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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    12

    URGENT ADVICE NEEDED! Ceiling water leak at shop

    Hi Everyone--- We have a small shop, 1200 sq ft (49 occupancy) and we opened a few months ago at a commercial rental location in town. Tonight the ceiling leaked right across the whole center space! I don't have any ceiling collapse (yikes) and the water finally quite flowing down but have several cracks and wet spots on the ceiling as well as water in the light fixtures!! I have worked in restaurants before so I knew to pull all food and related products out of the way, and of course pulled all my vendors artwork....

    We have a great location right in the historic district and no other coffee shops in a 40 mile area; support has been GREAT for our business; small and eclectic as it is...

    When we looked at this location weekly for several months over the course of a year... in August we asked the realtor about some ceiling work that was being done and also about a water stain... we were told it was from a leak from the upstairs rental and a one time event!

    Knowing the health codes and my health inspector I have closed the shop until I can talk to the property manager .... I posted the closing on our FB page only to hear that another previous tenant from 10 plus years ago had similar problems ie snow melts and the ceiling is ruined...

    Here's my questions: 1) there are no other locations in the town that is this accessible-- should I consider moving on? 2) In my contract, closing due to property issues is to be reimbursed by the landlord... but if this happens every time there is heavy rain/snow melt does it make any sense to stay???
    3) Business has been very good, ie with the exceptions of 4 days of bad weather...we've paid the light bill every day... but perhaps we need to sell our new inventory and move on? I love the shop, have worked damn hard at it but I can't see being flooded out or having my vendors works ruined because some non-resident landlord is too cheap to fix a roof!

    OK--- lots of venting here but I've put so much time and energy into this..... the great irony is that this afternoon I was driving to the shop from a supply run and passed a small gas station and thought--- "Gee maybe we should have done a mobile coffee shop!".... Any advice out there? Besides to stay calm???
    Trying to laugh to stop the hives... many thanks!
    Last edited by BCCafe; 01-19-2015 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4,971
    Hi BCCafe

    I looked at some of your previous posts, and I saw that you just opened your shop in November. You put a lot of time and effort into getting your place open. It's a real shame that you now have to deal with a ceiling leak.

    I bet you're wishing you had further investigated the ceiling leak/repairs, even though you were told it was a one time event. Someone wasn't telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    If you really want to stay where you are, you'll need to kick up a huge fuss to get the landlord to repair the roof. Does the upstairs rental have a leak too?

    I hope you can get some cooperation and they'll get the repairs done soon.

    Benadryl is good for preventing hives (from being a nervous wreck). No scratching!

    Rose

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    12
    thanks PinkRose! Today's update is very interesting... apparently the property manager doesn't see the huge water stains, bubbled plaster, and buckets of water in the shop! So I am still closed and waiting... one for the idiot to see the need for repairs and 2. for the insurance folks to decide if I can stay (if I choose too)... no on the other tenants-- water just went under the walls and floors....

    here's the kicker-- I have been asked to be interviewed for a local magazine article on new businesses & received a 'love' note on the front door of the shop this morning from a customer saying how much they want us to stay!
    So here is hoping things go better tomorrow--- My immune system has finally given in.... I now have a full out cold and a catering event tomorrow afternoon! Luckily my sense of humor has not...

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4,971
    Hi again BCCafe,

    I hope you've been taking photos of the water stains and falling plaster. A picture is worth a thousand words. In all honesty, I think I would be tempted to help things along before the insurance people come - by poking the soggy plaster or something else to make it look worse. It's only going to get worse anyway.


    There is a product called "Cold Ease" that's a cherry flavored lozenge that may help you today. A customer recommended it last week, after I mentioned that I felt like I was starting get a get a cold. (scratchy throat, stuffy head, etc.) At first I didn't believe that it would help, but I gave it a try. It lessened the cold symptoms to where I could function without having to take a sick day.

    I hope everything works out in your favor with the insurance company and the property manager. It sounds like you want to stay where you are. All you need is to have the leaky ceiling fixed, and you'll be back in business.

    You could do the interview and include the leaky ceiling in the discussion highlighting one of the many challenges that a small business has to face. Would that help embarrass the property owner into taking action?

    Rose

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    658
    Ever think about contacting a lawyer??? This is a legal issue if there is a lease involved. JMO
    Charlie
    If you are afraid of failure or losing money, quit while you are ahead

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    145
    Definitely get yourself a lawyer and go after the landlord/tenant upstairs. If this is an issue caused by the tenant, his/hers rental insurance should be responsible (if they have insurance).

 

 

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