Commercial lease agreements in North Carolina and around the country often include terms that limit noise or other disruptive behavior, and tenants may face legal consequences when these conditions are ignored. An office building landlord in California recently filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the coworking company WeWork because other tenants complained about construction noise that was allegedly so loud it made conducting normal business impossible. The litigation is the latest in a string of setbacks for WeWork that began in August with a failed initial public offering.
The first tenant to complain was a think tank that informed the landlord about loud and continuous hammering and drilling shortly after WeWork began tenant improvements in May. WeWork signed a 10-year lease for 13 floors of the building in November. The second complaint was made by a French private school that returned to the building in August to prepare for the fall semester. The noise allegedly prevented the school from holding classes.
The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 24 in San Francisco. Court documents suggest that WeWork assured the landlord in August that future construction work would only take place after normal business hours and on weekends. The lawsuit was filed when the company failed to live up to this promise and remained in clear violation of its lease agreement according to the landlord.
Business law attorneys with experience in contract disputes may seek to avoid litigation by drafting agreements that make responsibilities and the consequences of failing to meet responsibilities clear to all of the parties involved. Attorneys could also advise their clients to view promises with skepticism when they are made by individuals or companies that have ignored the provisions of contracts they have signed.