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business lease issue due to flooding - seeking advice

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  • business lease issue due to flooding - seeking advice

    Hi everyone,

    We are renting a 2 story for our complementary medical practice and have 3.5 years left on our lease. We have been at our location for 15 years and last year  had 3 floods that forced us to move our clinic to the upstairs. Landlord repaired the inside and "water-proofed" building from the outside over a period of 7 months but didn't fix storm water drain which is the primary problem. It appears the storm water problem cannot be fixed. We moved back downstairs over New Years. Flooded again on June 8. 2' of water in parking lot, 4" inside the building. Had to move back upstairs which is seriously cramping our practice. Consulted lawyer and he basically said we can't get out of the lease b/c Section 4 and 10 are too weak. We're seeking to get out of lease so we can purchase new building. Any bright ideas? TIA



    Repair and Maintenance.

    • Repairs by Landlord

    Landlord agrees to keep in good repair the roof, foundation and exterior walls of the Premises (exclusive of all glass and exclusive of all exterior doors), and underground utility and sewer pipes outside the exterior walls of the building, except repairs rendered necessary by the negligence and intentional wrongful acts of Tenant, its agents, employees and invitees. If the Premises are part of a larger building, then to the extent that the grounds are common areas, Landlord shall maintain the grounds surrounding the building including paving, the mowing of grass, care of shrubs, and general landscaping. Tenant shall promptly report in writing to Landlord any defective condition known to it which Landlord is required to repair and failure to report such conditions shall make Tenant responsible to Landlord for any liability incurred by Landlord by reason of such condition. Any major repair of Premises or replacement exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year total such as of heating or air conditioning units, or old plumbing and electrical shall be the Landlord’s responsibility.

    • Repairs by Tenant

    Tenant accepts the Premises in the present condition and as suited for the uses intended by Tenant. Tenant shall, throughout the initial term of this Lease, and any extension or renewal thereof, at its expense, maintain in good order and repair the Premises, including the building, heating and air conditioning equipment (including but not limited to replacement of parts) and other improvements located thereon, except those repairs expressly to be made by Landlord hereunder for up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) total annually.

    1. Condemnation. If the whole of the Premises, or such portion thereof as well make the Premises unusable for the purposes herein leased, is condemned by any legally constituted authority for any public use or purpose, then in either of said events the term hereby granted shall cease from the date when possession thereof is taken by public authorities, and rental shall be accounted for as between Landlord and Tenant as of said date. Such termination, however, shall be without prejudice to their rights of either Landlord or Tenant to recover compensation and damage caused by condemnation from the condemnor. It is further understood and agreed that Tenant shall have rights to an equitable portion in any award made to Landlord by any condemnation authority.


  • #2
    Have you tried negotiating directly with your landlord, to let them know that the recurrent flooding is not working for you? Is the landlord willing to let you break the lease? One episode of flooding is understandable, but four episodes of recurrent flooding over a short period of time is not acceptable and renders the premises uninhabitable. While the lease is very important, it might be worthwhile to pursue other options.


    • #3
      We have attempted to discuss this with him but and I prompted him if he would let us out of the lease after our third flood and he stated: "I don't know". We would like to pursue other options and have started to look but our lawyer stated that due to the fact that he continues "to fix" the property he's technically not in default, so we can't just walk away (even though the fixes are not working and likely won't).

      I agree with you that we do need to sit him down but at the same time once we break the lease he may ask us to leave sooner than we may find another property in which case we wouldn't be able to practice at all. At least, currently, we can still see patients even though we're in a tight space. Tricky....