Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 0

Maybe it was too good to be true...after a year, the music lesson business was breaking even, with more customers signing up each week.

Then, we got a letter from the property manager telling us that the property tax (which we tenants pay as part of the CAM/NNN charges) increased dramatically, which resulted in an immediate rent increase of $100 per month. Well, that sucks, but we could stomach that much.

But then I received an email message from the same property manager telling us that they miscalculated, and the increase will be more like $500 per month.

I simply don't know where that money will come from. Our annual business insurance premium is due Nov 1 as well, and this is enough to break our back.

The management is appealing the property tax increase, which I understand is several times higher than it was last year. We're renting a new complex, so this is only the second year these suites have been in use. We rented based on the NNN rates that were quoted when we signed the lease, and included a clause that prohibited the landlord from raising the NNN components that they could control by more than 5% per year. However, the property tax is the one part that they can't control.

But I've never heard of a property tax hike like this. I believe the annual tax on the complex went from a few thousand to $30,000 in one fell swoop.

Has anybody dealt with this? Should we call a lawyer?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I feel your pain!

We had a similar issue happen this year but not to the same extent (we had a much smaller % increase). Here are a few suggestions before you go get yourself a lawyer:

1 - Find out why the tax jump occured from $100 to $500. To me it seems suspicous (sic?) that the property manager (PM) got it wrong and you know the City most likely only issued one increase. Try to get copies of the original paperwork from the City from your PM. He might be uncomfortable doing this if something shady is going on.

2 - It is not surprising your tax went up as the building is new. However, the PM, as the owner's agent should be appealing it with their own lawyer. Find out if they are using a lawyer and who. They also should have known this was coming down the pipe. Our notice said "We appealed the decision and lost" so it seems odd that your appeal hasn't been heard before they are asking for money.

As you can see, based on the little information I have, this all seems a little odd to me. See if you can get the documents and if the PM cooperates with you. Get proof from the City your tax assessment went up. Check with the other tenants (if there aren't a lot) or at least some of them.

If it seems odd maybe the group of tenants can hire a lawyer as opposed to flying solo. First rely on the PM's lawyer as long as you're not getting the run-around from the PM.

Good luck.

Simon
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

1 - Find out why the tax jump occured from $100 to $500. To me it seems suspicous (sic?) that the property manager (PM) got it wrong and you know the City most likely only issued one increase. Try to get copies of the original paperwork from the City from your PM. He might be uncomfortable doing this if something shady is going on.

Well, the government in AZ is in bad financial shape, and this may be an attempt by the Treasurer to grab some money .

I'm told that the property was re-assessed, and the tax amount skyrocketed. They did send us a copy of the 2002 tax statement from the county, but I don't know what the exact tax amount was last year.

I think the miscalculation was more incompetence than conspiracy--they'd mailed my letter to the home address of the tenant nextdoor, and they'd misquoted figures to me in the past, also. I haven't received the new letter with the updated amount yet, but every time I call, I seem to get a higher figure. It may be as much as an additional $2000 due as a lump sum for the remainder of the year, followed by some kind of decreasefrom that amount for 2003. But the 2003 figures are TBA.

2 - It is not surprising your tax went up as the building is new.

Well, the building hasn't changed since last year, so I don't understand that reasoning.

However, the PM, as the owner's agent should be appealing it with their own lawyer. Find out if they are using a lawyer and who. They also should have known this was coming down the pipe. Our notice said "We appealed the decision and lost" so it seems odd that your appeal hasn't been heard before they are asking for money.

I've got calls out ot the prop management, but I'm getting the runaround right now. No one seems to be at their desk today, but I intend to find out about the appeal process.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
1 - Find out why the tax jump occured from $100 to $500. To me it seems suspicous (sic?) that the property manager (PM) got it wrong and you know the City most likely only issued one increase.

I'm told that the property was re-assessed, and the tax amount skyrocketed. They did send us a copy of the 2002 tax statement from the county, but I don't know what the exact tax amount was last year.
I think the miscalculation was more incompetence than conspiracy--


OK, folks, here's the scoop.

Having spoken with the County Treasurer's office, and the head of property management, it seems that beaurocrats are a couple of years behind in assessing property value. The building we are renting was completed only 2 years ago (12/00 or so). So the NNN rates we were quoted at the time we signed the lease were based on the tax rate for vacant land.

