Properties with triple net leases often appeal to risk-averse landlords because of their inherently low-maintenance nature. But if you think delegating the costs of maintenance, property insurance and property tax to the tenant makes owning property a breeze, think again. Triple net leases come with their own set of unique risks and challenges for landlords. Let’s explore the most common issue these leases pose, and how wise landlords can navigate them.

For the uninitiated, in commercial real estate parlance, a lease in which the tenant pays for essentially all of a property’s operating expenses (maintenance, property insurance and property tax) is called a triple net lease, or an NNN lease.

In the case of a property that has several tenants, all on triple net leases (multitenant triple net lease), the owner will typically collect a fee in order to perform maintenance on common areas used by all tenants. But, in the case of a single-tenant triple net lease, the responsibility of all maintenance for the entire property falls to the lone entity renting the space. This can lead to a situation I’ve had to mediate numerous times in my experience as the head of a property management company: the single tenant of the triple net property either shirks their maintenance duty entirely, or hires out shoddy…