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Judge: Owner can charge rent based on gold price

Posted: 7:16 PM, Apr 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-23 23:16:30Z
Judge: Owner can charge rent based on gold price

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- 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.