Lexington Approves Local Minimum Wage Ordinance

Lexington2Per the Bluegrass Hospitality Association:

“As you have probably already heard, the local minimum wage ordinance was approved by Council (9 to 6) at last night’s meeting.

The ordinance will increase minimum wage in Fayette County to the following on the below dates:

July 1, 2016                  $8.20

July 1, 2017                  $9.15

July 1, 2018                  $10.10

There was over two hours of public comment prior to the almost 9:00 PM vote.  As expected, there were passionate pleas and points both in support and against.

Several Council Members spoke prior to the vote.  The consensus is that raising the minimum wage does not ultimately solve the underlying issues long-term.  As such, Council will continue to work on programs to address long-term solutions to better wages like education, housing, transportation, childcare, etc.”

For more information on the vote itself:

http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/counties/fayette-county/article45566235.html

For more information on how this vote will affect your business, contact the attorneys at McBrayer.

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A threat of litigation forces Danville to review P&Z findings


Photo by Pam Wright/pwright@amnews.com

One of McBrayer’s newest associates, Jacob Walbourn, featured prominently in a recent article on http://www.centralkynews.com, the online version of the Danville Advocate-Messenger. The article can be found here:

http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews/news/local/boyle/a-threat-of-litigation-forces-danville-to-review-p-z/article_fda40422-3b9a-5383-ad46-59b4b421242a.html

Here One Minute, Gone The Next: Temporary Retail Tenants

A sure sign that fall is approaching: Halloween costume stores start popping up in retail centers. These stores are only around for a short period, but they can certainly draw a crowd in the time that they are there. It seems that temporary tenants (also called “pop-up stores”) have become commonplace over the last few years…and they are opening more than the standard Halloween shop.

Smiling Young Woman In Halloween Hat With Shopping BagsKate Spade Saturday (a less-expensive sister brand to the iconic Kate Spade New York), for instance, has opened a successful pop-up shop in New York City, as a way to test-run the new line in the fashion market. Major online brands like Amazon have experimented with short-term leases to showcase new products. In fact, according to a 2013 Specialty Retail Report, temporary retail continues to thrive as an $8 billion industry that has grown 16% annually since 2009.

Short-term retail leases offer a variety of benefits, for both landlords and retailers alike. Landlords (1) can fill a vacant space, thereby alleviating the undesirability of an empty storefront; (2) increase cash flow with the rental payments; (2) bring larger crowds and new attention to the space, thanks to the allure of a new retailor; (4) potentially test-run a long-term tenant on a short-term basis; and, (5) satisfy co-tenancy requirements specified in other tenant leases. Retailers can (1) offer seasonal products or services (i.e., Halloween stores or Christmas ornament shops); (2) test-run a new product or raise brand awareness; (3) reach a new audience; (4) experiment with the transition from an online presence to a brick-and-mortar location; and, (5) take advantage of a high-traffic area during a prime shopping season.

While the lease may be short-term, the considerations that go with entering into such a lease should not be shortsighted. Entering into any lease, no matter the length, carries with it significant legal responsibilities for all parties. It is important to structure short-term lease agreements carefully to cover all necessary provisions (i.e., maintenance and repair obligations, insurance requirements, use clauses) and ensure that such agreements do not violate other tenants’ exclusive or restriction rights. In the event that a short-term tenant evolves into a long-term tenant, then the agreement will need to be revisited. It is likely that the original agreement will not suffice. For example, a short-term lease may require tenants to pay a monthly fixed income whereas a longer lease agreement may call for a percentage rent.

If you are a landlord or a retailer and are considering entering into a short-term lease, speak with a real estate attorney today about the terms and conditions that would be most beneficial for you.

BMacGregor

Brittany C. MacGregor is an associate attorney practicing in the Lexington office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. She is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Ms. MacGregor’s practice focuses on real estate law, including title examination, title insurance, clearing title issues, deeds, settlement statements, preparation of loan documentation, contract negotiation and preparation, and lease negotiation and preparation. She may be reached at bmacgregor@mmlk.com or at (859) 231-8780.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law activities and does not constitute legal advice.

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Hands Holding Vote

“Mi Casa Es Su Casa”… Not So Fast, Landlords

Mi Casa Es Su Case translates to “My House Is Your House.” That sounds nice, and while technically true, tenants are not always so welcoming to their landlord. In fact, sometimes they may downright refuse to let their landlord enter their unit. There are several reasons that access by the landlord to an occupied unit may be necessary: to address a disturbance, to respond to an emergency, to make repairs, etc. However, a landlord must be mindful of the parties’ respective rights under the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act.[1]While tenants generally have a right to quiet and exclusive possession of the property during the lease term, the tenants may not unreasonably withhold consent or deny access to the landlord.[2] Pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 383.615, the landlord is entitled “to enter the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply the necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors.”[3]

Tenancy Agreement

It is also important to note that the landlord may enter a dwelling unit without consent of tenants in the case of an emergency. However, it is important to note that, “A landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.”[4] Thus, except in the case of an emergency, or unless it is impracticable to do so, the landlord is required to give tenants two (2) days’ notice of intent to enter the property and such entry must be done only at reasonable times.[5]

Other than the aforementioned situations, the only other occasions on which the landlord is entitled to enter the property without first obtaining consent of the tenants are (i) pursuant to a court order; (ii) there is noncompliance by tenants which materially affects health and safety and repairs and/or cleaning are necessitated by such noncompliance (after proper notice, if applicable, has been provided); (iii) the tenants have been absent from the property for more than seven (7) days without notice to the landlord; and (iv) the tenants have abandoned or surrendered possession of the property.[6]

As a best practice, landlords should specify in the lease the reasonable time periods during which entry may be made (i.e., between 9am and 6pm) and should also specify how and where notice shall be given (i.e., by phone and/or written notice). The lease should also include the circumstances (as set forth above and in KRS 383.615) where entry without tenant approval is permitted. This will help landlords eliminate surprise and reduce situations where tenants may ask for workmen, prospective tenants, or others to “come back at a better time.” Moreover, it will serve to protect both the tenants’ and landlord’s interests and help maintain a healthy and cordial landlord-tenant relationship.

[1] The information contained herein assumes application of URLTA.

[2] See generally KRS 383.615.

[3] KRS 383.615(1).

[4] KRS 383.615(3).

[5] KRS 383.615(3).

[6] See KRS 383.615; KRS 383.665; and KRS 383.670(2).

 

BYates

 Brendan R. Yates joined the Lexington office of the firm as an associate in 2002. Brendan is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, where he focuses his practice on construction and real estate litigation, workers’ compensation defense litigation, insurance defense and commercial litigation. He has successfully defended his clients in state and federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and in administrative agency proceedings in Kentucky. He can be reached at byates@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 208.

This article is intended as a summary of  federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.