Judge: Building owner can charge rent based on gold prices
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge says a group of property owners in Ohio's capital city can collect rent based on the price of gold as part of a century-old agreement.
The judge's ruling means rent paid by the company that leases the Commerce Building in downtown Columbus could jump from $6,000 annually to nearly $350,000.
At issue is the original 1919 lease, which included a so-called "gold clause," a provision common at the time that linked rent to the price of gold to account for inflation.
Commonwealth Investments, the company paying the $6,000 annual rent, argued that a 1977 law rendered any previous gold clauses invalid.
The ruling last month by Judge George Smith affects rent owed since August 2014, when the property owners sued.