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Disputes caused by commercial tenant property improvements

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Commercial Real Estate

If you are a commercial tenant, you may decide to make improvements to the property you lease. This may be because the property needs minor updates to make it more attractive to visitors or because it needs renovations to make it more functional. These improvements can increase the property’s value, but they can also lead to a dispute with your landlord.

Improvement examples

Improvements may include renovating the interior of the building to change the layout, updating flooring, and painting. You may also choose to add new furniture or fixtures for meeting areas, create common spaces, or add functional desks, for example.

They may also include updating or replacing outdated systems, like heating and air conditioning or adding security controls. You may also choose to add a logo or design to the outside of the business to highlight it.

Disputes and resolution

Disputes can arise with your landlord if you do not obtain permission to make the improvements first. It’s important to check your lease for any prohibited improvements. Your landlord may also state that the value of any improvements you make belong to them, especially if they pay for them.

If your landlord is informed that the improvements violate building codes or zoning regulations, they may dispute who is responsible for paying fines for non-compliance. Also, if the improvements go beyond the scope of what the landlord believes they agreed to, it can cause a dispute.

Disputes may be resolved through direct communication with the landlord. If that is not successful, you may want to consider resolving it in court.