“Tenant’s Maintenance And Repair Duties On A Commercial Property For Rent”
Have you thought about sharing some of the responsibilities with your tenants?
Having a commercial property for rent means it has to always be in good condition. But… you can only achieve that if you, as the property manager and your tenants, have a defined set of responsibilities.
But you have to be careful in your assignment of responsibilities to your tenants. You need to make sure that your tenant is both capable and willing to carry through with their responsibilities. Otherwise, you’ll have to mitigate that risk of the work not being done.
In this article, we’ll talk about the opportunity of tenant’s maintenance and repair duties of the commercial property for rent. We’ll also discuss the things that a property manager should avoid.
Maintaining A Commercial Property For Rent
The first step to making profits from commercial properties is having a commercial property that meets the needs of the commercial tenants renting or occupying the property. The next and most important step to keeping commercial tenants happy is continually maintaining the commercial property and updating it when needed to match other properties in the area.
Maintaining a commercial property for rent is hard, it requires a lot of patience and hard work. The main suggestion to keeping your commercial property for rent maintained is requiring your tenant to follow a certain set of responsibilities spelled out in their rental contract which helps to keep the property maintained as well as allows you to continually keep the property in good condition with regular maintenance and cleaning services.
Since properly maintaining your commercial property for rent involves your tenants let’s first look at which responsibilities you could give to your tenants…
Tenant Responsibilities In Maintaining The Commercial Property
As the property manager, one of your main responsibility is to keep the rental property in good condition for commercial tenants. But… since commercial tenants are renting the property you must require them in their rental contract to do some of the responsibilities that will help keep the property in good condition. It is common to require your tenant to keep the nonstructural elements of the rented space in good shape at a minimum.
In most commercial rental property businesses the commercial tenants are required to behave properly inside the property and not do anything that could damage or lower the value of the commercial property, they are renting. Often the commercial rental contract will allow them to do minimal changes to the rented unit while requiring them to maintain common building areas. As part of the maintenance responsibilities often tenants are responsible for the cleaning and repairs to carpets inside the areas they are renting. While the common areas of the building are normally the responsibility of the building manager or property manager.
Depending what you negotiate in the commercial lease agreement with your tenants you can also require your tenants to change broken light bulbs and replace worn-out wall coverings. You can remind your tenants to keep the bathroom and kitchen fixtures clean and maintained. However, it is always a good idea to require the tenant to report if there are any damages that occur or if something needs to be replaced. It is best to detail the requirement in the commercial lease for the tenant to report damages and to tell your tenant that they are not allowed to rip out walls or fixtures without a written permission.
However, just because the tenant is renting the commercial property it doesn’t mean that they are fully responsible to maintain all areas of the commercial property or building.
Here are some common areas where the commercial tenants are not responsible for working on or maintaining such as the building:
- ventilation systems
Often the trash removal and preventing garbage to pile up is a responsibility of the landlord or the property manager.
Almost all residential and commercial property for rent hope for a quiet and peaceful rental and enjoyment of the property. Most rental property businesses require tenants to refrain from acting in a way that makes it impossible for neighbors in the building to enjoy the benefits of the lease. It is important to detail actions that are allowed and activities that are prohibited in the commercial property for rent in the commercial rental lease. All of the agreed terms, responsibilities, and policies for renting the property must be listed in the rental agreement and signed by both parties. It will serve as the proof that both sides have approved the agreement before the actual tenancy begins. Make sure to discuss the things to your tenants regarding this matter before you actually sign and agree to the commercial rental agreement.
Maintenance Issues Landlords Should Avoid
As the property manager when negotiating the commercial property for rent there are often responsibilities that you should avoid doing as they fall under the maintenance of the commercial business that is renting the space.
There are no laws that allow you to force your tenant to a certain set of responsibilities. All of the responsibilities designated to both parties to the commercial lease agreement are just part of the agreement and if either of the party had violated its clauses could result in the termination of the lease.
To keep your tenants happy, here are some tips on giving responsibilities to your tenants.
Passing On The Repair And Maintenance Jobs To Tenants
Offering a lower rent in exchange for passing the maintenance and repairs responsibilities to the tenant is advisable if you feel the tenant can handle these responsibilities adequately.
However often making the tenant responsible for maintenance and repairs can cause the buildings over maintenance to suffer when commercial businesses lag making repairs or don’t repair the damages completely. Requiring the tenant to do maintenance and repairs for the commercial property often puts the rental property and your tenant in danger if they don’t act on repairs immediately and effectively. If anyone is injured due to the lack of repair of a damage ultimately that would be the responsibility of the building and not the tenant. Even if the tenant had accepted the responsibilities it is still the building owners responsibilities to make sure that your tenant has the capability to do the maintenance and repair jobs on their own. Letting the tenant do the maintenance or repair job might only lead to more damage if the tenant has no experience in doing such work.
We highly suggest if you do require the tenant to do maintenance and repairs to have a building manager oversight and approval of all work done included into the negotiated terms of the contract.
Tenant Responsibilities Relating To Laws And Building Codes
The property manager is responsible for meeting initial fire code requirements to get building certificates of occupancy. Additionally, it is the building manager’s responsibilities to maintain and repair the commercial property for rent. However, you should make sure that the commercial rental contract requires the commercial tenant to observe and comply with building, fire, and safety code to the tenants.
To make sure your commercial property is maintained correctly we highly recommend that all the tasks and duties regarding the laws and building codes should be done by the property manager or the property owner. Usually, those duties and tasks require paperwork that should be signed by the property owner or manager.
Passing this duty to the tenant may result in unexpected measures and in the worst case scenario, it could stop your commercial property for rent from operating.
Always remember that complying with certain codes should be the property manager or the landlord’s responsibility.
Final Thoughts On Maintenance Of A Commercial Property For Rent
In this blog post we talked about how, as the property manager, one of your primary responsibility is to keep the commercial property for rent in good condition. One way to facilitate that maintenance and care is to assign the responsibility to your tenants.
The strategies we discussed can help facilitate you passing some of these responsibilities on to your tenants. But keep in mind that you are only allowed to give them minor tasks, such as cleaning or repairing damages inside the rented property. Never fully entrust them with the responsibility of operating the entire property. Ultimately you will be responsible for the safety and ensuring compliance with the codes.
If you have questions regarding maintenance of a commercial property for rent, feel free to comment them below.
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