Cadden & Fuller LLP
A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Responsibilities of commercial landlords

A commercial landlord has to fulfill several important obligations to tenants. A lease agreement should clearly spell out each party’s responsibilities and identify each party’s remedy in the event that there is any type of noncompliance with the agreement’s terms. 

In general, commercial tenants have fewer rights than residential tenants. Leases often charge commercial tenants with responsibility for repairs and entitle them to relatively little notice when a landlord wishes to terminate a lease for cause. Nonetheless, commercial landlords must take care to avoid breaching a lease so as to avoid potentially serious financial and legal ramifications. 

Maintaining common areas

When commercial landlords rent several spaces within a single building, they typically remain responsible for the care and upkeep of the building’s common areas. Failure to maintain a common area may result in financial harm to lessees’ business or prevent them from using a space altogether. In this situation, a lessee may have grounds to break a lease, withhold certain fees, or send a written demand that a landlord cure the problem. 

Addressing nuisances

A nuisance on a commercial property could severely impede a lessee’s ability to use of the premises. A landlord should send a legal notice to a tenant who is causing any type of nuisance that affects another tenant. If a third party is responsible, a landlord may send the responsible individual or business entity a formal request for abatement or cessation of the nuisance. It may also be possible to seek assistance from a city or municipality’s code enforcement department if the nuisance violates local regulations.