Exterior shot of a commercial building.

Are Commercial Tenants Responsible for Roof Repairs?

Don’t wait for an unexpected issue to pop up before you look into the details of your commercial lease roof maintenance responsibility

Your business depends on being aware of your tenant responsibilities as well as preparing for any costs you may incur as part of your tenancy.  But how much work should you anticipate?  Are you liable if the roof needs to be replaced, or just if there is a leak?  What is the landlord responsible for?

Who Should Fix the Roof on a Commercial Building?

If you have a commercial lease, roof responsibility should be spelled out in your lease agreement.  Good leases will have an entire section devoted to specifying who is responsible for repairs, maintenance, and replacement, detailing situations that fall into each category. 

When reviewing a commercial lease, read it carefully to ensure the repair and maintenance language is specific.  Various scenarios need to be accounted for – not simply roofing related but for other systems and structural building elements as well. 

What are Commercial Landlord Responsibilities?

Typically in a commercial lease, landlord responsibilities aren’t explicitly spelled out like tenant responsibilities are.  As a tenant, your lease probably specifies “what you cannot do, and what you must do.”  However, good leases will explicitly address landlord responsibilities.

Commercial landlord responsibilities tend to include:

  • Cleaning, repair, and maintenance on areas that don’t concern your business, such as hallways or units occupied by other companies.
  • Building, fire, and safety code compliance.
  • Maintenance of structural parts of the building, such as walls, roof, foundation, and more.
  • Maintenance of major systems (HVAC systems, plumbing, electricity, etc.)

Rules can vary by state, but typically, maintenance falls to the property owner (the landlord) unless otherwise specified.  On the other hand, repairs may be more difficult to define.  For example, there have been cases that ruled that landlords must spell out which situations require repairs in the lease – noting that “wear and tear” counts as standard maintenance, not a condition that requires a repair. 

Don’t leave your livelihood up to chance.  It’s always better to negotiate a commercial lease that includes specific language rather than assuming the landlord has responsibility for the roof.

Read about how a leaking roof can damage a commercial property. 

Commercial Roof Repairs in Arizona

If you’ve just read your lease and discovered you’re responsible for commercial roof repair, don’t worry – the SUNVEK team is here to help.

We’ve seen firsthand how much damage an unrepaired issue can cause to an Arizona roof.  Whether it’s your responsibility or your landlord’s, you’ll want to get the roof inspected, repaired, or even replaced as soon as possible.  We offer free consultations, so call us now to start the process.

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