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A Lease is a Lease, Regardless of Common Ownership (NJ)

April 26, 2019

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><a href="">Mastrangelo v. Khanna</a></em><a href=""></a><em>,</em> the court examined whether the common ownership of two entities that enter into a lease agreement has an impact on the  provisions of the lease. Plaintiff Mary Mastrangelo was an employee of Metuchen Cardiology.   The plaintiff worked in an office building owned by Khanna Realty, and leased to Metuchen Cardiology.  Dr. Sunil Khanna was the owner of both Metuchen Cardiology and Khanna Realty.  Under the terms of the lease agreement, Metuchen Cardiology was required to maintain and repair the property.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The plaintiff was injured in the interior of the premises, and filed suit against the property owner Khanna Realty.  The trial court dismissed the claims against Khanna, finding that Khanna Realty had no duty to repair and maintain the premises under the terms of the lease. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that Dr. Khanna’s common ownership of both entities negated the provisions of the lease insulating Khanna Realty for responsibility for the building.  The Appellate Court upheld the findings of the trial court, noting that the lease provisions were clear and unambiguous, and the two distinct entities were free to delegate duties for the property regardless of common ownership.</p>
Thanks to Heather Aquino for her contribution to this post. Please email <a href="">Vincent F. Terrasi</a> with any questions.

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