CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA, a California Corporation, and Southern
Land Development & Leasing Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, Appellants
Paul M. WADE and Sophie G. Wade, his wife, et al., Appellees Cross-Appellants.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,Second District.
May 17, 1978.
Tenants brought suit against landlords for constructive eviction from leased
premises in hotel in which they operated gift shop. The Circuit Court,
Pinellas County, David F. Patterson, J., awarded tenants relocation cost of
$18,400, and landlords appealed. The District Court of Appeal held that even
if issue of relocation costs had been tried and amount of those costs had been
established, the most tenants would have been entitled to recover was 11
months' interest on what it would cost to relocate to comparable
premises, inasmuch as lease would have expired of its own accord 11 months
later at which time tenants would have been faced with having to pay relocation
costs without prospect of reimbursement.
Grimes, J., filed opinion in which he concurred in part and dissented in part.
 LANDLORD AND TENANT
In suit brought by tenants against landlords for constructive eviction, breach
of implied covenant of quiet enjoyment, and breach of a written lease, there
was competent, sufficient evidence to support conclusion that tenants were
constructively evicted in March of 1976 from leased premises in hotel in which
they operated gift shop.
 LANDLORD AND TENANT
Even if, in suit brought by tenants against landlords for constructive eviction
from leased premises in hotel in which they operated gift shop, issue of
relocation costs had been tried and amount of those costs had been established,
the most tenants would have been entitled to recover was 11 months' interest on
what it would cost to relocate to comparable premises, inasmuch as lease would
have expired of its own accord 11 months later at which time tenants would have
been faced with having to pay relocation costs without prospect of
*886 Clyde H. Wilson, Jr. and H. Wayne Floyd of Wilson, Wilson & O'Connell,
Sarasota, for appellants/cross-appellees.
John W. Hamilton of Ware & Hamilton, St. Petersburg, for appellees/cross-
appellants Paul and Sophie Wade.
Appellants/cross-appellees/defendants, Church of Scientology of California and
Southern Land Development & Leasing Corp., appeal the final judgment entered in
favor of appellees/cross-appellants/plaintiffs, Paul M. and Sophie G. Wade.
 Appellees brought suit against appellants for constructive eviction,
breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment, and breach of a written
lease. There is competent, sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that
appellees were constructively evicted in March of 1976, from the leased
premises in the old Fort Harrison Hotel in which they operated a gift shop.
The issue of damages presents more difficulty.
Appellees pled for damages resulting from lost profits and the lost value of
the leasehold. The court expressly found that appellees had failed to
establish these damages by the greater weight of the evidence. The court did
award relocation costs of $18,400, but the only evidentiary predicate for these
damages is found in the following testimony of one of appellees concerning the
opening of a new shop at 426 Cleveland Street.
Q What is the general overall picture of the Daisy Shop, 426 Cleveland
A I can give you a figure for the net gross for the entire period of
operations through December 1st, December 31st of 1976 from the day of opening
which is May something. Is this regarding the investment, that is to say the
cost of building the shop, putting in the fixtures and increased inventory.
Q How much was that, sir?
A Net loss, approximately $6,500.
THE COURT: I think the question was, what was the start of the cost, the cost
to move to re-equip the new shop things of that nature?
A I misunderstood the question. Disregarding the fixtures and their value
that were removed from the Fort Harrison and ultimately used in the new shop,
material and labor totaled approximately $18,400. . . .
The matter was not further pursued even though the $18,400 figure obviously
included the costs incident to opening the new gift shop which had a floor
space almost ten times as large as the old one.
*887  Aside from the fact that relocation costs were never claimed by
appellees and the proof thereof lay solely in the foregoing colloquy, we cannot
see how such costs could constitute a proper element of damage in the case of
constructive eviction under a short term lease. Here the lease would have
expired of its own accord eleven months later at which time appellees would
have been faced with having to pay relocation costs without prospect of
reimbursement. In the words of Justice Holmes before he became a member of the
United States Supreme Court:
Whether the defendant moved in July or in September, he would have had to pay
the cost of moving his machinery; therefore he cannot attribute the payment to
the plaintiff's breach of contract, if there was one, in failing to furnish
steam, and thus obliging him to go elsewhere before the end of his tenancy.
The instruction that the defendant could not recoup for this item was correct.
Eddy v. Coffin, 149 Mass. 463, 21 N.E. 870 (1889); accord, Besinger v.
McLoughlin, 257 Wis. 56, 42 N.W.2d 358 (1950); Knapp v. Guerin, 144 La.
754, 81 So. 302 (1919); Pierce v. Hedden, 105 La. 294, 29 So. 734 (1901).
Even if the issue of relocation costs had been tried and the amount of those
costs had been established, the most appellees would have been entitled to
recover was eleven months' interest on what it would cost to relocate to
Accordingly, the final judgment is reversed and set aside. We have considered
the other points raised on appeal and cross-appeal by appellants and appellees
and hold they are without merit.
BOARDMAN, C. J., and HOBSON, J., concur.
GRIMES, J., concurs in part, dissents in part.
GRIMES, Judge, concurring in part, dissenting in part.
I concur in the conclusion that appellees were constructively evicted but were
not entitled to recover relocation costs. On the other hand, I believe their
claim for loss of profits merits further consideration. In support of this
claim the appellees testified that they tried to keep the store open under
adverse circumstances for about four months and finally closed it in order to
avoid further losses. They reopened in a new location two months later but
incurred a loss for the period of time in which the lease would have remained
in effect. They presented the testimony of a certified public accountant who
gave his opinion as to profits they would have earned had they been able to
stay in the old location for the balance of the term of the lease. The
appellants presented no rebuttal testimony on the subject but did subject the
accountant to a thorough cross-examination. Clearly, the court was not bound
to accept the figures claimed by the appellees. However, from a study of the
testimony as a whole, I am convinced that the appellees suffered at least some
loss of profits as a result of their constructive eviction.
Accordingly, I would recognize appellees' cross-appeal to the extent of
remanding the case for further proceedings directed toward a new award of
damages at which the court could, in its discretion, consider the prior record
any any additional testimony which might be presented.