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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 37804
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a commerical lease in Washington, GA it was a simple

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I have a commerical lease in Washington, GA it was a simple lease for 1 year for a restaurant. My lease began May 1, 2008 in July I discovered that the A/C was not working and notified the landlord they advise me that I was responsible for all repairs to the building they were only responsible for the outside structure. They call their a/c person to repair it and sent me a bill for $1450. I did not sign anything with this repairman. My lease states that I will be responsible for minor repairs this is not minor to me, and I don't expect them to renew my lease without a huge increase in rent and expect me to assume all responsibility for the building maintenance and all repair. I will not agree to do as all the systems in the building are at least 10-13 years old. Do I have to pay this bill? I just last week discovered that the heat is not working properly what recourse do I have?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

One way to deal with this is to come up with a threshold amount, below which is considered a minor repair. Then there is no argument.


Since your lease holds you liable for minor repairs, and there is nothing expressly defining that, it would be up to the court to determine what is "reasonable." You can argue whatever you want in this area -- perhaps something such as: "Anything less than $100 for a one-time fix is a "minor repair," because it can be funded from petty cash."


I'm just making this up, but you get the idea. "Minor" is, well...minor. And $1,450 is a substantial cost -- a major repair.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My question was am I liable for this bill I have been presented for this repair. There was no limit set it simply stated minor repairs are the responsibility of the lessee and major the lessor. I was not consulted prior to the repair I was just sent a bill to reinburse the owner who paid for the repair made after summer was over I might add. your information is good for future situations but doesn't address the current situation.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

My answer addresses the ultimate problem, which is proving that you are not in breach of contract for refusing a $1,450 repair to the HVAC. That said, the landlord will almost certainly withhold the repair cost from your security deposit, and you will have to sue to recover that amount -- so, you will need my argument for the lawsuit -- because this is a judgment call for a court to decide -- there is no definitive answer.



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