Is this a tenant's removable trade fixture or does it remain as part of the landlord's property?

A village ordinance grants a "special use" for a property and requires that awnings be installed on the building. The tenant installs and pays for the awnings. Fourteen years later the tenant moves out and claims the awnings are a trade fixture owned by the tenant. Are the awnings a trade fixture or landlord's property?
In Leasing Property - Asked by Dan M. - Nov 30, 2009
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Answer(s)

Jim T.
Owner/Investor
Abilene, TX

This is something that can vary from place to place. Generally though, anything permanently fixed to the building becomes the property of the landlord when the lease is complete. Just to be sure that things are clear with our tenants, we make this explicit in all of our leases.

Nov 30, 2009
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Thomas M.
Broker/Agent
Radcliff, KY

yes

Dec 1, 2009
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Thomas M.
Broker/Agent
Radcliff, KY

yes, the tenant should be able to take the awning, Unless there is something in writing requiring they install them. And at the end of their lease they will remain. Reminder if you paid for something would you it? The bad part about this the tenant will never use the awning at their new place.

Dec 1, 2009
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MICHELLE N.
Owner/Investor
West Palm Beach, FL

I believe that the villlage ordinance made a condition on the property to enable it to be leased. It apprears that the tenant was interested in paying for the cost of the awning,had several years of use, will probably not be able to use it elsewhere, it became a business write off, however, should stay with the building. If peace is a goal, offer to buy it, give some nominal compensation for it.. PR goes a long way, will propbably cost you more to
replace it to comply with village code, on his move out. Best Wishes. MNN WPB FL

Dec 1, 2009
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Ron B.
Broker/Agent
Denton, TX

Depends.... 1. Read the lease - it may be covered / should be covered. 2. Trade fixture - unlikely unless it is branded as in for a franchise operation. 3. Anything permanently attached to a building could be construed as part of the real property. 4. If the awnings are removed - tenant would be responsible for making any repairs to the building to make it as if the awning was never there. Typical well done commercial leases will address such issues and/or be addressed in rules / regs / special provisions - prompted by the tenant necessarily having to have the approval of the landlord to install to begin with - which would include approval of color, size, type, location, etc. and at that time would have prompted language to address eventual removal / repair, etc. when tenant moves out.
Chris Rosprim, CPM / Commercial Property Manager, Scott Brown Commercial, Denton, TX

Dec 1, 2009
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Ron B.
Broker/Agent
Denton, TX

Depends.... 1. Read the lease - it may be covered / should be covered. 2. Trade fixture - unlikely unless it is branded as in for a franchise operation. 3. Anything permanently attached to a building could be construed as part of the real property. 4. If the awnings are removed - tenant would be responsible for making any repairs to the building to make it as if the awning was never there. Typical well done commercial leases will address such issues and/or be addressed in rules / regs / special provisions - prompted by the tenant necessarily having to have the approval of the landlord to install to begin with - which would include approval of color, size, type, location, etc. and at that time would have prompted language to address eventual removal / repair, etc. when tenant moves out.
Chris Rosprim, CPM / Commercial Property Manager, Scott Brown Commercial, Denton, TX

Dec 1, 2009
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Gregory G.
Broker/Agent
San Francisco, CA

If it isn't accounted for in the lease and isn't franchised then it could be considered landlord's property.
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Gregory Garver - Commercial Real Estate Broker
Broker License# 01716531
(415)225-9894
gregory.garver@gmail.com
Web Reference: http://www.gregorygarver.com

Dec 3, 2009
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William H. W.
Broker/Agent
Bowie, MD

NOOOOOOO, but your lease would clarify any questions. After 14 years let him take them, make sure he repairs any damage and returns the exterior to the original condition. Then you put up new awnings and raise the rent on the next tenant

Dec 4, 2009
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