Harry Potter and the Unlawful Detainer

Deep in the mystical land of owls, giant spiders, spells and magic, Harry wrestles with perhaps his toughest challenge yet — how can he, as a landlord, take some property back from a tenant?

Ok, that never actually happened to Harry, but it happens all the time in the wizarding world of commercial real estate and it’s known as an unlawful detainer action or UD. Basically the landlord is the plaintiff. The tenant is the defendant. If the defendant moves out before trial, the case is dismissed or, can be changed to a regular civil action.

Dean Sperling Law recently dealt with one involving a bank that signed a lease which required them to open by a certain date (that had already passed). (insert brooding conflict music here). And while Dean usually represents landlords, on this one, he went to bat for the tenant/bank. The landlord (you can call them “Voldemort” or the “landlord which must not be named…”) also had refused rent when it was offered in a timely fashion.

So as the story unfolds, there were substantial penalties involved for not opening on time, literally several hundred thousand dollars. When initial negotiations failed due, frankly, to the hard line taken by the landlord’s in-house counsel (clearly working for the Ministry of Magic), Dean effectively answered the UD complaint asserting several very solid arguments. Magical.

But since the bank was going to have trouble opening by the appointed date, Dean waved his magic wand, negotiated the best possible deal and settled the matter rather than incurring a bunch of expenses for his client and increasing lawyer fees on both sides. Just another example of how Dean resolves matters with YOUR best interests in mind. Because it turns out that the best magical ability of all is just being a decent human being.