Real Property – Landlord and Tenant – Lessor’s Arbitrary Withholding of Consent to Sublease
Defendant leased a portion of plaintiff’s building for a seven-year period. Contained in the lease was a covenant whereby the lessee agreed not to assign or sublet without the lessor’s consent. One year prior to the expiration date of the lease, the defendant gave notice of his intention to vacate and submitted to the plaintiff a proposed sublease under which the premises would be rented to the Postmaster General of the United States. The plaintiff stipulated that the proposed sublessee was ready, able, and willing to assume the obligations of the original lease and was a proper sublessee in every respect. The plaintiff refused to consent to the subletting and, after the expiration date of the lease, brought suit for rent. Defendant asserted that it was the lessor’s duty to lessen his damages by consenting to the sublease. On appeal from summary judgment for plaintiff, held, affirmed. The lessor does not have the duty to mitigate damages and may arbitrarily refuse to accept a subtenant. The lessor may recover from the lessee the full rental due. Gruman v. Investors Diversified Services, (Minn. 1956) 78 N.W. (2d) 377.