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Commercial property maintenance: who is responsible for what?

Your recently acquired commercial property is ready for occupation, and you cannot hide your joy. But while you are thrilled about acquiring tenants, you have a couple of concerns. After all, you are new to this game, and you are not quite sure what each party’s responsibilities should be beyond paying and collecting rent. 

As long as the building is occupied, something is bound to break down. It could be the electrical system, the plumbing or the common area carpets. So whose job is it fixing broken equipment on a commercial property? 

Tenant responsibilities 

The tenant is typically responsible for any wear or break that happens within their rented spaces due to regular use. If the walls, windows, doors and flooring deteriorate, the tenant has a duty to replace them with products of similar qualities. The same applies to lighting issues that do not involve the property’s overall electrical wiring. Other tenant responsibilities may include fixtures like broken bathrooms and kitchen fixtures within their rented space. 

Landlord responsibilities

The landlord is generally responsible for everything to do with the building’s structure unless an issue is the result of the tenant’s negligence. This would include the building’s foundation and walls all the way to the roofing. The landlord is also responsible for the building’s heating, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems. They are also responsible for ensuring the building meets fire and safety standards. 

What about the common area?

A well-kept and properly functioning common area benefits tenants in a variety of ways. In exchange for this peace of mind, the landlord may pass on the cost of common area maintenance (CAM) to the tenants.

Protecting your investment with a commercial lease 

A lot goes into owning a commercial property. Drafting an effective commercial lease contract can help you protect your investment while avoiding unnecessary disputes with your tenants.