Landlords can learn a valuable lesson from a recent eviction case in Eagle County, where a judge dismissed a landlord’s attempt to evict Montana’s Smokehouse after the restaurant hosted a private event for a marijuana vending machine company.
According to the Vail Daily the landlord, Benchmark Investors LLC, initiated the attempt to evict in 2014 on the grounds that the marijuana event breached the lease agreement, stating that the lease doesn’t say the restaurant can hold private events and suggesting that the event could damage the reputation of the property (The Benchmark Plaza, which is owned by Chicago-based Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate).
The judge found that there was no harm done to Benchmark’s reputation and that, even though the lease does not state that Montana’s can hold private events, the fact that the restaurant had held other private events before the marijuana vendor event with no complaints from the landlord means that they “had discretion under the lease to book any lawful private event.”
Ultimately, though, the case findings showed Montana’s would have prevailed even if they had been found to be in violation of the lease because the eviction notice itself was faulty. Colorado law requires landlords to provide three days for a tenant to “cure” an alleged violation in an eviction notice; Benchmark did not provide an opportunity to cure in their eviction notice and, therefore – regardless of any other factors – the eviction notice was faulty and, therefore, defeated.
Commercial landlords aren’t the only ones who make mistakes like this one; residential evictions often fail because landlords neglect to allow the tenant the opportunity to cure the alleged violations. One of the best ways to ensure your eviction notice is airtight is to work with an experienced real estate attorney, like those at Robinson & Henry, P.C.
Our real estate team is led by Lead Real Estate and Civil Litigation Attorney, Don Eby. Don is an experienced adviser and a powerful advocate for clients facing any real estate challenge, from the purchase or sale of commercial/residential property; real estate financing issues; land development or zoning problems; lease drafting or enforcement; landlord/tenant disputes or eviction; foreclosures; and HOA disputes.