Home > Uncategorized > Business Law Update: In Commercial Leases Courts Will Enforce the Plain Meaning

Business Law Update: In Commercial Leases Courts Will Enforce the Plain Meaning

Happy Friday all!


I read an unpublished court of appeals decision from November 17, 2015 – Mandre Properties LLC v Darren R. Marsh DDS No 322633

The opinion was brief and to the point. It is an easy read

Facts (straight forward):

The parties entered into a commercial lease.

Tenant vacated the premises before the lease expired.

As a result, Tenant breached the lease.

Landlord claimed it was owed $41,661.55

The trial court ordered tenant to pay $6,768.00.

Why the trial court reduced the amount, is unclear from the opinion.

Landlord appealed.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court – “you got the amount owed wrong”


The Court of Appeals held that the language in the commercial lease was plain and unambiguous – therefore the circuit court should have enforced the lease to its terms.

As the Court of appeals held: “The circuit court was required to enforce the unambiguous contract as written.” citing In re Smith Trust, 480 Mich 18, 24 (2008).


In commercial leases if the language that the parties agreed to is clear the court’s job is to enforce the lease.

As a landlord or tenant to commercial leases, you have a particularly vested interest in making sure that:

  1. The language in your lease is clear;
  2. That you understand what it is you binding your business to.

If a Court is doing its job, it will simply enforce whatever you agreed to.









Categories: Uncategorized

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