The moment a lease is executed, a set of obligations and rights are created between the landlord and tenant. In exchange for the payment of rent, the landlord is required to provide a space suited for the intended purpose of the rental. In addition, both parties are obligated to abide by any specific terms in the lease. Among those terms may be an abatement provision. An abatement provision is a clause in the lease that releases a lessee from the obligation to pay rent when a particular event occurs. The specific triggering event is usually listed in the lease. The amount of rent abated may range from a fraction of rent for each day that the breaching condition exists, to a complete abatement of all rents due under the lease.
This Article focuses on the enforceability of abatement provisions under state law. Part I discusses the general purpose of abatement provisions. Part II reviews court decisions from various jurisdictions regarding the enforceability of abatement provisions. Part III addresses the implications for a tenant and landlord as a result of those court decisions.