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Who is responsible for your commercial space’s maintenance?

| Oct 25, 2021 | Property Law

Sometimes, leasing a property is in the best interests of your business. This is true especially for new businesses that do not have the upfront investment to purchase a property. Besides, it allows you the freedom to relocate conveniently when your business grows. The flexibility that comes with leasing a property makes this option an ideal choice for many.

However, it’s not all a bed of roses. There are grey areas when it comes to a landlord’s duties and responsibilities, which may lead to disappointments on your part. For example, while residential landlords are obligated to maintain their units and make repairs, it’s not always the case under a commercial lease.

Your lease determines who is responsible for repairs

The devil is in the details. Usually, the terms of the lease will assign repair and maintenance duties to either party. This is why you should be very careful before signing the document. Going through the terms and conditions may save your business a lot of money in the future since some of these repairs can be quite costly. If you agree to cover repair and maintenance costs, you will likely get something in return, like lower rent. However, don’t rush into such agreements as they may come to haunt you in the future.

In addition, ensure any of your maintenance responsibilities do not include building, fire and safety code compliance responsibilities. Generally, your lease should specify everything, from insurance to premise liability, and that is where your focus should be.

Safeguard your rights

If you feel that your landlord was not honest about the property’s condition or with the terms of the lease, litigating your lease-related dispute may be the only way to go about it. Going through your lease and documenting any potential issues that you notice and seeking clarification of them will aid you if a dispute arises in the future. This insight will help you determine your best course of action.