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Tenant-landlord disputes are not uncommon in commercial buildings. A lot of the disagreements between commercial lease tenants and landlords stem from a lack of clarity regarding maintenance and repair obligations. As a business owner who is currently trying to relocate, you are likely aware of these types of these commercial lease issues. Neither party wants to put large amounts of capital into maintaining and fixing commercial property. However, each party is responsible for certain fees and tasks. Continue reading to discover the most common maintenance and repair commercial lease tenant obligations.
Firstly, one of the most popular commercial lease tenant obligations is cleaning nonstructural elements. Depending on your type of commercial lease, you could be responsible for cleaning and upkeeping the entire space.
These nonstructural elements typically include carpets, lighting and wall coverings.
However, they can extend to bathroom and kitchen appliances when applicable. Keep in mind that your responsibility for cleaning these nonstructural features should be limited to the space you rent.
If your landlord wants to include nonstructural element cleaning for the entire building in your lease, you need to put your negotiation hat on and achieve a more tenant-friendly clause.
Most tenants are solely responsible for cleaning nonstructural elements within their office spaces.
Another common commercial lease tenant obligation is to pay for damages made by the tenant.
If you break a window in your office, you need to pay for it to either be fixed or replaced. The same goes for tenants who break fixtures elsewhere on commercial property.
When a tenant damages a painting hanging on the wall in the building hallway, they need to pay for it. You cannot expect the landlord to pay for the damages you make. Your landlord and your neighboring tenants alike expect you to take responsibility for your actions.
For this reason, you need to prepare for this commercial lease tenant obligation upon moving into your new workspace. Landlords will typically require at least one month of security deposit to cover any damages, in addition to an obligation to sign a personal guaranty agreement.
Additionally, most tenants are responsible for HVAC repair costs in one way or another.
After all, the HVAC system in a commercial building directly impacts every tenant. Without a functioning heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, tenants cannot comfortably work in their commercial leased spaces.
For this reason, tenants are usually responsible for at least a portion of the payments when their building's HVAC system breaks. Landlords typically share responsibility for these costs or push them all onto the tenants.
Since the repair costs are often expensive, tenants should negotiate well to avoid paying the entirety of HVAC repairs. Prepare to negotiate this commercial lease tenant obligation.
Business owners who carefully negotiate their operating expenses minimize their commercial lease tenant obligations. Inspect the operating expenses portion of your commercial lease carefully. Many tenants attempt to shift certain maintenance and repair obligations over to the landlord when they cannot afford the costs.
If the repairs are listed in those tenants' operating expenses, they are still responsible for the costs. If you want to ensure that you are not obligated to pay for expensive and seemingly unfair repair costs, hire a professional for commercial lease advice. They can carefully review the operating expenses section of your commercial lease and limit your responsibilities.
Workspace improvements are one of the most popular commercial lease tenant obligations.
Business owners in every industry need to add to their commercial spaces.
For instance, if you want to turn a plain space into a trendy coffee shop, you will need to make improvements. You will likely need to install a counter and put in shelving behind that counter.
Although doing so can be costly, you are responsible for the expenses of your build out unless negotiated otherwise. Keep in mind that many landlords assume ownership of certain workspace improvements after tenants move out. Prepare yourself for the costs and the outcomes of this commercial lease tenant obligation.
In order to avoid disputes with your landlord, learn what your commercial lease tenant obligations are before signing on the dotted line. You will likely be responsible for cleaning nonstructural elements in your office space. Tenants need to pay for any damages they make in their offices or within their commercial buildings. Landlords typically either share the responsibility for HVAC repairs or require tenants to pay for them fully. Since you are financially bound to the repairs included in the operating expenses section of your lease, you need to look into that section before signing a lease. Finally, tenants are responsible for workspace improvements as well. Prepare for your tenancy by keeping these commercial lease tenant obligations in mind.