Property Owner Repair and Maintenance Duties in Commercial Leases

  1. Landlord Tenant
  2. Property Owner Repair and Maintenance Duties in Commercial Leases
Property Owner Repair and Maintenance Duties in Commercial Leases
Landlord Tenant, Real Estate

What are repair and maintenance duties? Lease agreements and Arizona law govern the rights and responsibilities of both parties to a commercial real estate lease. The provisions in these leases can vary widely, so all parties involved must understand their respective legal rights and duties under the lease. Repair and maintenance duties in commercial buildings can be very expensive, so it is especially important to understand who is responsible for bearing those costs throughout the lease term.

As legal matters or disputes arise throughout your real estate transaction, an Arizona real estate attorney at Provident Law® can represent your interests. Call our office today at (480) 388-3343 to schedule a time to talk with a real estate lawyer about your legal issue.

The Duty to Repair Under Commercial Leases

In most commercial leases, property owner repair and maintenance duties include the duty to keep the commercial property in a reasonably safe and habitable condition. To the extent that the property contains common areas, property owner repair and maintenance duties include responsibility for maintaining those areas. Failure to adequately maintain and perform regular upkeep of a commercial property can result in liability if someone suffers injuries due to a condition on the property.

Potential Exceptions to the General Duty to Repair

However, the property owner or landlord has no duty to make improvements or repairs to the leased building or premises unless the lease specifically contains a provision that requires the property owner to make certain repairs or improvements. One exception would be if the property owner were aware of a defect in the property when he entered the lease and failed to disclose that defect to the tenant. In that case, the property owner would be responsible for remedying the condition.

Another exception might be if a casualty event, such as a fire, occurred and damaged the leased premises. In that case, the lease generally would require the property owner to use the insurance proceeds to repair the damages. However, commercial leases also typically have a clause that provides either party the right to prematurely terminate the lease if the casualty has caused such substantial and material damage that the premises are uninhabitable and will require extensive restoration.

Tenant Duties to Make Repairs

As a result, absent a lease provision to the contrary, if a tenant in a commercial lease wishes to make repairs or improvements to a commercial property, it is up to the tenant to make those repairs to improvements. Likewise, suppose the tenant damages the property in any way that goes beyond normal wear and tear and fails to make needed repairs to remedy the damages. In that case, the tenant can be liable to the property owner for the repair expenses at the end of the lease term.

Tenants also are typically responsible for remedying damages if their gross negligence or intentional conduct leads to a casualty. In that case, the tenants likely would not be entitled to premature termination of the lease and would continue to owe all sums due under the lease. They also would be responsible for repairs to any damages that they caused to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

We Are Here to Assist You with Your Arizona Real Estate Matter

We aim to help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities before entering a commercial lease, including repair and maintenance duties. We will advocate on your behalf throughout your commercial lease transaction or in response to legal problems that may arise from that transaction. Contact the offices of Provident Law® today at (480) 388-3343 or online and schedule an appointment to speak with an Arizona real estate attorney about your legal matter.

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