We all try to avoid accidents, but even the most safety conscious business owners could find themselves in one of these nightmare scenarios: A clogged, leaking toilet that damages thousands of dollars of equipment two floors down; a leaking oil truck that leaks oil into a direct water line and causes businesses to lose revenue while the city shuts the parking lot down to repair the drainage; an accidental contact between a rolling garage door and a sprinkler head that damages every package in a warehouse. These scenarios are wild, but they are very real situations that could happen resulting in significant commercial property damages. If you’re a tenant in a commercial lease and you end up in a nightmare situation, you need to know what your responsibilities are, what your landlord is responsible for, and when to contact a negotiation mediator team in the case of commercial property damages.
Your Liability Versus Landlord Liability
If you do experience one of the nightmare situations proposed above or some other form of commercial property damages, you need to know what you might be liable for and what your landlord is responsible for that they cannot try to pass on to you. The problem is that lease structure and the different codes or laws of your state influence who is responsible for these types of things. Generally, these are outlined in the lease and sometimes they are part of the incentives that a landlord offers in order to get tenants to lease their property. For example, a lease might direct tenants to take responsibility for any necessary repairs as long as the property is inspected regularly and found to be in good order and repair. Tenants should be discussing their lease with a professional during negotiations or else they stand to be on the hook for expensive commercial property damages.
In general, most states hold landlords responsible for structural repairs, such as any repair that holds the property together. Landlords are often responsible for any property damage that causes personal harm to an occupant as well. Again, this depends on the lease, but in general if the property is in a state of repair that injures someone, it goes beyond the tenant responsibility to make any necessary repairs. This should all be discussed with an expert before you sign the lease.
Obtaining Commercial Property Insurance
The responsible tenant should protect themselves and their business with the proper insurance to protect their employees and their assets. Some landlords will require their tenants to carry some kind of insurance. Even if they don’t, the risks posed to an uninsured business could be enough to destroy it, so do yourself a favor and make sure that you are covered in case of commercial property damages. Your tenant representation team will likely give you the same advice.
Get An Expert’s Opinion Before You Lease
Commercial property damages can end up being detrimental to your business and stressful for you, but with careful preparation and the right team behind you, nothing should ever blindside you. The experts at LCI Realty can help you find the best property, negotiate the best deal and keep an open line of communication and positive relationship with your landlord. Call the LCI Realty team today at 480-565-8981.