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Commercial lease


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#1 jennireb

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:49 AM

We have been leasing a business property in SC for 3 years, I just found out we have a septic system that is over 40 years old, no mention of this on the lease, the management company did not even know. When we began having plumbing issues in Jan 2013, I was told it was my responsibility as the lease states :Lessee shall be responsible for all repairs required, exceptin the exterior wall and structural foundations. At this point the septic tank has to be completely re-placed due to the walls have collapsed, at a price of 3,000.00 I feel that is not a normal day to day repair and do not feel like I should have to pay to have a new system put in when I do not own the property. I have already spent 1,200.00 trying to fix the problem with no resolution in sight.....

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

What would you like done about this matter?

#3 pg1067

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:25 AM

We have been leasing a business property in SC for 3 years, I just found out we have a septic system that is over 40 years old, no mention of this on the lease, the management company did not even know.


Why would you expect the age of the septic system to be mentioned in the lease? Prior to signing the lease, did you ask anyone about the age of the septic system?


When we began having plumbing issues in Jan 2013, I was told it was my responsibility as the lease states :Lessee shall be responsible for all repairs required, exceptin the exterior wall and structural foundations. At this point the septic tank has to be completely re-placed due to the walls have collapsed, at a price of 3,000.00 I feel that is not a normal day to day repair and do not feel like I should have to pay to have a new system put in when I do not own the property.


Feelings don't matter. All that matters is what the lease says. Does the lease limit the lessee's responsibility to "normal day to day repairs"? Your own description of the lease -- saying that the lessee is responsible for "all repairs required except[]in the exterior wall and structural foundations" -- suggests that it does not.

#4 jennireb

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:37 AM

I just did not want to have to pay for the entire repair, if it had been mentioned in the lease, i would have at least done a monthly maintenance of the septic tank. No one at the property leasing company knew about it until I asked and it took them 4 days to find out if there was a tank here. In a nut shell, I don't think this should be on me, however the lease states "ALL" repairs required, it does not limit the lessee's responsibility at all.

#5 Fallen

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

The problem is that you signed the lease. It sounds to me as though you didn't consult with a local real estate attorney before you started negotiating the finer points of this lease. I suspect you'd spend a lot more than $3,000 to fight over this issue, so you need to do a cost-benefit analysis ... possibly in consultation with a local real estate attorney.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#6 adjusterjack

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

I just did not want to have to pay for the entire repair, if it had been mentioned in the lease, i would have at least done a monthly maintenance of the septic tank. No one at the property leasing company knew about it until I asked and it took them 4 days to find out if there was a tank here. In a nut shell, I don't think this should be on me, however the lease states "ALL" repairs required, it does not limit the lessee's responsibility at all.


The other responders are correct, it's the terms of the contract that count. You apparently didn't understand what you were getting into when you signed it but now it appears that you are stuck.

You can, of course, take the contract to an attorney and see if you have any options.

By the way, did you ever buy insurance on the building? (Not just on your contents and equipment.)

You're responsible for all repairs except exterior walls and foundations. That leaves an awfully big chunk of the building left for you to repair if it's destroyed in a fire. And if you aren't concerned about that kind of remote possibility how about a lightning strike that fries the building's AC and heating system. Seems to me that you have an insurable interest in the building.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#7 pg1067

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:39 PM

if it had been mentioned in the lease, i would have at least done a monthly maintenance of the septic tank.


I take it, then, that the answer to my questions about whether the age of the septic system was mentioned in the lease and whether you ever asked anyone about the age of the septic system is no. It's easy to say, after the fact, that, "if you had told me ____, then I would have done ____ and avoided this whole mess," but the law does not require disclosure of every minute detail that might one day cause a problem. While laws governing the sale of residential real property require a significant amount of disclosure, laws regarding leasing of commercial real property generally have few, if any, disclosure requirements.


the lease states "ALL" repairs required, it does not limit the lessee's responsibility at all.


When you signed a contract that imposed on you an obligation to pay for (almost) "all" potential repairs, you obviously agreed to take on a huge amount of potential liability, and that obviously required an equally huge amount of due diligence. If a person in such a situation fails to conduct that diligence, then such person assumes a great deal of risk. Frankly, I cannot imagine signing a lease for commercial real property that imposes such a requirement without both a significant amount of inquiry of the landlord and an inspection by a licensed inspector.


I don't think this should be on me


If you are being truly honest, I suspect you will admit that you have no basis for thinking this. Sorry.




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