Commercial tenant right to lost profits and specific performance when landlord breaches lease obligation to make structural repairs

When a landlord breached a commercial lease obligation to make structural repairs to the property, the tenant was entitled to lost profits in addition to specific performance. Motsis v. Ming's Supermarket, Inc., 2019 WL 5704322 (Mass. App. Ct. 2019). The tenant had been constructively evicted when a sprinkler pipe froze and burst, leading to an inspection by the city that found numerous unsafe structural conditions that led the tenant (a grocery store) to move out of the premises). The trial court properly ruled that the tenant was not limited to a right to terminate the lease and recover relocation costs. The Massachusetts Appeals Court rejected the argument that specific performance is limited to promises to convey title to land, holding that it is available and proper in lease arrangements as well. In addition, the landlord's "disregard of known contractual relationships…constitutes an unfair act or practice" under the state consumer protection statute.