What are a tenant’s rights in a commercial property dispute?

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What are a tenant’s rights in a commercial property dispute?

Is property management liable for damage caused by their refusal to fix a roof leakage? Can property management evicts us because we didn’t pay late fee? And, can property management use our rent payment as late fee even though the lease didn’t stipulate this right?

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If property management did not repair a leak after notice from you of the existence of the leak, then they are potentially liable for the cost of any damage done by that leak. What is critical is that you must have provided notice (preferably written, sent some way you could prove delivery) of the leak--they are not required to simply know of a leak in your premises.

If the lease requires payment of late fees and calls them  "additional rent," then the landlord or property manager would seek to evict you for not paying them.

If you owe money to a landlord or property manager and pay them an amount not equal to all that you owe, they (not you) decide how to apply the payment. So say your rent is $3,000 a month and you owed $300 in late and other fees; if you paid $3,000, theyn could apply $300 to fees and $2,700 to rent--leaving you short on rent.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If property management did not repair a leak after notice from you of the existence of the leak, then they are potentially liable for the cost of any damage done by that leak. What is critical is that you must have provided notice (preferably written, sent some way you could prove delivery) of the leak--they are not required to simply know of a leak in your premises.

If the lease requires payment of late fees and calls them  "additional rent," then the landlord or property manager would seek to evict you for not paying them.

If you owe money to a landlord or property manager and pay them an amount not equal to all that you owe, they (not you) decide how to apply the payment. So say your rent is $3,000 a month and you owed $300 in late and other fees; if you paid $3,000, theyn could apply $300 to fees and $2,700 to rent--leaving you short on rent.


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