REALWorld Law

Commercial leases

Repairing the leased space

Who pays for the maintenance and repair of the real estate actually occupied by the lessee?



Generally, the tenant is responsible for maintaining the interior lease space while the landlord is typically responsible for maintaining the exterior, structure and common areas of the property, subject to reimbursement by tenants through the shared operating expense mechanism whereby all of the tenants proportionately share the cost of maintaining and operating the common facilities. Responsibility for the costs of major capital replacements, particularly for items such as heating and cooling systems, or roof structures and membranes, are negotiated terms in the lease.

In general, the tenant will not be responsible for carrying out structural repairs, repairs to correct inherent defects or repairs for reasonable wear and tear of the real estate they lease. The landlord may or may not be liable for the cost of these repairs depending upon the terms of the lease. Tenants tend to be liable for any repairs in relation to damage caused by the tenant and to be under an obligation to repair and maintain the leased premises.