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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Atty since 1986. Real estate, tax, and other business law questions
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I work at a small business and we are having problems with ...

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I work at a small business and we are having problems with the HVAC system. Right now it needs a repair that will cost $800. The landlord says it is our obligation to pay for the repair. Here are relevant clauses in the lease. "Tenant shall, at Tenant's sole cost and expense, keep the Premises and every part thereof in a high standard of maintenance and repair and in good and sanitary condition and repair, ordinary wear and tear excepted." The lanlord's position is the repair is not ordinary wear and tear. There is also an exhibit to the lease where it states "The premises is equipment with an independant HVAC system which is to be maintained and reparied by Tenant." Even though the sentence doesn't make sense, this is the exact wording and punctuation. My question is, do I have a case for making the landlord pay if I went to small claims court?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 9 years ago.


Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am looking forward to assisting you.

While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me.

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"The premises is equipment with an independant HVAC system which is to be maintained and reparied by Tenant."

That sentence certainly sounds to me like you, not the landlord, is responsible for the HVAC system, especially if it is stated in its own exhibit to the lease.

Is there more to this story we should discuss?

I'll look forward to hearing from you!



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
there's not much more to the story other than my boss signed a really bad lease. In retrospect it makes no sense what so ever for us to take responsibility for the HVAC unit since we have no idea how old the thing is. I mean we could potentially be on hook for replacing the unit if it should fail completely. I was hoping there might be some way for us to get out from this obligation.
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 9 years ago.

I tried to find landlord tenant information for businesses, but was unsuccessful. You can try contacting this agency:

Perhaps there is a state law preventing a lessee from taking responsibility for an HVAC in a rental agreement, but I was unable to find it.

Here is a link to the California state code:

I'm sorry, I think the small business is stuck with the lease it signed.

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