Commercial Landlord Responsibilities

Last Updated on 7 July 2023 by Editorial Team

What are a commercial landlords responsibilities in the UK?

Are you already a commercial property landlord in the UK or planning on becoming one?  Then as a commercial landlord, you are subject to several legal responsibilities which include the following:-

Providing a safe, secure and habitable property

It is the commercial landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property is safe, secure and habitable for both the tenants and visitors. This involves ensuring that the structure of the building is sound and clear of hazards – commercial landlords are typically liable for structural fixes and repairs such as foundations, flooring, roofs, and external walls.

They are also responsible for putting steps in place to avoid accidents and crime.

Repairs and maintenance

The landlord is responsible for keeping the property in excellent shape and making any required repairs, ensuring they are carried out promptly.  The commercial landlord’s precise responsibilities will be determined by the terms of the lease between the landlord and the tenant, as well as any relevant laws or regulations. However, in general, the landlord will be responsible for repairing and maintaining the building’s structure, as well as any communal spaces or shared amenities.

In contrast, the tenant is usually responsible for repairing and maintaining their own rented area, including fixtures, fittings, and any equipment or furniture they have brought into the property. To prevent future confusion or disputes, landlords and tenants should explicitly define their individual duties for repairs and upkeep in the rental agreement.

Health and safety regulations must be followed

As a commercial landlord in the UK, one of your responsibilities is that you are expected to adhere to health and safety rules in order to protect your tenants, workers, and visitors. The precise rules that apply will rely on the nature of the property and any business activities that take place within it, but they may include fire safety, electrical safety, and general health and safety standards.

Landlords are also obliged to conduct frequent risk assessments on their properties and adopt suitable risk management measures. Non-compliance with health and safety rules can result in fines or other legal action, as well as placing occupants’ health and safety at danger.

Construction laws & regulations must be followed

When constructing or renovating a building, a commercial landlord in the UK is obliged to observe construction regulations as part of their responsibilities.

Building laws establish minimal standards for building design and construction to guarantee resident health, safety, and well-being, as well as energy economy and accessibility requirements.

Commercial landlords must also ensure that any work done on their buildings complies with these standards, and they may need to acquire building control clearance or other permits before starting any construction work.

Failure to adhere with building rules & regulations can result in fines or judicial action, as well as jeopardising the building’s safety and quality.

Payment of taxes and insurance

The commercial property owner/landlord is liable for paying any property taxes and insurance fees under their responsibilities.  Building insurance protects the structure of the building as well as any furnishings and fittings on the property, and it may also include liability insurance in the event that someone is hurt on the property.

Property taxes, also known as business rates, are a tax given to the local government on non-residential properties. The quantity of tax due is determined by the property’s valuation and planned use.

However, the precise arrangements for insurance and tax payments may differ based on the terms of the landlord-tenant lease agreement. In some instances, the tenant may be required to pay a portion of these expenses as part of the total rent or service fee.

A commercial landlord may need to arrange other types of insurance as part of their responsibilities, such as public liability insurance or employer’s liability insurance, in addition to building insurance, depending on the specific risks associated with the property and any business activities carried out on the premises.

Information disclosure

The owner/landlord must reveal to the tenant any pertinent information about the property, such as the lease conditions, any limitations on the use of the property, and any known defects or hazards.

Service provision

As stated in the lease agreement, the owner must provide certain services such as heating, hot water, air conditioning, cleaning service, toilets, parking facilities and rubbish removal.

Collecting rent and managing tenancies

One of the responsibilities of a commercial landlord is the collecting of rent from tenants, as well as managing the lease arrangement, including renewals and terminations.

Tenant deposit protection

If the owner/landlord needs a deposit from the tenant, the deposit must be protected in a government-approved scheme and the tenant must be informed and given information about the scheme.

Disputes and complaints

The owner/landlord may be in charge of resolving disputes and complaints between tenants or between the landlord and the tenant.

commercial office building landlord responsibilities
A commercial landlord has various duties & responsibilities under UK law for any buildings they own & manage

What are the fire safety regulations for commercial landlords?

As a commercial property owner and Landlord in the United Kingdom, you are required to follow a number of fire safety rules as part of your responsibilities in order to guarantee the protection of their tenants and visitors. Among the most important laws are:-

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: The legislation requires commercial landlords to conduct a fire risk assessment of their property and implement suitable fire safety steps to safeguard occupants in the event of a fire. This includes steps such as installing suitable fire alarms, fire doors, emergency lighting, and fire extinguishers throughout the building.

