Laguna Woods, CA asked in Contracts for California

Q: Would a building repair requirement be considered different than a refurbishment, improvement and/or remodel?

This is related to a lease clause of a commercial building and the landlord is stating that he is not responsible for repairs to the building due to code violations because he disclaimed any financial responsibility for any "refurbishments", "improvements" and/or "remodel" to the building. We are seeking financial relief from the landlord, as the repairs are required under city, fire and/or water code violations.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nathan Wirtschafter
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  • Woodlands Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'd like to know more about the lease. Leases typically specify that: (a) the property is not in violation of any building code, regulation or ordinance, and (b) that the landlord will maintain/repair the building as needed.

If the above-listed provisions exist, arguably, the landlord would be in breach of the lease for failure to maintain/repair the property. If the landlord knew the property was not "up-to-code," there may be tort remedies available also.

I recommend that you have your lease and overall situation reviewed promptly by an attorney.

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