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What are your legal responsibilities as a commercial landlord?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Firm News |

As the owner of commercial real estate, the leases you negotiate with your various tenants set forth your responsibilities to them.

Nevertheless, PekinInsurance.com explains that some of your responsibilities are non-negotiable. They are yours by law. Furthermore, your failure to live up to them likely will leave you open to lawsuits by your tenants and consequent fines and penalties as well as litigation expenses. Below are just three such responsibilities.

Habitable building

Whether your tenants are businesses or individuals, you must provide them with a habitable building. At the very least, this means that your building must comply with all local building codes.

Removal of waste

As the landlord, you bear primary responsibility for removing waste from your property. While it is true that your tenants bear responsibility for placing their respective trash and garbage in the container or containers you provide, you must, in fact, provide such containers and contract with the city or company responsible for waste removal.

Major repairs and maintenance

As part of providing your tenants with a habitable building, you are responsible for repairing and maintaining the following:


        Heating and cooling units

        Water pipes

        Smoke detectors and fire alarms

        Security devices on doors and windows

        Adequate lighting in parking lots and outside stairwells and corridors


Last, but by no means least, if your building is open to the public, you must see to it that it complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act, particularly with regard to wheelchair accessibility for ingress into it and egress from it. In other words, you need to install ramps to your ground floor entrances.