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Commercial Property Management/17 yr tenant wants carpet replacement. Already renewed Lease again.

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Friend has been a tenant in same bldg for 17 years.  Carpet has not been replaced THE ENTIRE TIME.  It's looking pretty run-down.  The tenants have already renewed (by default, letting certain deadlines pass#.  The suite also hasn't been painted in 10 years.  We're talking about a 800 sq. foot space.  
What would be the best way to approach the landlord?  I was going to try a super-polite letter, asking for goodwill to replace the carpet. My friend will repaint at her own cost, but doesn't want to tell them that yet.  By the way, the management company has dozens of buildings. These particular ones are really old, and there are much nicer spaces all along this corridor #some owned by them).  Since the tenants already renewed, though, i guess that isn't relevant.  And the mgmt. company is in a building a football field away - and the carpet in that building is beautiful and other things are updated, too.  How can I best help my friend?  Thanks in advance.

Answer
Debbie:

My experience is that unless your Lease states in the text something like: "The landlord shall, at its' own cost and expense, supply and install no later than X(date), the X (list a weight in ounces)carpet known as X (give a brand/style), in X (specify the color) throughout the entire leased premises . . . ", do not expect to have the landlord provide new carpeting to the leased premises.   The quality of the carpet in the premises is one of many things that should be specifically addressed IN WRITING when a tenant is negotiating the terms of lease.  

In spite of the carpet being worn out, and based on your description of the tenancy of the building where the premises are located, the old building must be offering fairly attractive economic lease terms otherwise the tenants of the building would have negotiated a new lease in an alternative building that provides a decent quality carpeting as part of the lease.  You may consider relocating to another such property once your lease expires.

I am not an attorney, and therefore cannot provide you legal advice, but you may find that if the existing carpet has stringy, frayed strands, or bunches up from being stretched out over time, that these characteristics could cause people to trip and pose a dangerous condition.  Check with a local attorney, this might, in your jurisdiction, create some level of liability for the landlord and be a reason for the landlord to choose to re-carpet the premises.  

Owning and leasing commercial office/business space is a For-Profit business for property owners.   Similar to some residential slumlords, it sounds as if you should expect that this landlord will not spend a penny more than it legally must in order to continue to generate the revenue it deems necessary to continue to hold this property.  Don't let the tenant get overly sentimental about the leased premises after 17 years.  They should seek a lease that provides them the amenities they need, at a fair market rent.

Good luck.

-Jim  

Commercial Property Management

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Jim Avancena

Expertise

Any question involving commercial (non residential) property management or commercial leasing.

Experience

You can see all my information as your expert under commercial real estate "investment" which I have been reponding to for some time now. My expertise however is really commercial leasing and property management (for which I am a Certified Property Manager "CPM"). I though I should more accurately be listed under Property Management or Commercial Leasing which you do not have a category yet. I would be most help answering questions involving Commerical Leases as that is what I do the most of in real life.

Education/Credentials
BA Political Communications, University of Memphis Certified Property Manager ("CPM"), Institute of Real Estate Management, Chicago

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