Target 5 Investigation: Lease Conflict - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Target 5 Investigation: Lease Conflict

A long time Mid-South business owner claims her landlord wasn't playing fair when it cancelled a lease signed by her ailing husband. 

The Cobbler Shoe Repair Shop was Trinity Commons' first tenant when it opened back in 1988.  Now, that 17 year run is about to come to an end under questionable circumstances, after her landlord, Loeb Properties, told her she had to be out by September 11th.
"Who would think that somebody would call up and say leave," owner June Acuff wonders.
In 1999, Acuff's husband, Gerald, signed a lease for the store, and over the years, signed several lease amendments.
The latest amendment provided a month to month lease and gave the landlord the right to cancel the lease with 30 days notice.
Acuff says Loeb never should have accepted her husband's signature because he has Alzheimer's Disease, which June Acuff claims Loeb has known about for years and used to their advantage.
"My husband is incapable of making legal decision and this certainly isn't in his best interest when this place provides his livelihood," Acuff said.
Target 5 went to Loeb's East Memphis offices, where one of the company's Vice Presidents pulled out Acuff's file, which he said had information which would refute her claims, but he wouldn't show us any of it.
"We'll gladly open any file that we've got, because we believe it will refute Ms. Acuff's claim," said Matthew Prince, Loeb Properies' Senior Vice President of Brokerage and Development.  "However, due to privacy laws we can't do that without her permission."
June Acuff wouldn't give the company permission, because she said she was afraid of retaliation from Loeb.
We asked, but Loeb wouldn't tell us specifically why the company chose to end the Acuff's lease now. Just that...
"As a landlord you try to find good viable tenants with long term leases at market rent," Prince said.
Loeb officials say the market will bear between $1,300 and $1462.50 a month for Acuff's space. 
Right now her base rent is just a thousand dollars a month.
"I feel like I'm being pushed out in the street with a business that we've worked for years and years and years to keep it afloat, and now we have no means of making a living," Acuff said.
Acuff says she had planned to sell her business, but now says she will find another space nearby and reopen.

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