Wall lease

I am very new to outdoor advertising. Just bought a property and one wall is facing the highway. Previous landlord had signed a lease with an advertising agent for 20 years. Since previous landlord passed away 6 years ago, the ad agent had not lease the wall to any company and had not paid any $$$$ for 6 years. The lease does not specify that landlord can terminate the lease and does not state any penalty if that agent is not doing(marketing) anything…

Any idea how we can get out of that lease?

Thank you in advance!

Assuming there is a clause in there in reguards to the lease being valid to any future owners of the property…

What was the deal between the property owner and the company that leased the wall?

If the deal was the property owner would get XXX% of income off the wall adspace, then the contract is still vaild if the wall has not had an advertiser.

If they are supposed to pay XXX.XX per month no matter what the display is, they are in breach of contract, and you have to notify them in writing that they have to bring the contract current or it will be null/void. Once you notify them in writing, with no reply, you should be good to go with whatever you want to do… You must send the letter certified mail and give them a time period to respond, check with your local laws for that time frame.

Bruce is essentially right, but you might want to hire a lawyer, in any event, to look through the contract and see if there are any other technical defaults. For example, does the contract bind future owners, and was it properly executed, etc. Often a decent attorney can find something that negates the contract – or at least come up with a good enough bluff that the other guy gives up.

Bruce and Frank, thank you for your advice.