Commercial Landlord Responsibilities

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Maintenance, Health And Safety

Commercial tenants, or occupiers of business premises, as well as landlords, are required by law to comply with health and safety standards. The need to keep up with maintenance of the property – business properties need to be well maintained. By law, landlords and tenants need to ensure that the premises are adequately maintained, offering a healthy and safe environment for staff, customers and the general public.

Responsibilities and Obligations

The Landlord and Tenant Act lays down the rules, but equally the lease terms will decide who is responsible for what. The landlord and tenant will be responsible for certain aspects of the premises. Both need to be fully aware of their obligations in relation to the property, so the lease agreement must be comprehensive and lay down the rules, even if it is a repetition of what the law says.

These are some aspects of the lease agreement that should be addressed:

  • Health and Safety
  • Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
  • Fire Safety – The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Electrical SafetyElectrical Safety Council recommendations
  • Asbestos
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

Deciding On Who’s Responsible For What

Commercial leases differ considerably from residential leases. For instance, commercial landlords are able to shift many responsibilities to the care of the tenant, whereas residential landlords have to comply with what the law states at all times. Tenants must ensure the lease contains explicit language relating to their responsibilities. The landlord may be flexible and may agree to some terms laid out by the tenant. Some negotiation may be facilitated by the landlord but everything must be laid bare in the lease with very precise wording.

Possible Landlord Responsibilities

These are some of the responsibilities that landlords might need to uphold:

  • Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Property taxes
  • Property maintenance and repairs
  • Property insurance
  • Fire/gas/electrical safety
  • Asbestos checks
  • Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration

Be Well Informed Before Signing A Lease

Landlords and tenants should be well informed with what the law says regarding commercial leasing terms and conditions. They also need to read the lease agreement carefully and thoroughly before signing it. It is wise and should be expected that both parties consult with a commercial leasing lawyer to ensure that the landlord is compliant with regulations set out in relation to the property. It is also advisable that the tenant is fully aware of the terms in the lease that will impact on the business.

We’re Here To Help

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, we’re here to help. If you planning to lease a property for your business, or you’re a landlord leasing a commercial property, please consult with one of our commercial property lawyers before signing the lease. We’re here to help both tenants and landlords. SG

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