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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10237
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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Have another question on my situation. In my lease under

Customer Question

Have another question on my situation. In my lease under Heating and air, the lease clearly states landlord will provide heat and a/c unit and that I am responsible for providing any repairs and maintenance. I own a bakery and there is a furnace and working unit in the store area. But in the kitchen area which is about 65% of the entire rental space there is no furnace and no unit. Is my landlord responsible for providing a unit in the kitchen area? I find the wording in the lease vague as it just says they must provide it, but it does not specify kitchen and/or store area. I do realize I should have handled this prior to signing the lease..lesson learned....but I'm hoping there is some recourse for me now. Thank you!!!
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Unfortunately this is going to be a little tougher to settle.

However, contract interpretation requires that in the case of a vague or contradictory clause, the terms shall be interpreted "against the drafter" - this means that if the landlord wrote the lease, and the lease requires the landlord to provide heat, but the lease is vague as to what portion of the unit is heated - the landlord must provide heat to all of it.

The landlord may try to make an argument that the unit was rented "as is" - meaning that as there was no heat when you took possession, they are not responsible for installing it, but this argument is not conclusive.

It is not unreasonable to expect the entire commercial space to be heated.

For a matter such as this, as an alternative to suing the landlord, try mediation first - use of a third party neutral to help reach a resolution can often help you come up with a more dynamic resolution to the problem than you would receive in court. Contact your local bar association for referrals to mediators.

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