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Experience:  Since 1983
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Who is liable if a business (#1)owner/tenant of an industrial

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Who is liable if a business (#1)owner/tenant of an industrial building suffers complete loss of equipment and material due to a fire when the building owner has no lease aggreement with the business (#1) owner/tenant?

Tenant #1 (no lease, no insurance, common wall to Tenant #2)
Tenant #2 (has lease, no insurance, electrical box causing fire)

Additional Information: My friend/Tenant #1 has occupied the unit for more than a year, paying rent monthly to building owner. Two units suffered complete loss. Fire has been investigated by City Fire Department (Arson Investigator) resulting in a report determining the cause to be an electrical box (Tenant #2) located on the common wall for both units. Further reports by Fire Authority/Arson Investigator has determined that the fire sprinklers in the units failed causing complete distruction rather than minor damage.
the building owner is liable, and he should have insurance that would cover the damage, if the fire was arson, and found to be caused by a tenant, than the tenant would be found responsible. But in this scenerio, the building owner can be sued by the tenant with the lease and without.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The state is California. "Verified" indicates that your practice/knowledge is:


Expert's attorney license with New York Bar was verified on or about 5/5/2009 by a leading third-party verification service. As of the verification date, the expiration date on file with the licensing authority was 7/1/2009.

i will try to get a california attorney for you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much
Even without a written lease, the tenant can still sue the landlord. It sounds like the tenant suffered losses due to a defect in the building and the landlord has a duty to maintain the building including the electrical system and the sprinkler system. Hopefully the owner of the building has insurance that would cover this claim.

I agree with what the other expert wrote, but I am licensed to practice law in California. I cannot give you legal advice, but my opinion is that the tenant can sue the owner of the building for negligence in maintaining the electrical and sprinkler systems.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9341
Experience: Since 1983
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