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Union Travel Associates v. International Associates

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
401 A.2d 105 (1979)


Under the terms of a 1971 “license” agreement between Union Travel Associates (Union) (defendant) and the Hotel Corporation of Washington (the corporation), Union was permitted to sell gifts and other items in an area of the lobby of a hotel operated by the corporation, the primary tenant. The agreement required Union to pay a monthly fee of $500, to allow the corporation to use the specified space for pipes, wires, and conduits, whether it was locked or not, and to oversee Union’s business solicitation and staff employment. The corporation reserved the right to substitute the premises at any time for any equivalent area in the hotel. The agreement further provided that, if the corporation were to close or sell the hotel, the license could be terminated without any resulting liability. In 1975, the hotel was sold to International Associates (International) (plaintiff). International brought suit, seeking a judgment of possession of the area used by Union for the gift shop. The trial court found in International’s favor. Union appealed, contending that the agreement established a lease, not a license, and so could not be unilaterally revoked by the landlord.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mack, J.)

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