What You Need to Know About Maintenance and Repairs During Commercial Leasing

When it comes to leased commercial buildings, both the landlord (or property owner) and tenant have maintenance and repair responsibilities. The lease will usually include a maintenance and repair clause that specifies your duties as the tenant of the rented space or building. This clause should be clear about what you are and are not required to do to care for and keep up the property and building, as well as provide a statement of the landlord’s duties. If you have a problem with any part of the clause, negotiate the responsibilities before signing the lease agreement.

Below is a breakdown of the things you need to know about commercial repairs and commercial maintenance in Indianapolis, IN during the term of your lease.

Tenant responsibilities

You may not be the owner of the building, space or property, but you still have maintenance and repair responsibilities as a tenant. At the very least, your landlord will want you to keep the property neat and clean, and probably repair any non-structural problems you’ve caused in the rental. Here’s what you generally cannot do—and what you absolutely must do.

It’s never a good idea to intentionally damage or destroy a leased property, or make big changes without permission. Examples of this include making a personal call to rip out walls or fixtures, removing landscaping or letting the trash (whether household or bulky garbage) pile up. If you do anything of the sort, you are perpetrating a “nuisance,” which is the term used in commercial leases.

You should also act in a commonsense way when leasing someone else’s property. This means you should refrain from acting in a way that makes the days unbearable for your business building or park neighbors. A good example of this is a restaurant setting up their exhaust fans in such a way that odors and smoke blow into nearby suites or buildings. An angry business building neighbor will most likely call your landlord to complain. Too many complaints may get you evicted.

Chances are it will be your responsibility to keep the non-structural elements of your leased space in good shape, including (but not limited to) cleaning and repairing carpets, lighting, bathroom and kitchen fixtures and wall coverings. A tenant’s duties are noted in the lease clause, but don’t make assumptions—clarify anything questionable with the landlord as soon as possible.

Landlord responsibilities

Ultimately, you both have housekeeping duties and repair chores—they’re just different. In most cases, the landlord takes care of the larger and more complex commercial repairs in Indianapolis, IN, namely structural aspects and systems of the building, like the foundation, framework, roof, HVAC and power. This makes a lot of sense for liability reasons, and for the simple fact that owners of leased buildings don’t want tenants making decisions involving these major features.

If you need help with commercial repairs in Indianapolis, IN, don’t hesitate to contact the pros at Knauss Property Services, LLC. Reach out to us today to learn more about what we can do for you!