What would happen if I own a business with a lease and the city condemned the building, would I be compensated by either my landlord or the city?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What would happen if I own a business with a lease and the city condemned the building, would I be compensated by either my landlord or the city?

Would the city have to find another place I could operate my bar business out of or the landlord have to pay me what my business would be worth of what’s left on the lease or something along these lines?

Asked on December 20, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the city condemmed the building because the landlord violated health, safety, building, etc. codes, you would have a potential claim vs. the landlord: in that case, the landlord violated his obligations under the lease to provide you space for the duration of the lease's term. You could sue the landlord for lost income and/or additional costs caused by this, with some prospect or chance of winning. But if the condemndation was not due to the landlord's fault (e.g. the building was condemned due to some change in ordinances, or due to damage, such as from flooding, weather, fire, burst water main, etc., beyond the landlord's control), the landlord would not be liable: the landlord's potential liability is based on the landlord, and not some other party, city government, or natural forces, violating your lease. In this second situation, you would not have a viable case or claim.
The city is not liable except perhaps in the unlikely event you could prove that the city or its employees acted improperly or out of animus: e.g. condemned the building due to a personal dispute or conflict with your landlord, or because the landlord refused to bribe them, or to help out some other business or landlord by eliminating competition, etc. Only if you could prove an intentional wrongful act or act beyond the city's authority might you be able to sue them and win.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption