By Jerry Carter. The Business Court in the Second Judicial District Court entered an August 10, 2012 Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment in favor of a retail tenant in Reno, Nevada. The dispute concerned a lease that allowed the retail tenant to pay “alternative” rent if less than sixty percent of the shopping center was occupied. In this case, the sixty percent requirement was met if the plaintiff tenant’s space was included in the calculation. However, if the tenant’s square footage was excluded from the calculation, the sixty percent requirement was not met and alternative rent was triggered.
Procedurally, the tenant and landlord agreed on a statement of facts and submitted the agreed-upon facts to the Business Court for resolution. This is an example of a procedure that can be effective in streamlining a business court case. The Business Court held that the lease required the parties to calculate the shopping center space “other than the Premises.” The Business Court determined that the phrase “other than” unambiguously excluded the tenant’s square footage from the calculation. Thus, Judgment was entered in favor of the retail tenant.