Can a "trade" fixture,a A/C portable unit used for business be removed from commercial property, if landlord terminated lease?

Asked over 1 year ago - Torrance, CA

an A/C portable unit was purchased and installed for the use of keeping products at the correct temperature as required for industry standards of our business. lease was terminated by landlord by written notice after 6 mos. (also due to a federal closure) lease states improvements cannot be removed, but this is chattel property installed by tenant. but portable, not industrial, if damage is repaired, hole in wall and roof, can item be removed without violating lease?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the comments of my colleague with one caveat: READ YOUR LEASE. Improvements are generally those that have become a permanent part of the premises, or specified as an improvement in the lease.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, it should be. Generally speaking, fixtures which are affixed remain with the property, but the tenant is entitled to take trade fixtures.

    Civil Code section 660 defines fixtures as:

    "A thing is deemed to be affixed to land when it is attached to
    it by roots, as in the case of trees, vines, or shrubs; or imbedded
    in it, as in the case of walls; or permanently resting upon it, as in
    the case of buildings; or permanently attached to what is thus
    permanent, as by means of cement, plaster, nails, bolts, or screws;
    except that for the purposes of sale, emblements, industrial growing
    crops and things attached to or forming part of the land, which are
    agreed to be severed before sale or under the contract of sale, shall
    be treated as goods and be governed by the provisions of the title
    of this code regulating the sales of goods."

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  3. Brandy Ann Peeples

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A removable a/c unit would not be considered a "fixture." Generally fixtures are items that cannot be removed without doing damage to the leased premises.

    Thus, a commercial tenant can remove all of his personal property and some "trade fixtures" when moving out. Trade fixtures are defined as personal property that a tenant attaches to leased land for business purposes, such as a display counter. For the trade fixture to remain with the commercial tenant, the item in question must be (1) necessary for the business of the tenant; (2) removable without damage to the property; and (3) removable within a proper time.

    From what you typed, the a/c unit would be a trade fixture that you would be permitted to take with you, so long as its removal does not damage the premises.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more

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