It took the county a year or two to even figure out that there was a building with rental suites on this site. The resulting 1000% rate increase was made known to the property owner no later than March of 2002, but in the process of the property being sold, and due to the inability of management's accountants to use a calculator, it didn't dawn on the management until last week that they owed more money.

So due to the government and the property management being incompetent, us tenants are being stuck with the entire increase with two months to go in the calendar year.

I managed to get the head of management to let me know what the monthly increase will be for 2003 once things settle down and we spread the bill out over the entire year: about $1.06 per square foot per year, or roughly $100 a month for me.

I intend to scream and yell about the giant end-of-year bill, and get that spread out over time rather than having to cough it up at once.

I put hours of thought and research into the geographic location of this business, and rate of growth of the business has surpassed all expectations, but the hassles of a new suite have been horrendous.


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Then, we got a letter from the property manager telling us that the property tax (which we tenants pay as part of the CAM/NNN charges) increased dramatically ...

Demand to see the paperwork!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I put hours of thought and research into the geographic location of this business, and rate of growth of the business has surpassed all expectations, but the hassles of a new suite have been horrendous.

Start looking for a new (to you) location nearby, preferably in an older building.

Yeah, I know, it's nice to have a prestige location, but that's not what your clients are paying for. They won't be interested in your excuses and you shouldn't be interested in your landlord's excuses.

Now that you've established a client base you can move and they will drive a few more blocks to the new location.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
The other shoe is going to drop here soon.

Just wait till the landlord has to renew the property insurance. Presuming he can, at all, he'll be seeing a 100-200 percent increase.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
desertdave: Start looking for a new (to you) location nearby, preferably in an older building.

Here's the catch: I have nearly three years to go on the lease. I located this business right on the edge (the "frontier" if you will) of the suburban part of Phoenix. Tons of houses going up, and no music lesson stores in the area. No competition to speak of, but a large demand for what we offer. If you go a few miles farther out of town, there are simply no suitable locations, other than similar brand-new suites or a waaaay more expensive maga-mall. Farther into town, and you have half a dozen music stores fighting over the same customers.

Yeah, I know, it's nice to have a prestige location, but that's not what your clients are paying for.

My clients are coming to me because my location is much closer to their home than my competitors. Believe me when I say that the location is prime: close to a major highway, on the border between two different school districts, near affluent neighborhoods, closer to these neighborhoods than competitors, and easy to find. Even moving across the street or down the block wouldn't solve the problem, since the rental rates aren't any lower.

They won't be interested in your excuses and you shouldn't be interested in your landlord's excuses.

That's a snappy one-liner, but isn't of much use. My lease specifies that I pay the NNN fees which include property tax, so I'm pretty much stuck with it.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Here's the catch: I have nearly three years to go on the lease. I located this business right on the edge (the "frontier" if you will) of the suburban part of Phoenix. Tons of houses going up, and no music lesson stores in the area. No competition to speak of, but a large demand for what we offer. If you go a few miles farther out of town, there are simply no suitable locations,

If your landlord was/is as incompetent as you've described you should be able to get out of paying this added expense for the last year. Yes, I have a good lawyer and I whip him out like a six-gun when people mess with me. As I recall you've got an unfixed leaky roof problem with this guy too.

Likewise, if you had a good lawyer draw up your lease you should have no problem breaking it. If you didn't have a good lawyer draw up the lease (or at the very least review & explain it to you and insert a clause or two in the landlord's lease) shame on you.

As Bruce Williams says: Your signature is the most valuable thing you own. I have a sinking feeling that you didn't use a good lawyer and are about to discover the wisdom of Mr. Bruce.

As to your location: don't fall in love with it. I didn't say anything about moving a few miles. If you look for it, you may find just what you need just around the corner, just down the block or across the street. Yes, "Inside SuperMall" looks great in your ads, but "across the street from SuperMall" or "3 blocks west of SuperMall" will work just as well. Put your pride aside and LOOK! Your business is not a "destination location" type. In other words people seek you out for the specific services you offer not as a place to shop. There are lower taxed older buildings out there, you've just got to be willing to look for them and that may mean putting aside your preconceived notions of how grand your musical castle needs to be.

