Leasing a commercial property causes anxiety for both tenant and owner. The owner can only know so much about a tenant before they move in, and are taking a risk that the management won’t honor the lease or take care of the property as their own. On the flip side, the tenants are putting their business’ storefront in another person’s hands. If the building equipment breaks down, has undetected problems, or is otherwise not as the lease described, they may be forced to solve the problems on their own or lose a significant investment in the building itself.
One of the primary causes of tension in commercial leases is repairs. Tenants are hesitant to report them for fear of liability, and owners are always worried about them happening unexpectedly at the tenant’s expense. The best way to ease this tension is by clearly laying out tenant and owner responsibilities in the commercial lease. This ensures that the tenant knows what repairs they are and are not responsible for and can confidently ask for maintenance service when they need it.
Typically, tenants are responsible for any equipment they bring into the space and any part of the building that wears down with regular use. In most cases, anything that the landlord does not specify in the lease as their responsibility falls to the tenant. This may include:
- Flooring cleaning and repairs that are caused by normal wear and tear
- Paint or wallpaper retouching
- Lighting issues not caused by the internal electrical structure
- Bathroom and kitchen fixtures
- Any equipment repairs related explicitly to the tenant’s operations
- Any damages caused by employees or customers
Landlords need to be specific about the repairs and maintenance services they will cover in their lease. Most of these will include repairs that affect the long-term value of the building or maintenance services that affect several spaces in a multi-tenant building. These may include:
- Repairs to the foundation, walls, and roofing of the building
- Major system repairs such as HVAC/R, electrical, or plumbing maintenance
- Upgrades to meet fire and safety codes
- Major renovations to the structure of the building
While you may want to leave some of these up to the tenants as needed, some landlords prefer to have control over repairs to ensure that the work done is performed by the best – rather than the cheapest – contractors. Tenants will not have a vested interest in the long-term appreciation of the property, so it’s important to make sure that the work done to your facility will last.
MaintenX can help you handle your facility repairs and outsource maintenance to your tenants as needed. To learn more about our preventative and emergency repair service, contact your local MaintenX team today!