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Upgrading security of business center based on bomb threat: tenant responsibility or landlord's?

Denver, CO |

There are several tenants leasing space in a building open to the public. Tenants have requested a buzz-in system to enhance security. Landlord refused. Yesterday, building was evacuated for a bomb threat. Landlord contacted by phone and notified of bomb threat. Landlord was asked again about installing a buzz-in system. He refused stating "It's not my fault that you people have enemies crazy enough to make threats like that. The building already has security (not exactly true) and upgrading what's there is not within the scope of a normal landlord's duties." Is this outside the scope? What, if anything can tenants do?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Your company entered into a lease with the business center with a specific rent price based on the amenities the building had at the time you entered into your lease. It is unlikely that you have the right to require the landlord to install a new security system at his expense without increased rent. The most important thing you can do is to review your lease. In a commercial lease, the parties have great flexibility in allocating responsibilities related to the property.

If the lease does not provide you a right to require the landlord to provide security upgrades and the new system is important to the tenants, they should research what the new system would cost to install and operate. Perhaps if they can agree on a way to split these costs between them, the landlord would be willing to allow the change.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


Commercial leases come with an implied warranty that the property is fit for its intended use. Courts have held that things like leaking roofs and inadequate drainage violate this implied warranty. It is unlikely that a court would agree that the landlord's failure to install a buzz-in system violates this warranty unless you can demonstrate that the inadequate security impacts the intended use of the property.

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