By JOHN SCHUSSLER for General Aviation News
Rental hangar tenants sometimes ask their landlords if they can sublease hangar space to someone else. Maybe a second airplane will fit in the hangar or the airplane will be gone several months and someone else wants to use it during that time. The landlord usually says “no.”
There are several reasons for that answer. Landlords prefer to have a direct relationship with their tenants to enforce the lease covenants. They would not have that direct relationship with a sublessee and would need to go through their tenant to deal with the sublessee.
Another reason is that landlords don’t want their tenants to mark up the rent. If the space can generate a higher rental rate, the landlord wants that money.
What if two airplane owners just want to share a T-hangar space? Instead of a sublease, the two airplane owners can both sign the lease as Tenants in Common.
Both co-tenants are responsible directly to the landlord for the rent and other lease covenants. Each co-tenant may choose to pay half the rent or some other percentage; but if one of the co-tenants does not pay, the other co-tenant is responsible for all the rent. To change a typical lease, just replace the word “Tenant” with “Tenants in Common” throughout the lease.
From the landlord’s point of view, Tenancy in Common does not have the negatives of a sublease arrangement. For the airplane owner, Tenancy in Common provides the benefit of lowering hangar storage costs. It has the additional benefit of protecting more aircraft from the weather without the need to construct new hangars.
If all the hangars are rented, the landlord should have no objection. Airplanes don’t damage hangars, hangars damage airplanes. If the landlord has vacant hangars, he may prefer to rent two hangar spaces if money is his sole motivation.
In a normal market, another hangar landlord would allow Tenancy in Common and the business would flow to him. But if the hangar landlord has a monopoly market that allows him to charge whatever the market will bear, he should still consider it if his leasing policy is reasonable and defensible.
Local political pressure opposing an unreasonable leasing policy could question whether the airport is serving its mission to local airplane owners or abusing them.
John Schussler is a manufacturer’s rep for Fulfab hangars and the AeroLift device. He has also worked in airport management for many years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-212-4217.