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Responsibility of Repairs

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The Occultist

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? AZ

Lemme know if this needs to go under a different topic as this is a commercial lease.

My business appears to have 3 air conditioning units that are not functioning, and also what appears to be a condensing line above the drop-ceiling is dripping water through the insulation down onto a food-prep area. My lease has NO repair/maintenance clause in there assigning responsibility except for specifically the actual kitchen equipment (ovens, refrigerators, grills, etc). As nothing is specified, am I responsible for these other repairs as tenant? is the landlord responsible as these are permanent building fixtures? 50/50? I tried Googling but could only find answers related to residences.
 


adjusterjack

Senior Member
One would have to read your entire lease to be able to make any helpful comments about it.

Take it to an attorney for a thorough evaluation.
 

The Occultist

Senior Member
I probably threw too many irrelevant details in there; so if the lease makes no mention whatsoever about who is responsible for repairs to, for example, air conditioning units, who is responsible?
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
If your lease spelled out that you are to maintain >>
My lease has NO repair/maintenance clause in there assigning responsibility except for specifically the actual kitchen equipment (ovens, refrigerators, grills, etc)<< but does not address other parts of the physical plant any where else in the lease then its very fair to argue to the LL ` your lease contract does require me to fix XYZ but no where else addresses the rented spaces other physical & mechanical systems maintenance then repairs of those systems fall on you as the landlord.` You may have to seek the services of your attorney to nudge the LL make repairs BUT then don't be surprised as soon as the LL can do so the LL may change the terms of a new lease to address this problem by requiring you to pay for ALL repairs to your units mechanical or structural systems OR to refuse to renew your lease.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
if the lease makes no mention whatsoever about who is responsible for repairs to, for example, air conditioning units, who is responsible?
That the lease makes no mention of it is not the whole story. There are ways a lease could hold the tenant responsible for repairs without specifically saying so.

As I wrote earlier, one has to read the entire lease before making any comments.

If you can find a hosting site for documents and then provide a link to it, you might get some helpful comments.
 

The Occultist

Senior Member
I'll see if I can find a hosting site, but I'm telling you there literally is no mention of it. The only mention of responsibility was assigned to the previous tenant where an arrangement was made that they would get some offset rent in return for purchasing new kitchen equipment that would become property of the landlord. That is it. These leases (the original and my addendum which releases the previous tenant and gives me some concessions) were written by a real estate broker, not an attorney.

There's an indemnity clause for liability of death or injury. There's a clause about making alterations to the premises. Etc etc. The only potentially related clause is: "Cost Of Operation: The renter will be responsible for all costs of the operation pertaining to a full-service restaurant with food and beverage including setting up an employee payroll under their LLC and paying all applicable payroll taxes. Employees of renter to be paid on time on paydays set up by the renter." But there is absolutely nothing else that mentions anything about repairs.
 
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LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? AZ

Lemme know if this needs to go under a different topic as this is a commercial lease.

My business appears to have 3 air conditioning units that are not functioning, and also what appears to be a condensing line above the drop-ceiling is dripping water through the insulation down onto a food-prep area. My lease has NO repair/maintenance clause in there assigning responsibility except for specifically the actual kitchen equipment (ovens, refrigerators, grills, etc). As nothing is specified, am I responsible for these other repairs as tenant? is the landlord responsible as these are permanent building fixtures? 50/50? I tried Googling but could only find answers related to residences.
Any commercial lease that I am familiar with left all HVAC repairs/replacement up to the tenant. If your lease doesn't address the issue at all, then you need to look to state law.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
These leases (the original and my addendum which releases the previous tenant and gives me some concessions)
Wonderful. Now you've given us relevant information that you didn't reveal previously. What else is yet to be revealed?

Sorry, no comment without READING the entire lease, including your addendum.
 

The Occultist

Senior Member
Any commercial lease that I am familiar with left all HVAC repairs/replacement up to the tenant. If your lease doesn't address the issue at all, then you need to look to state law.
Yes, trying to find the state law relevant to a lease that doesn't mention this.
 

