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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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We have a commercial rental property that we've rented for 4

Customer Question

We have a commercial rental property that we've rented for 4 years. We sell commercial Hvac equipment. When we moved in there was some storage space that we used as office space and installed some demonstrator Hvac equipment that was connected to this space. It was not permitted and was never intended to be permanent or 100% functional as it was used for training of our customers on the equipment we sell. We are now moving to a new building and our landlord is trying to prevent us from removing this equipment. I believe these are 'trade fixtures' and she is attempting to force us to permit and leave this equipment for her benefit. Can she do this? If we had permitted the instal and it wasn't equipment we used for training our customers then our lease says it would be the landlords choice but it was never permitted or intended for that purpose.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

No, your landlord's claim is not supported.

If this matter is actually disputed, she would have to convince a court that the machinery was actually used to support the building - which it was not.

(I'm not sure what to tell you as far as how to deal with this with the landlord - the easiest way to go about it is to simply remove the appliances, take them to your new facility, and force her to try to take it to court - this of course puts you on the "defense" - but it forces her to decide how far she wants to push this. Your other option is to file your own court case for breach of contract and ask the court for "declaratory relief" to determine who the machines belong to before you remove them, but even if you were in small claims (I know these machines cost a lot of money, so I don't know if you qualify for small claims or not), this can take 2-4 months before you get a judgment)).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you define 'support the building'
These are Hvac appliances so, when running, they are connected to the building services but are not the sole source of Hvac for the building. Prior to us adding them the space we utilized as office was storage only and had no other connection to Hvac
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

These systems do not need to be running to provide the building with HVAC services.

The building's pre-existing systems support the facility.

Your systems exist for the single purpose of providing customers with system training and demonstration (modeling your product).