When leasing a new space, the lease will often stipulate that any repairs to the heating and cooling system are the responsibility of the tenant.  This may seem harmless at first, but if the building has a system that is already ten or 15 years old, you are likely going to be the one replacing it.  Depending on the size of the system it could be $10,000 or more to replace a single air conditioning unit.  And most spaces have more than one.

Richard recently did a pre-leasing inspection for a customer who is opening his second restaurant soon.  Having been burned by aging equipment at his first location, he had us come and do a thorough inspection of all the heating and cooling equipment at his new space in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Fortunately for him, everything was relatively new and in good shape.  Richard checked the operation of all the units, documented all the important information about each unit – make, model, serial number, age etc. He checked the pressures and temperature drops.  In short, Richard, who has more than 10 years of  HVAC and Refrigeration experience, and who has seen just about everything, gave him a non-nonsense rundown on the condition of his equipment.  If anything had been amiss, like a shoddy repair, Richard would have caught it.

If your pre-leasing inspection reveals equipment that is in need of repair or replacement, you can work with the landlord to get it fixed before you sign the lease.  You can also negotiate for a cap on repair costs. For instance perhaps you would agree to pay up to $500 per incident and a maximum of $1500 per year.  Anything above that cost would be the responsibility of the landlord.

If you are about to lease a space, give us a call to schedule an inspection before you take ownership of all the potential problems.