I say again: Your customers won't be interested in your excuses for raising prices and, from what you've said you can't afford to reduce your draw. Stop and think, what's it going to be: higher prices or reduced life style? You've got to answer this question before you make any more moves.


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
If your landlord was/is as incompetent as you've described you should be able to get out of paying this added expense for the last year. Yes, I have a good lawyer and I whip him out like a six-gun when people mess with me. As I recall you've got an unfixed leaky roof problem with this guy too.

Yep, they denied the requested rent reduction, but they have finally installed guttering to solve the problem.

Likewise, if you had a good lawyer draw up your lease you should have no problem breaking it. If you didn't have a good lawyer draw up the lease (or at the very least review & explain it to you and insert a clause or two in the landlord's lease) shame on you.

The lease was reviewed by my commercial realtor who was representing me. We made quite a few revisions; in fact we played two landlords against each other and ended up renting with the one who gave us the better offer. As I mentioned earlier, we pushed hard to limit the NNN increases to 5% per year, and the landlord agreed to this for the components of the NNN fees that they could control.

Who'd have thunk that the County was 2 years behind on assessing property improvements?

As to your location: don't fall in love with it. I didn't say anything about moving a few miles. If you look for it, you may find just what you need just around the corner, just down the block or across the street. Yes, "Inside SuperMall" looks great in your ads,

You don't seem to be paying attention: I'm not in a SuperMall, I'm in a regular ole strip mall. The one across the street is very similar (the one we negotiated with and who didn't quite match the offer of the place we rented from) and the ones down the street are about the same. I have a choice of moving south or east, basically. South means vastly increased property tax (above what I have now) since it's a different city, and east means simply that no other locations exist.


Put your pride aside and LOOK! Your business is not a "destination location" type.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. What I do is definitely a destination oriented business. People open up the Yellow Pages and look first for location when scouting for music lessons.

In other words people seek you out for the specific services you offer not as a place to shop. There are lower taxed older buildings out there, you've just got to be willing to look for them and that may mean putting aside your preconceived notions of how grand your musical castle needs to be.

I'm afraid there are not older buildings anywhere near where I'm at, unless I move back towards the older part of the city, which is packed with competitors, as I mentioned earlier.

Pride isn't a part of my decision to pick this location. It was the result of hours of research, and knowledge picked up from years in the business regarding the fact that there is a very high demand in my area for what I do. The price for that, is the fact that you really can't find an old place to rent because they don't exist in this area.

By the way, you don't need to "bold" your entire post. TMF just had a major debate regarding fonts etc., and regular print is plenty legible.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
First off, I've never seen DesertDave so upset! I think you hit a sore spot with him here (either that or he forgot to turn off bold).

After reviewing the info you've provided I don't see much you can do. You can't move it seems (at least easily - and a move would cost you much more) but there are a couple of things you through a lawyer could demand. Also ask your lawyer if you have other options.

[Revision] I took out my argument for a lawyer due to the relatively small amounts of money involved.

A lawyer is going to cost you $1,000 so you might just want to write a letter yourself saying you'll pay $100 a month extra till its paid off. They'll want more. Negotiate up to something you can afford. No sense throwing money to a lawyer when you owe them the money anyway according to your contract.

Make sure they know its about affording it not because you're pissed. Better that you pay them something than have you bail on them.

Simon
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
And maybe these links to various law type sites might help draft that letter?

http://www.ilrg.com/ (Internet Legal Resource Guide)

http://directory.findlaw.com/ (FindLaw - Find A Lawyer)

http://www.nolo.com/ (Nolo - Legal Info & Contracts)

HTH

ßillƒ
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
All this talk of lawyers...

I own hundreds of units. You approach me about a problem, I'll do my best to get it taken care of. You approach me through a lawyer and I'll do all of the following: (1) turn you over to my lawyer; (2) let hell freeze over before I'll try to deal with your problem; (3) void your lease and kick you out on the very slightest of pretexts; (4) refuse to renew your lease and give you the worst reference I can get away with giving you. And f*** you very much.

While I realize that, when you have a problem YOU have a problem, what you need to realize is that your landlord's inability to solve it overnight or on your schedule does not mean that he is incompetent or crooked or disinterested. It just means he has problems too. Especially now, in the current environment.

