and "abuse of the internet on company time". According to the Corporations employee manual, he violated every part of the sexual harassment policy. According to company policy, an employee of the corporation is protected by those who contract with the company, yet it doesn't seem that the contracted party has the same rights. 


It took me a long time to file a police report because I am legally a "vulnerable adult" and feared retaliatory behavior. Now the Landlord is refusing to grant me a new lease and clearly stated in an email that he wouldn't negotiate a new lease because of my repeated complaints to have the employee disciplined. I have suffered many retaliatory actions such as being charged for previously unbilled amounts and bullying by the CEO of the company. The CEO accused me over the phone of "trying to stir up the pot" and stated that I could "sell the business but its not coming with a lease." The CEO also stated several times to my broker that there is a breakdown in the business relationship.


This has all been very psychologically damaging to me since I am still in the same vicinity of the employee. I have retained an attorney but am doing legal research since it is what I am schooled in.  We are also considering two other causes of action against the corporation: promissary estoppel (Corporation stated that they would work to help facilitate the sale of my business by giving us an assignable 6 year lease and knew that we marketed the business while negotiating terms of the lease with my broker for 5 months) and tortious interference of business contract (we entered into a sales contract with a buyer based on the corporations perameters in assignability of the lease, and directions by the CEO for my broker to draw up a new lease extension). The CEO stated to my broker that he wanted the lease to go with the sale of the business, not to me personally and at a different time asked whether he had a buyer for the business who would be ready to begin operation in the next month or so.


I have stated in writing and in person to the corporation that this is a hostile environment for me and I am forced to sell my business in order to not be in the same vicinity of the harasser.  The Corporation CEO keeps repeating that my alleged complaints did not occur on company property or during the harassers company time, yet the harasser carried a radio and was in uniform and the manager on duty when harassment took place, I have provided proof of this and the harasser admitted it. Any advice on where to go next?






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