Today’s case, Peachtree on Peachtree Investors, Ltd. v. Reed Drug Company, 251 Ga. 692 (1983), involved a lease of an Atlanta retail store to POPI, who sublet the property. RDC had the right to end the lease with nine months notice if the building was to be demolished. POPI vacated the premises upon receiving the requisite notice of demolition. However, RDC, in breach of the lease, relet the store instead of razing the building. POPI then filed a complaint seeking performance of the lease and damages.
When RDC later announced plans to raze the building, POPI obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent it. POPI was limited to a recovery of damages to remedy the breach.
The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the decision to deny equitable relief. Because of the prime location of the retail store, it was difficult to value the lease and assess the damages. The sublease was the solution: measuring damages by the difference between the rent obtained by POPI on the sublet and the rent specified in the lease.
The court refused to issue an injunction that would thwart redevelopment in the public interest of a decaying downtown urban area. Hence, while specific performance is an available remedy in enforcing a lease (just like with most other contracts), it is by no means an automatic right vested in the lessee.