It may mean that the contractor he has contacted has stood him up.

It could mean his maintenance supervisor had a heart attack and things are backing up through his system. It might mean that the man he sent to fix it reported it fixed, while in fact he went and sat in a bar rather than do the work.

It could mean his secretary has called off sick for the third time that week, claiming "female problems" aka "hangover" but he has to prove it before he can get rid of her.

The LL only has so many hours in the day. He seldom gets thanked for what he does right, but BOY HOWDY, he sure hears about it whenever anyone (often not at all under his control or authority) does something wrong.

So go ahead. Sic a lawyer on him. I'll bet you that you'll rue the day by the time it is all done.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
As my attorney said, when you go to trial there are two winners, myself and the other attorney.
That's why I use him he's honest.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 6
I own hundreds of units. You approach me about a problem, I'll do my best to get it taken care of. You approach me through a lawyer and I'll do all of the following: (1) turn you over to my lawyer; (2) let hell freeze over before I'll try to deal with your problem; (3) void your lease and kick you out on the very slightest of pretexts; (4) refuse to renew your lease and give you the worst reference I can get away with giving you. And f*** you very much.

Remind me never to rent from you.

While I realize that, when you have a problem YOU have a problem, what you need to realize is that your landlord's inability to solve it overnight or on your schedule does not mean that he is incompetent or crooked or disinterested. It just means he has problems too. Especially now, in the current environment.

Let's see, I had water coming under the door and under the wall for four months straight without the problem being corrected.

That's hardly expecting it to be fixed "overnight." In fact, that's way past anything resembling a reasonable length of time.

I'm sure you expect the rent checks on time, and I'm sure you have hefty penalties built-in when you don't receive them. Part of that money goes to cover maintenence on the premises, and when it is not forthcoming after repeated requests, *that* is when it's appropriate to seek legal help.

Typically, landlords come down like a ton of bricks when the rent is not received on time. But boy, do they take their time when there is a problem to fix.

It may mean that the contractor he has contacted has stood him up.
It could mean his maintenance supervisor had a heart attack and things are backing up through his system. It might mean that the man he sent to fix it reported it fixed, while in fact he went and sat in a bar rather than do the work. Blah blah blah excuses excuses excuses...


And this is *my* problem? Why?

The fact that the landlord neglected to bill us until Nov 1 for an expense that should have been spread out over a year sure seems like incompetence to me.

When you're paying a fortune for rent, you have the right to expect that problems, especially major problems, get fixed. A large pool of water in my suite after it rains is a major problem. Maybe you should go back and read the entire thread.

Get off your high horse.

By the way,

"disinterested" = unbiased.
"uninterested" = not interested.




Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Remind me never to rent from you.

*shrug* Remind me never to rent to you. Of course if you take this route with your current LL, he'll probably report that you did do so to the relevant agencies - which most LLs use when evaluating tenants.

In that event you'll find it more difficult to rent a place in the future.

Just reality.

Let's see, I had water coming under the door and under the wall for four months straight without the problem being corrected.

It rained for four months straight where you were? Possible, I suppose, but I thought you were in an arid area.

I'm sure you expect the rent checks on time, and I'm sure you have hefty penalties built-in when you don't receive them. Part of that money goes to cover maintenence on the premises, and when it is not forthcoming after repeated requests, *that* is when it's appropriate to seek legal help.

If your requests were ignored, then yes it is grounds to seek help. Were your requests ignored? I am reminded of the time a tenant had a problem with one of my places. I sent the maintenance person. Problem wasn't fixed. I asked the maintenance person about it. "I fixed it". "She says it isn't fixed. Take another look."

He came back. "I can't find the problem." So I went. Found a problem right away. Directed the maintenance guy to fix it. He did, sort of haphazard. This guy had worked for me for years and had done a great job, and I trusted him. What I didn't know was that at that time he was having a lot of trouble at home, his attitude was deteriorating quickly, and he was falling apart. I should also mention that this particular matter had a subtlety to it that made it a bit hard to fix and hard to tell it was fixed.

So, she complained again. About the same time, this guy quit. I sent another man, who had only worked for me for about two months. He fixed the problem, but created another one. Short version of the story is I wound up firing the second guy, for a variety of reasons, and ultimately had to fix the problem myself.

