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  1. #14
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    My point is that you could have the lessee hire his own contractor by stipulating that in the lease, to work on the ductwork and VAV systems
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
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  3. #15
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    One more point.

    "Waiting until you are sued" is a reactive approach.

    Instead, be proactive. Start planning to make the building "right."

    If you have a business plan that says you provide all services, then my advice is to have another estimate of what it will take to make this problem go away, so that you can share the gist of that plan with the irritated tenant, and prevent the ADDITIONAL costs associated with a testy tort experience.

    Proper planning prevents poor performance.

    If you buy a building from someone who has gone bankrupt by owning it, that's a red flag. Even if you get it for pennies on the dollar, you should at least guess that there are shortcomings you will need to address, and there needs to not only be a plan, but sufficient money to execute that plan.

    Then, you run all of that estimating by your accountant, and let them tell you if you should be the next owner, and if your business plan is a good path to success.

    So, this need not be 20/20 hindsight. This is how you stay out of trouble, in advance.

    I would suggest a meeting with both your accountant AND your attorney.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  4. #16
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    In a situation like this it's best to be friendly and work things out with the renter. It sounds like they're pretty upset if they've already hired representation and they've been dealing with problems for some time now. It would go a long way just to sit down with them and apologize for the problems they've been going through and have a reputable installer take care of it. You'll have a happy tenant and that could be very good for you long term.

    Just so you know I have a client who rents a commercail office space and we discovered HIS gas meter actually feeds gas to the neighboring HVAC units that belong to other tenants. The landlord refused to take care of the problem and got sued. The judge awarded punitive damages on top of actual damages. FYI

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  6. #17
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    I think the clients in this case have not hired representation because they are themselves attorneys..... which is why the building owner needs to seek advice from his own representative about what his options are before these people file against him.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  7. #18
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    I have to disagree with Timebuilder that most tenants are responsible for their own (HVAC) maintenance. That is the case in most strip centers but this is a 5 story office building that probably has a chilled water plant. I've worked in hundreds of multi tenant office buildings and ALL of them the landlord is responsible for HVAC maintenance on the building HVAC system including duct work, VAV boxes, and thermostats. The exception to this is when the tenant puts in their own additional system like a server room unit or something like that or during a buildout where they have to relocate diffusers or add firewall dampers.

    The landlord needs to make this right and properly fix the problem. Going back multiple times simply is not acceptable.

  8. #19
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    You must have missed my mention of all the buildings where I have worked in Center City Philadelphia....where the tenant is most definitely, according to the lease agreement that they signed, responsible for the equipment in their space.


    This applies to two-story buildings along the Walnut Street shopping district to the very tallest buildings in Philadelphia that are brand spanking new.

    In my opinion, if this was going to be the business model being employed (with the building owner being responsible), as soon as the building was purchased all systems should have been evaluated by professionals and a schedule of repairs planned to make everything correct. If a builing owner does not wish to do this, then they can offer a lease to a tenant where the tenant is responsible.

    That is the way commercial space works.....one way or the other.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  9. #20
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    I have worked in a couple states for a publically held company and work on the HVAC equipment that company owns. I am not licensed in either of those states for contract HVAC work and I made sure to find in both of them, the section of law where a private employee is exempt from having a license when the equipment they work on is owned by the same company. I don't know if this exemption exists in all states. With California, who knows.

    However, I AM licensed by the EPA and that IS required for anyone to work on equipment involving the handling of refrigerant. So let me ask, does your employee have a set of gauges? If so, is that person licensed to be using them?

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