Bargain Mart, Inc. v. Lipkis

In Bargain Mart, Inc. v. Lipkis (212 Conn. 120, 561 A.2d 1365 [Conn Sup Ct 1989]), Harold Welch obtained a lease to a building from its owner, the Estate of Edward Malley, and proceeded to sublet the building to the Edward Malley Company, which proceeded to sub-sublet a portion of the premises to Bargain Mart. Thereafter, Outlet Department Stores, Inc., acquired the Malley Company's subleasehold interest under Welch Lease subject to Bargain Mart's sub-sublease. Outlet subsequently filed for bankruptcy and sought approval from the bankruptcy court to reject the lease, which was given in May 1982. In March 1983, after the Malley Estate transferred its fee interest to the Malley Heirs, the new owners served a notice to quit on Welch based on his alleged failure to pay rent and taxes from November 1982 to February 1982. In April 1984, the Malley Heirs and Welch settled the summary proceeding by stipulation and the court did not decide any of the claims on the merits. Thereafter, the Malley Heirs sold the property to Lipkis, who purchased it "subject to the rights of the tenants in possession" (Bargain Mart, Inc., supra, 561 A2d at 1367). Thereafter, Lipkis provided notice to Bargain Mart that it viewed it a month-to-month tenant and at some point thereafter, Lipkis began denying heat to Bargain Mart at which point Bargain Mart instituted an action to require Lipkis to provide heat. At the conclusion of a three-day hearing, the court in that case decided that the sublease between Malley Company and Bargain Mart was valid and subsisting because there had been a voluntary surrender, rather than a termination of the Outlet lease. The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed based on the trial court's finding that because following Welch's request that the Bankruptcy Court approve the rejection.