Who Is Responsible For Commercial Roof Maintenance?

Have you been a victim of signing a lease agreement without a clear understanding of its terms and conditions? You are not alone. Leases are prepared by the landlord and, as such, are skewed in their favor.

At the time of signing the lease, your focus is limited to the immediate financial costs like rent and utility bills. You assume that within the period of the lease, not much in terms of extra costs will occur. A year down the line, you begin to have many repair and maintenance issues such as a leaking roof, a broken door handle etc.

When you call your landlord asking for repairs, either nothing is done or you are told it is your responsibility. A closer look at your lease on the maintenance and repair section leaves you with more questions on the meaning of such words as "repair", "maintenance" and "structural".

Commercial Lease

Many commercial leases specify that the landlord is responsible for structural repairs. This is interpreted to mean that which guarantees the integrity of the structure like foundations, roofs and floor structure.

Because the roof is part of the structure, disputes may arise between the landlord and tenants as to who is responsible for commercial roof repair. A repair is generally any act designed to fix the damage that may arise out of continuous use of a thing or by accident. Maintenance, on the other hand is an act that is meant to keep items in good condition or delay wear and tear.

The Law and Commercial Roof repair

The law is not clear on roof repairs and maintenance obligations; roof replacement on the other hand falls squarely on the landlord. A Landlord may make a tenant responsible for roof repairs even in cases where the lease obligation states that it's the landlord's responsibility.

Avoiding Disputes

When terms like "repair", "maintenance" and "structural" are vague, disputes will arise between the landlord and tenant. As a result, parties may end up in court where it is left up to the court to interpret the meaning of those terms.

Final Thoughts

The law is not clear on who is responsible for commercial roof repair. Before signing a lease, you as the tenant should seek legal advice to ensure your long-term interests are secured in the lease. An attorney will save you the headache of litigation. No matter what, it's in both parties' best interest to work out commercial roof repair needs, both for the protection of the building and for tenant safety, comfort, and productivity. 

Once you figure out who should pay for the rood, don't hesitate to reach out to professionals at a place like TRM ROOFING to get them working on your roof.