But this tenant was complaining that I was ignoring her problem. Well I had workorders, receipts, and timesheets to prove I was not ignoring her. The fact that the problem was not solved in a timely fashion is unfortunate, but sh*t happens. I solved it as quickly as I could, given the circumstances.

And this is *my* problem? Why?

Because you are affected by it. This is the case where sugar catches more flies than vinegar. I speculate, of course, but I rather suspect your LL is having labor problems (most of us are these days) otherwise a leak would not be allowed to go on. Especially given that you are in a new building in a high traffic area, the guy knows you have a problem. Presumably he has had trouble solving it. Probably you have not been ignored; he has been having trouble getting someone to respond. When you get obnoxious, you make it no easier for him to solve it and may indeed make it harder for him to solve it. You then become one more pain in the ***, and one which he can solve.

The fact that the landlord neglected to bill us until Nov 1 for an expense that should have been spread out over a year sure seems like incompetence to me.

Did not the county fail to update their records in a timely fashion? How do you know that they notified him in a timely fashion? Given that they did, how do you know that someone on the office staff didn't "file and forget"?

When you're paying a fortune for rent, you have the right to expect that problems, especially major problems, get fixed. A large pool of water in my suite after it rains is a major problem. Maybe you should go back and read the entire thread.

I have read the entire thread. And you are right. Your problem needs to be solved.

But you should make sure your problem is in fact being ignored by him before you involve lawyers. Myself, I never neglect problems. Which is not to say that I can always get them solved as quickly as I would like.

I have one problem that, to this point, has sent me to literally every contractor in the yellow pages. And to literally everyone I know looking for a referral to someone who can/will do the work. For particular reasons, I cannot solve the problem with in-house staff; I have to outsource it and I can find literally no one to even bid the job, much less show up and do it. It is more than a bit frustrating.

You expect your guy to solve your problems - as you should - but you need to have some understanding of what he is facing too.

Keep in mind that, in every community, there is a list of undesirable tenants. Suing your landlord will put you on that list. Most landlords check that list before renting.

Get off your high horse.

Nah. You stuff your stereotypes and learn more about how things really work. You'll probably find the guy works hard and does the best he can.

By the way,

"disinterested" = unbiased.
"uninterested" = not interested.


Aside from the pettiness of this remark, it is wrong.

dis·in·ter·est·ed Pronunciation Key (ds-ntr-std, -nt-rstd)
adj.
1. Free of bias and self-interest; impartial: “disinterested scientific opinion on fluorides in the water supply” (Ellen R. Shell).

2. a. Not interested; indifferent: “supremely disinterested in all efforts to find a peaceful solution” (C.L. Sulzberger).
b.Having lost interest.


See www.dictionary.com


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
It rained for four months straight where you were? Possible, I suppose, but I thought you were in an arid area.

In Arizona during Monsoon season (roughly July - September) it rains frequently, and in huge quantities.

If your requests were ignored, then yes it is grounds to seek help. Were your requests ignored?

It was ignored at first, and the prop mgr was stunned that no one had showed up after two weeks to even look at it. Then, they built a little canal to fix it. But the canal ran uphill (the geniuses didn't bother to check elevation and basic stuff like that) and it didn't work. At the same time, the guttering had never been installed, which added to the problem. By the time that was diagnosed, it took 2 more months to fix that. They kept telling me "next week" for week after week after week.

After four months of repeated flooding, I finally had a lawyer draft a letter. The problem was fixed a few days later. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

I don't see why this has to escalate nto a pissing match, but my point is this: does your labor problem give you a valid excuse for not getting the problem solved? If a tenant decides to withhold rent until you solve it, what is your reaction?

If a tenant has labor problems, and asks for a break on the rent until the problem is solved, what is your reaction? How about if your labor problem results in interference to the tenant's business, which causes them to be short on rent?

Do you come down like a ton of bricks, or do you work with them?

You expect your guy to solve your problems - as you should - but you need to have some understanding of what he is facing too.

No problem there. But it works both ways, and you haven't shown much sympathy towards the tenant's viewpoint.

You stuff your stereotypes and learn more about how things really work. You'll probably find the guy works hard and does the best he can.

