Brief Fact Summary. This case arises by Plaintiff lessee suing Defendant lessor for damages arising from the lessor’s refusal to give consent to an assignment.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A landlord is under no obligation to act reasonably in withholding consent to a tenant wishing to assign a lease.
We noted there that a majority of jurisdictions subscribe to the rule that a lease provision requiring the landlord's consent to an assignment or sublease permits the landlord to refuse arbitrarily or unreasonably.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Must the landlord act reasonably in withholding consent to assignment when the commercial lease gives the landlord the right to refuse such consent?
Held. No. Judgment reversed.
The Court cites prior decisions which state that no requirement of reasonableness will be implied in the lease contract which would require the landlord to act reasonably in refusing consent to an assignment.
The Court, because there is no rational distinction between commercial tenants and residential tenants, refused to grant more protection to the commercial tenant under the law than to the residential tenants.
Because the bargaining power of a commercial tenant is usually greater than that of a residential tenant, this Court held that, logically, if any group were to be favored it would be the residential tenant.
Discussion. The Court does not require any proof of motive to rule in this case. In other situations, the courts do require proof of motive. Consider why different situations are treated differentl