Recently, many retailers who represent the mainstays of malls and shopping centers across the country have filed for bankruptcy protection. Examples include: Sharper Image, Linens & Things, Steve & Barry’s, Mrs. Fields, Bombay Company, Hollywood Video and Mervyns. Then, too, The Gap, Charming Shoppes and other retailers have announced plans to close substantial numbers of stores in the wake of weak sales. The prospect of these retail outlets going dark presents an array of challenges to property owners, who already share in retailers’ woes by way of falling percentage rents.

These challenges include the very material hit landlords take to their bottom lines as a result of expending resources on tenants in default before they petition for bankruptcy, keeping tenants current on obligations post-petition and maneuvering through the maze of court orders, notices, and deadlines. Nevertheless, property owners who carefully quantify their economic losses associated with tenant bankruptcies may preserve a portion of their investments by appealing their property tax assessments.

Possible Claims When Appealing

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