In a recent Connecticut Appellate Court case, the Court re-affirmed the longstanding proposition that when a tenant has breached the terms of a commercial lease, the landlord has the right to sue for breach of contract to collect unpaid rent, plus additional charges due under the lease. In Southhaven Associates, LLC v. McMerlin, LLC, 159 Conn. App. 1 (2015), the Court considered an appeal of the guarantor of a commercial lease which claimed that the landlord failed to properly mitigate its damages after a breach of the lease and that the Superior Court erred in awarding as damages all rent and amounts due under the lease through the date of the Plaintiff’s re-letting the premises. The Appellate Court rejected both claims.
The Court noted that the general rule for the measure of damages when a landlord sues for breach of lease (following termination) is contract damages that should place the injured party in the same position as he would have been in had the contract been performed. The Court held that the Superior Court properly included as damages the rent which accrued from the date of the termination of the lease through the date when the landlord was able to backfill the space with a new tenant. In doing so the Court stated it was proper for the Superior Court to have awarded damages to the landlord comprised of rent, common area maintenance charges, merchant dues, and interest through the time of reletting.