When it comes to a commercial property, your responsibilities as a landlord differ from those associated with renting out a residential property.
Gas and Electricity
Tenants should maintain equipment according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This includes ensuring that a registered gas safe engineer and a registered electrical engineer inspect the property on a regular basis.
Any gas appliances or electrical items supplied by the tenant will generally be their responsibility.
As a landlord, you might be responsible for the safety of installations in the communal areas.
Fixtures and Fittings
Any fixtures and fittings you have installed in the property need to be safe to use. This includes correct installation of the equipment and in some cases when the equipment is electrical, a safety certificate will need to be obtained.
If the tenant installs any fixtures and fittings it is usually their responsibility to maintain them but the lease should clarify who takes responsibility.
Maintenance and Repair
The lease will usually clarify who is responsible for maintenance and repair but the responsibility for repair often falls to the tenant. It is also standard practice for a tenant to cover the costs to return the building back to its original state before the tenancy comes to an end.
If the building is let to multiple tenants, you would normally retain responsibility for maintaining and cleaning communal areas along with the structural integrity of the building.
The tenant is usually responsible for fire safety because they have control over the premises and this includes evacuation procedures.
As a landlord you should always include fire safety in any risk assessment that you complete and depending on the terms agreed in the lease, it might also be your responsibility to supply fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers.
It is important to include asbestos in any risk assessments that you carry out. In some circumstances it might not be necessary to remove asbestos but failing to manage it properly might result in a fine along with criminal action.
Commercial Property Insurance
Most commercial leases will seek to transfer the cost of insurance to the tenants but it might be in your interest to arrange the insurance so you can choose your own insurance broker and retain control over the whole process in the event of a claim.
For further advice relating to letting out a commercial property get in touch with Farleys’ Commercial Property Department on 0845 287 0939 or alternatively contact us through the website.