Skip to main content

Commercial Tenant refuses to assume/pay damages incurred by its subtenant. Material breach of standard CA commercial lease?

San Diego, CA |

Subtenant allowed water to gush freely in their toilets for months. Land lord noticed gradual but exponentially increasing utility bill ( part of the building's shared CAM), and hired third party plumber to investigate entire building to find the source. They found one source- a clearly visible leak in subtenant's toilets. Subtenant and Tenant dispute liability and refuse to pay the thousands of excess utility fees resulting from sub's negligence . If tenant does not cover sub's liability, material enough breach that landlord can consider lease terminated? Short of suing tenant, taking money out of the security deposit, any suggestions for enforcing compliance from tenant?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The answer to your questions will be found, for the most part, in the written lease. You refer to a standard CA commercial lease. No such thing. There may be leases that are used by certain landlords, but commercial leases can be quite unique depending on the negotiations that went on between the parties at the making of them.

If there is enough money involved in this issue, you would be prudent to have a commercial landlord-tenant attorney look at the lease and give you your options.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

Mark as helpful

8 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with Mr. Pedersen, there is no "standard" commercial lease. That said, typically a commercial triple net lease will require the tenant to make necessary repairs. It sounds as though it should have been obvious to the subtenant that there was a problem. I would approach the original tenant and let the tenant know that their subtenant is causing a problem. Let the tenant handle it since the tenant remains responsible under the lease.

This answer does not constitue legal advice, nor does it creat an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice upon which you intend to rely, you should hire competent cousel familiar with this area of the law in your locale.

Mark as helpful

8 lawyers agree

Posted

My colleagues are correct in their assessment of this facts presented. As they mention, there is no such thing as a standard commercial lease. As described, the landlord should make its request to the tenant to handle the problem. It is the tenant's responsibility to address the concern with the sub-tenant. If that doesn't work, consider consulting with a local landlord tenant attorney for a review of the lease and guidance in how to proceed under your particular facts. Good luck.

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Posted

My colleagues are correct that the answer lies in the lease you signed with your tenant. Most triple net commercial leases require the tenant to be responsible for all non-structural repairs, such as repair to the toilet. If the cause was due to pipes leading to the toilet, it may be landlord's responsibility, as a structural repair. If it is tenant's responsibility, then you need to look to the terms of the lease to see the remedies that you can exercise against the tenant.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to provide legal advice for your specific situation.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Real estate topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics