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Local coffeehouse closes after dispute with landlord

A popular coffeehouse located just a short drive from Detroit closed up shop this month after 20 years. The closing is largely being attributed to a landlord-tenant disagreement over the amount of rent due. The owner of The Grind said that she had to close when a new landlord informed her the rent would be $2,300 a month. The owner said the previous landlord had set the rent at $1,500 a month.

The new landlord is reportedly trying to enforce a rider present on the lease that says the owner was supposed to be paying an extra $800 a month toward back rent totaling over $11,000. The owner of the coffehouse is arguing that the rider is with her previous landlord, but the new landlord says he is bound to the lease terms, including the rider.

The new owner bought the property with the intention of moving his restaurant into the vacant spot in the other half of the storefront. He told reporters that he had expected The Grind to stay at least for the duration of the lease and that he had not planned on taking over that space.

The landlord said that his business is suffering due to people boycotting the restaurant because they believe he forced the coffeehouse owner to close the doors. The Grind's owner said she had been considering selling the business for almost a year but that potential buyers backed out when they found out how much the rent was.

When landlord-tenant disagreements occur, leases are usually used to determine who is not in accordance with the lease terms. Depending on the lease agreement, the owner of the coffeehouse may still be liable for rent or fees for getting out of the lease early. Before making any sudden decisions in situations like these, it is important for both parties to be aware of all of the options and possible consequences so they can make well-informed decisions.

Source: The News-Herald, "WYANDOTTE: Popular coffeehouse The Grind closes after apparent rental dispute" Erica McClain, Jan. 18, 2014

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