The Occultist

Senior Member
Wonderful. Now you've given us relevant information that you didn't reveal previously. What else is yet to be revealed?

Sorry, no comment without READING the entire lease, including your addendum.
LOL. I'm not hiding anything. If this site made it easier to share the documents, I'd have done so already. Calm down, I know how to read. The only thing I don't know is the state law regarding this specific issue. I'll be glad to share everything once I find a cheap (read: free) way to share it with you. Most of my posting has been done from work (hands-on operator), so finding free document sharing (that I know won't land me a virus) is taking a minute. I've been posting assuming that the onus falls onto me; I'm merely asking what the law says in regards to a lease that truly does not assign responsibility in this regard. If the law says that everything falls on me if the lease does not state otherwise, then I'm gonna be a good boy (especially since, as you've implied, the lease likely assigns it to me anyways but in a wording that you believe I would not be privy to). Since I don't have excess funds, I don't want to spend money on a consultation if I'm more than likely going to need to spend the money on repairs. If the laws declare that responsibility falls to the LL if the lease makes no other declarations, then I shall be glad to spend the money on the attorney if the LL refuses to negotiate. I'm simply here to figure out my options before I take costly steps on this forum located on the FREE Advice website.
 

The Occultist

Senior Member
A fellow senior member PMed me to remind me that analyzing contracts is generally beyond the scope of this forum and advised I don't bother. So I suppose I will make one last plea for help while making it clear that I do understand otherwise what my liabilities might be:

Please let me know if you know where the state places the responsibility of repairs on these permanent building fixtures if the lease does not assign responsibility. If you inform me that the state places it one myself as tenant, then it no longer matters what the lease says (because it's definitely not doing me very many favors, I can tell you that). If you inform me that the state places it onto the LL, then I shall invest the monies to consult with an attorney to read my lease to see if the lease did indeed sneakily assign me responsibility. In no way do I plan on representing myself in a lawsuit because posters on an internet message board told me I was in the clear, and neither shall I make enemies with the landlord by trying to muscle him before I know that I am legally in the right (I'm too short in stature to try to pull that off anyways!).
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
Please let me know if you know where the state places the responsibility of repairs on these permanent building fixtures if the lease does not assign responsibility.
The state doesn't. Arizona doesn't have much by way of a commercial landlord-tenant statute. What it does have you can find in Chapter 3 of Title 33 - Property:


The only part of Chapter 3 that comes close is:

33-343. Premises rendered untenantable without fault of lessee; nonliability of tenant for rent; right to quit premises
The lessee of a building which, without fault or neglect on the part of the lessee, is destroyed or so injured by the elements or any other cause as to be untenantable or unfit for occupancy, is not liable thereafter to pay rent to the lessor or owner unless expressly provided by written agreement, and the lessee may thereupon quit and surrender possession of the premises.
I doubt that it applies to your situation this time of year.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
Just try again to go thru the lease to look for any terms / language that says that you are responsible to make changes and or maintain the buildings mechanical / structural systems , ask a friend to help go over it with you and if that doesn't work for you the safest thing to do is go have a attorney go thru your lease contract because in the end should you find that repairing the AC is not your obligation because its most likely that your LL is not going to just give in unless they believe that they are going to be on the losing end of a claim against them.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Well poop, that's about what I was expecting. Appreciate it though! Thank you!
I will say first that I only skimmed over your posts, TheOccultist, so if this was asked already, I apologize.

Does your landlord have a service and maintenance contract in place with any company for the servicing of the HVAC system?

Most commercial leases I am familiar with leave the HVAC system maintenance, repair and replacement to the tenant. The landlord is generally responsible for all structural repairs (e.g., foundations, walls, floors, roofs) and the tenant is responsible for mechanical systems (e.g., heat, plumbing, AC).

The mechanical systems generally are considered part of maintenance.

That would change if it is the entire system (ductwork, etc) needs replacement, in which case responsibility shifts to landlord.

Your commercial lease really should have addressed the HVAC system (maintenance, repair, replacement).
 
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