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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37371
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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We are a business customer. We have stayed in the same

Customer Question

We are a business customer. We have stayed in the same office for 11 years. I feel like our former landlord is taking advantage of us. Our lease ended Aug. 31. We elected not to renew because recent rent increases by this landlord were too high.
In retaliation, the landlord is refusing to end the lease. We have 26 cubicles remaining in the unit and we had previously discussed leaving them there for the next tenant. Now the landlord has changed their minds and is continuing to charge us rent until the unit is "back to marketable conditions".
The rent they are charging us is DOUBLE our previous rent and they get to decide when the unit is ready to rent. They want the cubicles removed (the cubicles were there before we moved in) but I offered to hire a service to do it to be nice. As soon as I said that they want us to pay for the painting and the carpets as well. We have been in the unit for 11 years and the carpet was over 15 years old when we first moved in so I figured that we shouldn't be responsible for the carpet because of wear and tear from over 25 years of use.
Once I said that about the carpet they they are asking us to remove all the network cables that have ever been installed in the entire history of the building. We didn't put those wires in. Previous tenants did. They are also asking us to repair leaks in the roof.
We need help. I think our previous landlord is trying to make us pay for all the repairs in the building that they want to make. How can we stop them?
-John Kwan, CEO
VeriPic, Inc. (###) ###-####
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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You only have a legal duty to return the property to the same condition it was in when you received it, excepting normal wear and tear.

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So if the cubicles and wiring was there before you took possession, you aren't legally obligated to remove it. Further, carpet and paint have typical depreciable lifespans of 5-7 years. So you are well beyond that now and the landlord can't charge you anything for painting or new carpet..

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Roofing it strictly the landlord's problem unless your lease makes you liable..

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He is trying to charge you for costs he is responsible for so he can upgrade the property for a new tenant. With that said, your recourse here is to just remove the cubicles (if you wanted to) and then return the keys and refuse to pay anything further as you aren't liable to pay for his upgrades..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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