Most commercial leases contain a provision allowing for the reimbursement of the landlord’s legal fees and costs when the tenant defaults under the terms of the lease. If the tenant does not agree, in writing, to such a reimbursement, the landlord will have a difficult time obtaining a judgment against the tenant inclusive of the reimbursement of the landlord’s legal fees and costs.

A recent decision handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Lewis v. Delp Family Powder Coatings Inc. portrays a landlord coming to grips with the realization that he cannot obtain the reimbursement of his fees and costs against his tenant in the absence of such a written contractual provision.

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