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Nonprofit - Theft of goodwill

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

A San Francisco non-profit operates a facility that hosts Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc. meetings. This nonprofit has been in existence at the same location for 23 years and has helped literally hundreds of thousands of alcoholics and addicts to overcome their addictions.

The buildings owners recently informed the nonprofit that their month-to-month lease would not be renewed and that they should vacate at the end of the month (Dec 08). The building owners intend to form their own nonprofit and take over the running of the facility beginning on 1-1-09. They intend to engage in the exact same activity as the current owner.

The motivation for this takeover is unclear but seems to have no deeper basis than a personality conflict between the building owner and the nonprofit operator. There have been no allegations of mismanagement, financial improprieties, and there seems no motivation other than spite.

Since the new operators have no experience running a facility of this sort, it's questionable if the new operators will have the patience, knowledge, and will to run it effectively. It's no exaggeration to say that the current facility has saved many lives. Deaths from suicide, accident, overdose are very common for drug and alcohol addicts.

My questions are:
This seems to be a clear case of theft of goodwill, is this correct?
What legal remedies are available for the current operator of this facility?
What should his first legal step be?

Thanks.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?


Senior Member
I don't see this as theft of anything. The building owners want to take back their building. They can do with it as they please - they own the building.


I've seen this happen before where a new busness buys/rents the same site of the old business just to take some of their customers...

Two other things that I note: To most inexperienced(outside) people, the business will always look less complex than it really is. Most former business owners will feel the other business owners are always worse than they are. Only time will tell which is true.

If the business wanted more security, they should have signed a longer lease.


Senior Member
The purpose of the new owner's intent is actually not relevant to the discussion.

If the present tenant insists on a month by month lease, then there is no onus upon the owners to continue that agreement.

Who knew there was such a competitive spirit to helping addicts?

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