Landlord-tenant Dispute: The Bobby Flay Office Space Case

Bobby Flay is a restaurant owner, a Food Network star, and the owner of a consulting firm that specializes in helping others in his line of business improve their bottom lines. Like many others in his industry in Georgia or elsewhere, his businesses were hit pretty hard in 2020, causing him and his team to make tough decisions regarding everyday operations. For example, his consulting firm, Bold Food, opted not to pay rent on an office space, claiming the inability to pay for the property due to the public health crisis. Well, his landlord is in business too, so this individual took Mr. Flay to court to seek compensation for the missed payments and won.

According to a recently published article, in early 2020, Bold Food rented office space in New York City, but when restaurants were shut down by public health orders, the business suffered. By June, the company vacated the space and refused to pay rent, claiming frustration and citing the governor’s executive order. The landlord filed suit in the state Supreme Court, seeking roughly $380,000 in rent and damages. Finding in favor of the landlord, the judge ruled that Bold Food was not forced to close by government order.

In the past year, thousands of landlord-tenant disputes have occurred across the country over unpaid rent, with renters claiming they should be exempt from payment due to the health crisis. The Bobby Flay case is the first to receive a ruling in favor of the landlord, which may set precedent – at least in New York — allowing other landlords to seek unpaid rent for leased office spaces. The bottom line is these landlords also have bills they have to pay and businesses they have to run.

Landlords with properties in Georgia who find themselves struggling due to rent payment disputes with their tenants may be able to do something about it. With the assistance of legal counsel, they may adjust lease agreements or make other payment arrangements with their tenants. If necessary, they may take their cases to court to seek compensation for their losses.

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