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We signed a commercial lease 9 months ago. Per the lease, we…

We signed a commercial lease...
We signed a commercial lease 9 months ago. Per the lease, we were responsible for improving the "Fire Prevention" system i.e: sprinkler system. Once improvements were complete, the fire inspector told the landlord their "Fire Alert" system was out of code - and needed to be updated. The lease states that all systems would be up to code before move-in. The landlord contends that by us improving the "Fire Prevention" system it created the need to update the "Fire Alert" system; therefore, we are solely responsible for the cost of the "Fire Alert" system replacement. We have improved substantially improved the property since move-in. Are we also responsible for the "Fire Alert" expense (n excess of $10,000). We are in Colorado. Thank you in advance.
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2/14/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
A moment to review is ok. Approximately, what time frame should we expect for answer?

Just a few minutes.

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Thanks for your patience. The answer to your question is that you are likely not responsible for having the Fire Alert system up to code. Unless the landlord can show that the improvements created this additional need to get things up to code, then they are breaching the contract by not having it up to code in advance. Colorado property law doesn't specifically cover this, but Colorado recognizes the common law on property contracts like these.

A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
No problem. Greatly prefer accuracy. Not a huge hurry

In addition, under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward other can result in a breach of contract. If you have made all of the upgrades and otherwise substantially complied with the agreement, then their failure to do so is a breach as well.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
34;...Unless the landlord can show that the improvements created this additional need to get things up to code.." They knew in advance that we would be improving the Fire Prevention system, however the wording above sounds like our improvements CAUSED the need to improve their out of date system? Is that not more likely that we are responsible?

Truthfully, even if you did upgrade and it created the new fire code issue, if the landlord promised it'd be up to code, then it has to be up to code regardless of whether your improvements caused this. At least that's what I predict a small claims court judge would say. If they don't have the place ready, then you may be able to sue them for breach of contract for each day that it's not up to code and ready to be used.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you. I appreciate the input.

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