Owners of Midlothian Antiques Center come foward with details

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jun 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-28 18:05:30-04

Tonight lawyers representing the owners of the Midlothian Antiques Center give CBS 6 their side of the story, after the landlord abruptly shut down the venue to vendors and the public, last week.

 The landlord told CBS 6 that the tenant at the Midlothian Antiques Center owed him over $100, 000 dollars.

But Leonard Tuck Junior, who represents the business owners, says a payment plan had been worked out and the owners are making those payments.

The attorney also says there were terms agreed to between the tenant and landlord, to rent the building, that are now violated.

The lawyer refutes other claims made by vendors and the building’s owner. All info below is from their laywer:

“Midlothian Antiques Center has certainly suffered during this economy like many similar businesses across the Commonwealth.   However, it has not acted deceitfully in its dealings with its vendors, its customers or its landlord. 

In fact, the company and its owners and staff have acted both heroically and desperately in trying to sustain a business against overwhelming financial pressures and more recently, acts of intimidation by the landlord and its agents.

It was reported yesterday that Midlothian owes the landlord $100,000 for rent over the past two years.  

That is not correct.  Over three years ago, there was an accumulated delinquency on the rent.  The parties entered into an agreement whereby the tenant would satisfy that arrangement through monthly payments of $2000 per month.  Those payments are being made in addition to the regular rent.   That was the deal and the landlord accepted it.  He cannot complain about it now in good faith.

A few months ago, the landlord approached the tenant about the possibility of vacating some of the space for a new shopping center tenant.  They were willing to discuss the possibility of reducing the size of the store or even taking some adjacent space.  But they have not received any formal proposal despite repeated attempts to discuss it and work out any new terms with the landlord. 

Terms and timeframes were never discussed in detail.   There has never been any formal notice given to the tenant, there was never a written proposal submitted by the landlord to define the new space and/or terms.   The tenant continued to operate its business.   Recently, uninvited and unannounced, the landlord had its agents come to the business and take measurements and survey the space for its proposed new tenant.  Again, there was never a notice, and there was never a deal made with the tenant to take any of its space or a date that it might be expected to vacate.
Apparently, the landlord decided that it did not need to go through the normal process of such matters and decided to use the excuse of a late rental payment as sufficient reason to lock the store.   Again no notice was given by the landlord.  

The owners have not fled the store, they have not fled the area, they have attempted to regroup and pursue their legal remedies to the best of their abilities, both financial and emotional, while daily dealing with the personal stresses of the many attacks directed against them, including those perpetuated in the news.  

There are many dealers who have voiced support for the Midlothian Antique Center and its owners.   If the tenants had possession of the premises, those vendors who wanted to leave would certainly have been allowed to leave.  But if the tenants are locked out and threatened with trespass by the landlord, they have no ability to assist those vendors.”