Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sues New York landlord over stalled sublease

Property owner accused of obstructing process because of rent dispute

Roc Nation founder Jay Z and 1411 Broadway (Getty, Google Maps) 
Roc Nation founder Jay Z and 1411 Broadway (Getty, Google Maps) 

Jay Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation has accused its New York landlord of retaliating for a rent dispute by stalling a deal to sublease office space.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday first reported by Crain’s, the company said it has arranged for three tenants to sublease parts of the space at 1411 Broadway, which it no longer uses, having moved to a bigger space in Chelsea last year.

However, the landlord had allegedly delayed in signing off on the leases, which the state lawsuit attributed to a rent dispute between Roc Nation and the landlord.

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According to Crain’s, Roc Nation stopped paying rent in late April, invoking a force-majeure clause in the lease. But the owner of the building — an investment group — said that the pandemic could not trigger such a clause.

The case is the latest in a string of rent disputes that have ended up in court in the past few months, including in the struggling retail sector.

Roc Nation has asked the court to affirm its right to use the force-majeure clause, and to order the landlord to approve the subleases. [Crain’s] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan