Definition of "Demised premises"

Nina  Malatesta, Associate Broker real estate agent

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Nina Malatesta, Associate Brokerelite badge icon

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To understand the definition of the term demised premises, one must understand what demise means. Because demised premises is a widespread use for the term demise. The demised premises meaning can be complicated because it involves the property itself. What it means, however, is simple and can be defined as leasing a property through a deed or contract to someone else.

What is a demised premise?

A demised premise can be a whole house if the owner rents the entire building to one person, in which case the address for the renter would be, for instance: 11 Ashton Lane, Pennyville, Missouri 75599. However, if the owner rents the home to several renters in a house or if a room is rented to roommates to minimize housing costs, then the situation can get more complicated. For instance, in the demised premise contract, it will be stipulated that the address is ap. 4, 11 Ashton Lane, Pennyville, Missouri 75599, as well as what other areas in the house that particular tenant is allowed to use, i.e., shared bathroom, kitchen, living room. And if the renter is found in other areas of the house that are not specified, they can be charged for trespassing, i.e., other rented rooms, the attic (if not mentioned), etc.

What defines a demised premise?

One of the key characteristics of demised premises is that they are often abandoned and left to decay over time. This can result in various adverse consequences, including reduced property values, increased crime rates, and decreased public safety. For example, a demised commercial property may attract vandalism, arson, or squatting, which can threaten nearby residents and businesses. The most complicated situation is when the owner rents a demised premise. In the contract, it is specified that the renter has access to the fridge and the sink in the kitchen, the shower and the toilet from the downstairs bathroom, and the living room sofa, but not the armchair, the radio, or the TV. There are situations when this can happen, so it is good to know what a demised premise contract can specify so that whenever you deal with one, you pay attention to the fine print.

Landlords & tenants POV

For landlords having a demised premise can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it can be a passive income if they can lease the property to a new tenant. However, owning an abandoned or vacant property can also be a liability, as it may incur taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses. Additionally, a demised premise left unattended for a long time may also fall into disrepair, making it difficult to lease out or sell in the future. 

From a tenant’s perspective, a demised premise may offer an opportunity to secure a new location for their business at a lower cost, as landlords may be willing to offer more favorable lease terms to fill the space. Tenants should know that a demised premise may require significant repairs and renovations before it is suitable for occupancy. When a tenant vacates a demised premise, the landlord is responsible for preparing the property for the next tenant or for sale. This may include cleaning and repairing the property, making it presentable, and ensuring that all necessary licenses and permits are in place. The landlord may also be responsible for any costs associated with the upkeep of the property while it is vacant.

Revitalizing demised premises

In many cases, repurposing demised premises requires a significant investment of time, money, and resources. For example, a demised commercial property may need to be renovated to make it suitable for new use. This can involve repairing or replacing damaged or outdated infrastructure, such as plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems. The property may need to be cleaned, painted, or landscaped to improve its appearance and make it more attractive to potential tenants or buyers. The process of repurposing a demised premise can also be complicated by legal and regulatory hurdles. The property may be subject to zoning restrictions or environmental regulations that limit its use. The property may be contaminated with hazardous materials, such as lead or asbestos, which can pose a threat to public health and safety. In these cases, the property may need to be remediated before it can be reused

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