Interesting--I'm the one being treated like crap, and you're telling me the landlord is the one who has it rough? Not likely.

I repeat--how flexible are you on the rent when you can't get problems solved? Do you give them a discount, or do you point to the legal clauses and demand the money without exception? I'm not sue-happy, but I've been to small claims court dozens of times, and I've never lost.

I did collections for several years, and I know how to work with people. But I also know when to go to the mat. I'm not at that point with my landlord, but they need to know I'm willing to go there if they default on the maintenance clauses.

It looks like my definitions were the same as what you posted, for what that's worth.

Lastly, realize this: I posted what was basically a question: Get a lawyer, or no? You came blasting in here with what seems to be a chip on your shoulder, throwing attitude and veiled profanity at me. Do you treat clients this way?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
By the way, you don't need to "bold" your entire post. TMF just had a major debate regarding fonts etc., and regular print is plenty legible.

Yes, regular print is perfectly legible, but it doesn't help the reader differentiate between "speakers" in print.

The lease was reviewed by my commercial realtor who was representing me. We made quite a few revisions; in fact we played two landlords against each other and ended up renting with the one who gave us the better offer. As I mentioned earlier, we pushed hard to limit the NNN increases to 5% per year, and the landlord agreed to this for the components of the NNN fees that they could control.

Sorry, I don't mean to be confrontational here, I'm just trying to get your attention. You mentioned having to make some sort of annual payment soon implying it would anchor you for at least a year. Therefore, you've got to come to some sort of decision soon or be pinned in place.

And sorry again, but a commercial realtor is not a lawyer. Did the two of you insert some sort of escape clause in the lease? If not, you may be able to argue that your landlord knew (or reasonably should have known) that the property was being taxed at a raw land rate when negotiating the lease with you and therefore is responsible for untoward tax increases since you wouldn't have knowingly signed a lease with an unknown balloon expense hidden inside. You might even argue that s/he hid that information from you. In any case the threat of that could be used to get him/her to let you out of the lease should you decide to move rather than pay unreasonable increases. In other words they may argue they can't afford to pay the tax, but faced with hiring a lawyer to try to get you to pay they may decide they can afford to pay it after all.

This whole business of asking you to pay back taxes sounds spurious to me. A good lawyer could argue that you agreed to pay such tax increases going forward and not retroactively. I hate to sound like a one note Johnny here, but you really should talk to a good lawyer. Ask around; a friend, acquaintance or family member probably knows of a trustworthy lawyer.


You don't seem to be paying attention: I'm not in a SuperMall, I'm in a regular ole strip mall. The one across the street is very similar (the one we negotiated with and who didn't quite match the offer of the place we rented from) and the ones down the street are about the same.

Sorry, SuperMall is just a figure of speech. And yes I am paying attention. I've just been trying to stimulate you seek out new information so as to make a decision you can live with. Is the place across the street still available? What is their tax status? If their tax rate is up to date, wouldn't their 'old' rent be better than what you're being asked to pay now and going forward?

I don't seem to have communicated with regard to what a "destination location" is. People go to a SuperMall to wander around and shop. Doctors, dentists and music academies are not "destination locations" under that definition. As you pointed out, people look you up and, as I recall, people refer students to you. In other words, they are coming specifically to you for a purpose. Therefore you don't need to be in a prestigious location. The back of the mall (or a block behind it) will do.

If you've made up your mind to pay up and live down or raise your rates I'm wasting my time here. You know more about your business than I do. Good luck whatever you do.
DesertDave
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Jim, you seem like a good landlord. I've been fortunate over the years to have had several good LL's and only one stinker.

This guy is a classic. Example: In the middle of summer in the middle of the Southwest in 100 + degree heat the swamp cooler (AC) unit which was as old as the building, rusted through, gave out and quit. Calls to his home (he had no office) resulted in messages taken by his son and when I finally did get to talk to him he was full of vague promises to look into the matter but no action.

I had my lawyer send him a letter stating that since the heat was driving customers from my store I was going to replace it myself and deduct the cost from the rent. This is probably what he wanted since in our state anything affixed to the LL's property becomes the LL's property.

But my lawyer had warned me about that so I had a 4 inch high frame built, attached it to his roof vent and then added the new AC on top. I deducted the cost of the installation from the rent and when it came time to renew the lease I sold him the AC as I was pretty much fed up with him and making preparations to move to my own land. Faced with having me take my AC with me he choose to buy mine.

