Your Lease: Friend or Foe?
If you’re a tenant, here’s what you need to know about your lease.
Take this quiz to find your lease IQ.
- What is the term of your lease?
- Is there a renewal option?
- Is a bonus paid for lease?
- What are your obligations for building services (heat, insurance, etc.).
- Is there an abatement provision if you suffer a serious loss or damage?
- Are you liable if the building fire insurance cost increases?
- Are you required to carry insurance for the benefit of the landlord:
- Fire insurance
- Liability insurance
- Plate glass insurance
- Do lease provisions make you responsible to repair or restore:
- Damage not resulting from your negligence?
- Repairs to the heating and air conditioning units?
- Structural repairs and latent defects?
- Extraordinary repairs that should be covered by the landlord’s fire insurance policy?
- Does the lease expressly deny your liability for those instances in question # 8?
- Is your landlord required to make repairs you’re not required to make?
- Does your landlord’s fire insurance policy contain a waiver of subrogation clause?
- Does your landlord relieve you in advance of any liability for fire or other casualty losses in excess of payments received from his fire insurance company, whether you cause them negligently or not?
- Do you indemnify and hold your landlord harmless for injury to third parties?
- Is hold harmless limited strictly to your use and occupancy?
- Are you still liable if your landlord is negligent? Example: Repairs not made as promised?
- Is the hold harmless ambiguous or specific? You don’t want terms such as “in or about” or “on or about” the leased premises. You need the terms to be very specific to your leased premises.
- Does any lease provision create a liability for you other than your landlord?
- Are you required to indemnify/hold harmless your landlord from liability for injury or damage to third parties or their properties not caused by your negligence or by your failure to comply with all provisions of your lease agreement?
If you’re a landlord:
- Is your tenant liable for any fire insurance increases?
- Is your tenant required to carry fire insurance and liability insurance in your favor?
- Is there an obligation for your tenant to repair and maintain the premises they occupy and the air conditioning/heating unit that services their premises?
- Has your tenant paid for any improvements or betterments? How much did they spend?
- Under what circumstances must you as landlord:
- Rebuild or repair the premises?
- Comply with new building code requirements?
- Is sub-leasing permitted?
When a catastrophe occurs your lease plays one of the dominant roles in getting you back in business quickly and profitably. Make sure you, your attorney and your insurance agent know what you want.