When you own commercial property that you lease or rent to tenants, failure to live up to your responsibilities to them can result in protracted and expensive legal disputes.
While the commercial leases or rental agreements you negotiate with your respective tenants likely will set forth which of you must do which things to or on the property, PekinInsurance.com advises that you, as the property owner, cannot delegate some responsibilities to your tenants.
California law requires you to provide your commercial tenants with not only their own habitable spaces, but also an overall habitable building. This means that it is your responsibility, not theirs, to abide by the rules and regulations set forth in the building codes applicable to your structure, be they state, county or city.
Major repairs and maintenance
Nor can you delegate your responsibility to adequately maintain and repair your building and its individual units and spaces. Consequently, you should regularly inspect and, when necessary, repair the following:
- Your building’s roof and paneling
- Its water pipes and connections
- Its heating and air conditioning units
- Its fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Any security devices you provide for your tenants’ doors and windows
- Any appliances you provide your tenants
You likewise bear responsibility for keeping your building and its common grounds and surrounding premises in a safe, clean and reasonably hazard-free condition. This includes not only regular trash removal, but also the removal of snow, ice and other debris from your building’s parking lots(s) and sidewalks.
Also keep in mind that you likewise bear responsibility for making your building compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act if it or any of its tenant-occupied spaces are open to the public.