Florida’s Title VI Statutes, Chapter 83, govern “nonresidential tenancies” in the state (commercial leases). The statutes provide remedies for issues arising from both landlord and tenant actions or inaction. One section, 83.201, spells out steps a tenant may take if the building is not maintained and the lease states it the landlord’s responsibility to keep the property in good order. This is really a law of last resort, because both the landlord’s and your tenant interests are best supported by having the commercial lease spell out everything, including responsibility for roof maintenance.
What Does the Lease Say?
While almost all residential leases make the landlord responsible for safe upkeep of the property, commercial lease agreements vary widely. Sometimes the building owner must maintain the roof and grounds, including proper commercial waterproofing as needed. Other leases may shift this responsibility to the tenants, which can become complicated if more than one tenant occupies the space.
Your commercial lease may be more favorable to you, making the building owner responsible for the roof. In this case you have to provide reasonable accommodation to the tenant and any professional roofing contractors working on the building. This means access, a willingness to work around crews and equipment, and perhaps a shift in schedule to allow for rooftop work.
If the commercial lease says the building owner is responsible for preventing, say, water infiltration and your top-floor business suffers from a roof leak, you first should notify the owner of the issue and provide a “reasonable” amount of time for the owner to hire a commercial waterproofing and roofing crew. If the owner ignores the condition, you can withhold rent and divert those funds toward paying for the repairs yourself. You can cite 83.201 to support your action.
In most cases, with proper notification of an issue, a building owner will promptly hire a professional contractor such as A-1 Property Services to attend to roof repair, commercial waterproofing, or routine maintenance. The owner has a vested interest in preserving the property in a habitable condition.
If, on the other hand, you are responsible for the roof’s maintenance and you neglect it, the building owners are within their rights to arrange repairs themselves and charge you. Make certain you know what your commercial lease agreement says!
Should you need professional, local, commercial waterproofing or roof maintenance, contact A-1 Property Services today.Roofing Services