I've never had to take a landlord to court, but having my lawyer look at the problem helped me deal with it fairly and the lawyer letter let the LL know I knew where I stood in the matter.

BTW, someone upstream mentioned $1000.00 as a lawyer letter fee. I only paid a hundred or so and consider the money well spent.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
desertdave: I've never had to take a landlord to court, but having my lawyer look at the problem helped me deal with it fairly and the lawyer letter let the LL know I knew where I stood in the matter.

I agree. I spoke with another lawyer today, one who specializes in these matters, and his advice was (for the amount we're speaking of) it is better to negotiate extra time for payment rather than litigate. Which is what I expected to hear, but it's nice to hear from an expert.

I see your point that a lawyer may have been better for examining the lease than the realtor who represented me, but I got most of what I wanted. Unless I'd thought of a specific clause regarding "hidden" tax payments, I wonder if a lawyer would have thought to include that?

I'd heard more than one horror story of a landlord paving the parking lot and replacing the roof, then dumping the entire bill on the tenants. So I was specifically looking to limit that portion of the NNN fees, which we did after several back-and-forth offers. But property tax has been pretty stable where I'm at, so as I said, who'd have thunk such a thing would happen? I do suspect, however, that since our prop mgmt has 82 properties that they should have forseen this coming. But it is possible that, since the property changed hands in June, that the previous owner did not pass along the new info to the mgmt company. It may have even been a motivation for selling-- I don't know.

BTW, someone upstream mentioned $1000.00 as a lawyer letter fee. I only paid a hundred or so and consider the money well spent.

I've been quoted between $100 and $200 for a letter, depending on how long it takes to read the lease and write the thing, and based on $150 per hour. Your mileage may vary. I think $1000 is more what it would take to litigate.

The important thing is that we did a truckload of business today, and if this growth rate keeps up, we'll be past the point of worrying soon.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
$500 a month is steep, here is my take on it.

1. You've signed a contract and you have to pay it, unless your lawyer has something else to say.
2. You've mentioned this is a great location, how great is it? Such a great location might still be worth the expense. One of your subsquent posts said your near your customers which is what they want and you have no competition. It sounds to me like your location is a very key asset to your business.
3. If paying an extra $6,000 a year sinks your business, for me it doesn't sound like you've got a great business.


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
$500 a month is steep, here is my take on it.

1. You've signed a contract and you have to pay it, unless your lawyer has something else to say.
2. You've mentioned this is a great location, how great is it? Such a great location might still be worth the expense. One of your subsquent posts said your near your customers which is what they want and you have no competition. It sounds to me like your location is a very key asset to your business.
3. If paying an extra $6,000 a year sinks your business, for me it doesn't sound like you've got a great business.


It looks like we're just going to pay it, even though I have a feeling the landlord knew the tax hike was coming and deliberately failed to mention it during the original negotiations.

In the long run, it won't sink us (I belive it will be more like an extra 2 or 3 thousand per year, actually), but it's going to take that much longer to turn a profit and pay off the loans.

I agree with #2--the location is a key aspect, and it may very well be worth it, even with the higher rate.

Anyway, I think we've beaten this thread to death. Next topic.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Boy can I relate to this one. I'm president of the board for my cooperative housing corporation. It makes me sort of the landlord for the complex. We have two ten story buildings with 180 units and about 40 acres of land. Just last week we discovered that our heating system contractor - who bid 98,000.00 for the job -- refused to negotiate our contract because we wanted a rider. It wasn't any particual provisions in the rider, it was the fact of the rider. The contract was too small for them to pay a lawyer to review our proposed rider. Too small!! That was for a job we could at least get bid. We have a section of our grounds that could benefit from pinning and fencing. We can't find a contractor to bid the job. Too small. How the heck do you deal with something like this??

"I have one problem that, to this point, has sent me to literally every contractor in the yellow pages. And to literally everyone I know looking for a referral to someone who can/will do the work. For particular reasons, I cannot solve the problem with in-house staff; I have to outsource it and I can find literally no one to even bid the job, much less show up and do it. It is more than a bit frustrating."
Print the post Back To Top