The owner of an establishment named Lulu’s in Brooklyn New York is worried about going out-of-business after his Long Island based landlord denied his attempts to convert his business into a gay bar earlier this April.
Tenant John McGillion, had hoped to revitalize his pub and take advantage of the growing gay and lesbian population in the Greenpoint area. However, a clause in his lease agreement stated “The leased Premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar. It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant.”
As a result of the clause, McGillion maintains that he is unable to make ends meet and argued in his filing documents that he is “barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar,” all as a direct consequence of the unfair lease clause. He added: “If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit.”
Additionally, McGillion says that the landlord, Guard General Merchandise Corp., has even purposefully made it difficult for McGillion to sell the business as an attempt to get out of the lease agreement. McGillion claims that he tried to sell the business before, but claims the deals fell through when the landlord tried to triple the rent for the prospective buyers. And now, with 10 months left on the lease, McGillion has no choice but to ask a judge to invalidate the clause in question and to extend the deal by two or three years.
It is unknown whether the judge will deem the clause invalid, but one thing is for sure. As tenants and as a landlord, you have certain rights afforded to you. If you or a loved one believe you have been a victim of unfair practices of a landlord or tenant, contact an experienced attorney today. A skilled attorney can provide you the representation you deserve and ensure your legal rights are protected.