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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I have business within a commercial property which is one of

Customer Question

Hello
I have business within a commercial property which is one of 4 within the same building. I'm however the smallest as far as sq. ft. My space is approximately 300 Sq. ft. and the other 3 are 850 Sq. Ft and larger. The 3 year lease with the actual owners of the commercial building is considered a triple net in which I thought that was illegal in itself since all the tenants are a triple net and thought that wasn't allowed. In any case the owner decided they wanted to install a new A/C unit for the building. I only found out about this when I received my monthly invoice and there was an additional 250.00 per month charge on there. All the tenants split the cost of the A/C and all the amounts are the same. Are they allowed to do this and pass that charge on to us? And if so shouldn't it be divided equally per tenant depending on their square footage. I have a copy of lease if you would like to review. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there -

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Triple net commercial leases are legal for landlords to use In CA (and in all states), the effect of which puts all building maintenance and repairs onto the existing tenants pursuant to the terms of their leases. However, you are very correct that when performing such maintenance and doing any upgrades, the cost of the items should be split between the tenants according to their "pro rata" share of the building occupancy. In other words, you should only be paying an amount equal to your amount of space in the building. Here it sounds to me like you /your unit should be paying less than half of what all the other unit owners are paying for the replacement of the A/C.

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My suggestion to you here is to write a letter to the landlord and send it by both certified mail and by regular mail. In the letter you should note that while you realize that the tenants are responsible collectively for major repairs such as air conditioning, those charges are supposed to be apportioned between the tenants based upon their amount of square footage taken up on the building footprint. Let the landlord know that the amount of your share should be less than half of the amount charged to the other tenants, and that you do not know if this was an oversignt or done deliberately, someone there on the landlord end should go back and recalculate the charges based upon the footprint of the building and the amount of space taken up by each tenant. In the letter, I suggest that you actually perform such a calculation and let the landlord know that you believe that you should be paying no more than $XXXX dollars per month towards the payment of replacing the air conditioning and you would hope that the LL will make the monetary adjustment as soon as possible and be certain to calculate any other items in the future pursuant to the pro rata share of footprint space occupied by each tenant. If the LL refuses for some reason then I urge you not to take the amount off the rent -- you will need to take the matter to small claims court in order to force their hand because otherwise, you will end up in a situation where you have a non payment of rent charge and then you end up in eviction court regarding the matter when the best place to resolve it is in small claims court because it really does not have to do with payment of rent (LL is legally entitled to add any money you owe to the "rent" payments and call it rent and so if you do not pay, they can evict for non payment of rent even when the actual rent amount and rent payment is not in dispute)

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Please let me know if you have any further questions -- if not, can you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating in the ratings sections (the middle button, the fourth or the fifth button on the right of the middle star). Doing so will not cost any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again --

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Please let me know if you have any further questions -- if not, can you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating in the ratings sections (the middle button, the fourth or the fifth button on the right of the middle star). Doing so will not cost any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY