Can the landlord have a new tenant be responsible for replacing the HVAC in the building?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can the landlord have a new tenant be responsible for replacing the HVAC in the building?

Hi My name is Ashley and I have been researching this issue but can’t seem to
find what I am looking for. Maybe you can help and it would be greatly
appreciated I live in the state of Alabama and I am very unfamiliar with the
Texas law. However, I do feel that the landlord is in violation ofsome sort for
a commercial property lease with my boss. My boss is the owner of Anytime
Fitness in Richmond, TX. He purchased the club in March 2018 and took over an
existing lease. The landlord never sent over the copy of the entire lease like
he was supposed to. The HVAC unit started failing in May 2018. The owner and
the landlord had issues over who was responsible for repairs and still failed
to send over the lease when asked stating he already had. He just sent over a
piece with special condition only. He sent a crew out to service the AC which
failed again after charging 3,900. The company threatened a lien after the
owner refused to pay for service when the system was still not working
properly. The landlord then agreed to amend the lease and pay for the services
out of the security deposit left in place by the previous tenants. I am
assuming he did not do this out of kindness since that is not his type We have
now sent someone else out to service the unit after getting complaints from our
members and corporate. Both units have failed and the repair specialist today
has quoted me 5000 in parts alone, not including labor and crane rental. It is
pretty much replacing the entire unit Is this something that should fall on
the current tenant? Especially when the unit failed after only 2 months
occupancy? I also feel that there is something peculiar going on since the
landlord claims he has sent the lease multiple times but indeed he has not. The
e-mail states there was a lease but there is no attachment. And he refuses to
send it over again. Please help

Asked on November 8, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing illegal about a commercial tenant paying for HVAC, and it's not even particularlly uncommon: in commercial tenancies, the landlord and tenant can agree to apportion costs and responsibilities however they like. So if the lease makes this the tenant's obligation, the tenant must pay. If the lease does not make the tenant responsible, however, then HVAC, as part of the landlord's property, would be the landlord's cost and responsibility; the landlord pays for infrastructure for his building (since he owns it and is responsible to provide habitable and functional space to his tenant[s]) unless the lease says otherwise.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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