Ashley Barnard 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Terms of Lease vs other people and other problems
Hi, my husband is a licensed psychologist and I work with him. Currently, we have shared space with 5 counselors and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Have a waiting room and one hallway with 5 offices and conference room. I use the conference room for testing (which 90% of the time is when no one else is there). No one else is charged. Our receptionist works in there since another renter has taken sole “custody” of reception area up front (we don’t need anyone greeting our clients, but easier access would be helpful). The landlord, who works in one of the offices, wants to charge $100/hour for use of the conference room. I’m not sure if that includes our receptionist – anyone can join her, and often do. I assume that contracts can say whatever the landlord wants? Questions- Our contract says no pets. Other employees have brought in pets. Price per sq foot for us is different from at least one person (her friend) who pays $300 less per month for the same size, shape, and condition of the room. What’s the landlord’s obligation re keeping common areas painted with non-ripped/beat up furniture (a toy bench is really bad) in the waiting room? I read that carpets need to be replaced every 5 years (life of carpet) – true? Also, the landlord, who is a counselor, uses a business name of *** Psych Services. It is illegal in Az to use even psych if you are not a licensed psychologist, which she is not. Do we have to have our name under hers since we aren’t part of her “group?” Actually, no one in the group is and the lease isn’t from under name. Isn’t It illegal to not have hot or at least warm water (esp in bathrooms) – we work with children, but there should at least be warm water). Can I make her fix it before signing? Only have cold and cool. We are looking for space, obviously, but don’t want to sign the contract as is. Thanks!3 Replies
Melanie PattersonModerator1 month, 1 week ago
It sounds like a frustrating situation. Sorry to hear about it.
As far as pets not allowed per your lease and pets being brought in by others, there could be two reasons why. 1) The pet could be an emotional support animal, and 2) their lease may not have a no pets clause, or the landlord made a special exception. In both scenarios it really is the landlord’s call.
For the landlord charging you higher rent than others, again, this is the landlord’s choice. I know it feels unfair, and maybe having a conversation with the landlord to find out why the rules differ between tenants could be useful.
With commercial rental property or office space, the landlord is typically not required to paint and fix things up, but they should provide a safe environment. If the landlord is unaware of the safety hazards, be sure to let him or her know. While torn furniture is unattractive and not good for business, unless it is putting someone in danger, it isn’t breaking any laws. It’s just poor taste.
I am unaware of any law that says carpets need to be replaced. If they had mold or were a trip hazard, there may be reason to replace them. If they’re just old, then there’s nothing that says they have to be replaced.
As far as use of the term psychologist, check with your state licensing board. My area of expertise is real estate investing and property management.
Regarding as providing hot water, this can vary by state and municipality, and the rules differ for residential and commercial rental property. You can check with your state building department. In general, a landlord is not required to provide hot water in a commercial property. In residential property a landlord typically has to require access to it, but only has to pay for it is there is only one common water heater for the whole building. Again this can vary by municipality and state.
It sounds like you’re getting ready to sign a new lease. Review it carefully and see if any of these items can be negotiated. If you’re already in a lease agreement, then review the terms of your lease, try to reason with your landlord and if things don’t change and you’re still not happy there, it’s probably best to move on.3 Replies
Ashley BarnardParticipant1 month ago
Melanie, thank you so much! We did move (thank God) after getting a ridiculous new lease that included something about the condition of the car that parks in our (1 for all of us) designated spot. Petty, especially since we have newish cars that are perfect. REALLY made me want to have someone drop a car (on bricks, of course) from the junkyard. Pettiness really rubs me the wrong way!
Your information on what they do not have to provide was enlightening.
Melanie PattersonModerator1 month ago
Ashley, I am so glad you found a solution to your office rental challenge! If you have any questions in the future you can use the search option on our website to peruse articles or reach out here in the forum. Thank you for your great question.