Disputes Between Landlords and Tenants Heating Up

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the economy, especially the retail, restaurant, and hospitality sectors, more and more tenants have stopped paying rent, forcing landlords to take more aggressive action to obtain payment.  Contention between landlords and tenants in the retail sector has really intensified.  In one day alone, the entity that owns Easton Town Center in Columbus filed a dozen separate lawsuits against tenants, nearly all of which are well-recognized name brand national retailers.  The following day, Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. filed suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court against all of its Simon Group landlord entities, 69 Simon Group landlord defendants in total, asserting that Abercrombie paid April and May rent “under protest,” and asking the Court to order that those rent payments be refunded.

As the economy struggles to reopen in its entirety, certain sectors will continue to suffer financially, increasing the stress on the commercial real estate system, and leading to more disputes.  Our commercial real estate developer and owner Clients are selectively having us play a greater role, generally with helping them obtain payment in their most severe situations, although the threshold for severity seems to be lower and interest that landlords have in taking action now is greater than it has been over the past several months.

Click here to learn how Sikora Law can help CRE Developers & Owners streamline their legal needs.

How Ohio’s Judgment Lien Statute May Change

On July 24, 2020, Mike Sikora presented at the Ohio State Bar Association’s Council of Delegates Meeting to lawyers from all throughout Ohio who serve on that Council.  Mike advocated for the improvement of Ohio’s Judgment Lien Statute by presenting two main recommended improvements to the Statute.  Those recommendations presented by Mike Sikora were approved, and now the Ohio State Bar Association will take the lead on advocating for those improvements through its legislative advocacy process.

Click here to learn how Sikora Law can help Title Insurance Companies streamline their legal needs.

Rights That Transfer with Title versus Reservations of Interests

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently decided that absent an express reservation, the right to receive rents runs with the land and follows the transfer of legal title.  See LRC Realty, Inc. v. B.E.B. Properties, 2020-Ohio-319.  The Supreme Court of Ohio’s decision in LRC overturned a lower court’s decision regarding a dispute involving whether the buyer or the seller was entitled to receive rental payments from the owner of a cell tower that was located on leased land that had been transferred to the buyer.

Opportunity Zones: Fact or Fiction?

There are a lot of myths and misperceptions flying around about Opportunity Zones.  See for yourself, some of the most important details about Ohio Opportunity Zones with Sikora Law’s Fact or Fiction summary below:

Almost $30M of the $50M allocation was awarded after Ohio’s Opportunity Zone Program was effective for only 10 weeks.
That’s true.  Ohio’s Opportunity Zone Program had been effective for only 10 weeks in 2019.  That Program has been extremely successful thus far.

Everyone who applies for Ohio Opportunity Zone Tax Credits receives them.
That’s false.  The Ohio Development Services Agency received nearly $35M in applications for Ohio Opportunity Zone tax credits, and approximately $30M in tax credits were awarded. The main reasons certain applicants did not receive tax credits was generally due to their structure, flow of funds, and/or non-compliant  documentation – they did not do what they needed to do in order to receive the credits.

Some developers received tax credits for work performed or money invested in Opportunity Zones even before Ohio’s Opportunity Zone law became effective.
That’s true. Our firm was advising Clients about what they needed to do to comply with the law even before it became effective. When it became apparent that the Bill was likely to pass, we closely advised our Clients on how to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the requirements of the new law.





Click here to learn how Sikora Law helps Developers & Owners of Commercial Real Estate streamline their legal needs.

Mike Sikora presents to the Ohio State Bar Association Counsel of Delegates Screening Committee

Mike Sikora presented to the Ohio State Bar Association Council of Delegates Screening Committee on several improvements to Ohio’s Judgment Lien Statute.  The Screening Committee voted unanimously to move forward with the initiative, which now heads to the full OSBA Council of Delegates next month for a vote.