Last September my colleague Fern Musselwhite wrote an article for this blog on the importance of using clear and unambiguous co-tenancy clauses in shopping center leases. Her article discusses a recent New York case that illustrates how a lack of clarity in a co-tenancy clause can be devastating to a landlord. The case hinged on a clause requiring the leasing of a space in the shopping center to a "national retailer." Because the term "national" was not defined in the lease, the court deferred to the definition in Black's Law Dictionary, which it quoted as "nationwide in scope." It ruled in favor of the tenant that BJ's Wholesale Club did not meet this requirement in the lease, as the retailer does not maintain any stores in the western half of the country.
To learn more about this issue and why it has become imperative to use clear and unambiguous co-tenancy clauses in shopping center leases, click below to watch my brief video on the subject and scroll down to read Fern's article from September 19, 2011.