Can a landlord recover unpaid rent that came due after the landlord sold the building? According to a recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision, the answer may be “yes.”
In Weckle v. ASKP, LLC, unpublished* opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued October 21, 2014 (Docket No. 316625), the tenant vacated the leased premises and the landlord then sold the property prior to the expiration of the tenant’s lease. The landlord later filed suit against the tenant seeking unpaid rent and common area maintenance charges.
The tenant argued that the landlord could not recover the rent that came due under the lease after the landlord had sold the building, but the trial court and the Court of Appeals disagreed. Noting that the tenant had failed to present any evidence that the landlord was in a better position after selling the property, the Court of Appeals affirmed an award of damages that included rent that came due after the landlord had sold the building.
*When opinions from the Michigan Court of Appeals are not published, they are not binding on Michigan courts. However, they may be considered persuasive when they are applicable to future cases.