The Building regulations: These laws establish requirements for the planning and construction of structures, including requirements for fire resistance, means of escape, and access for fire and rescue services.

The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974:  This requires commercial landlords to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of their workers and visitors, including measures to avoid fire-related risks.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: These laws require commercial landlords to conduct regular risk assessments and adopt suitable risk management measures, including those related to fire safety.

In addition to these regulations, commercial landlords may be required to meet with additional requirements based on the particular nature of the property and any business operations conducted out within it.

Are commercial landlords responsible for fire extinguishers?

Yes, in most cases, as a commercial landlord, one of your responsibilities is that you are liable for supplying and maintaining fire extinguishers on the premises. This includes ensuring that the appropriate sort of fire extinguisher is readily accessible in the event of a fire, as well as routinely inspecting, testing, and servicing the fire extinguishers in compliance with applicable safety standards.

In addition, commercial property owners/landlords are responsible for ensuring that all pertinent fire safety laws are followed and that suitable fire safety measures, such as fire detectors and emergency routes, are in place.

The duties and responsibilities of  the commercial landlord will of course be determined by the conditions of the lease agreement, as well as any legal or regulatory requirements that may apply.

Is a commercial landlord responsible for the boiler?

Yes, a commercial landlord as part of their responsibilities is usually liable for a property’s boiler. This involves routinely maintaining and servicing the boiler to ensure that it is in good working order, as well as fixing or replacing the boiler if required.

Additionally, commercial landlords are liable for ensuring that the boiler is secure and in accordance with all applicable health and safety laws, including those governing gas safety.

However, the precise responsibilities of the landlord will be determined by the conditions of the lease arrangement and any other legal requirements that may apply.

Does a commercial landlord have to provide a toilet?

Yes, in most cases, a commercial landlord is obliged as part of their responsibilities to provide toilet facilities on the premises. This involves making at least one toilet available to the tenant as well as any workers or guests who may be on the premises.

The precise needs for bathroom facilities will be determined by the property’s size and style, as well as any legal or governmental requirements that may apply.

Likewise, the commercial landlord may be liable for ensuring that the toilet facilities are kept in excellent shape and cleaned on a frequent basis.

toilets within commercial building landlord responsibilities
One of the responsibilities of a commercial landlord is to provide toilet facilities for tenants & visitors

Who is responsible for a gas certificate in a commercial property?

The commercial landlord is usually responsible under their list of responsibilities for getting a gas safety certificate in a commercial building. This certificate is needed by law in the United Kingdom and must be acquired yearly by a certified gas safe engineer, who will examine and test all gas appliances and pipework in the building to ensure their safety.

This gas certificate must be given to the tenant before they move in, and a copy must be clearly displayed throughout the property. The commercial landlord is responsible for maintaining and repairing all gas equipment and pipework in the property, as well as providing for any required remedial work to be completed following the gas safety assessment.

Do commercial landlords have to provide an electrical certificate?

Yes, in nearly all instances, a commercial landlord is obliged as part of their responsibilities to provide an electrical safety certificate for their buildings.

All business/commercial properties in England and Wales must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) performed at least every 5 years, or more frequently if suggested by the electrician, beginning April 1, 2021.

The EICR must be performed by a trained electrician and will spot any faults or possible hazards in the property’s electrical system. The business landlord is responsible for scheduling the EICR, performing any necessary repairs as a result of the examination, and giving a copy of the report to the tenant.

Do commercial landlords pay for utilities?

Commercial tenants are typically liable for their own utilities, such as gas, power, and water. However, based on the particular conditions of the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant, there may be some exceptions.

If the commercial property is part of a bigger structure or complex, for example, the landlord may be liable for some or all of the utilities, which may be represented in the lease conditions as being part of their responsibilities.

Additionally, some commercial landlords may choose to include the cost of utilities in the total rent or service fee that the tenant pays. Finally, the precise provisions for utility payment will be determined by the landlord and tenant agreement.

Conclusion – Commercial Landlord Responsibilities

In conclusion, if you are a commercial property landlord in the UK, you will have a variety of duties and responsibilities, including:-

  • Making sure the property is secure and habitable for tenants and visitors, including adhering to health and safety laws.
  • Unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement, performing repairs and upkeep on the property.
  • Unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement, providing necessary services such as utilities and waste disposal.
  • Obtaining all required permits and clearances for any construction work, as well as assuring compliance with building regulations.
  • Organising and paying for building insurance and property taxes, though particular plans may differ based on the lease agreement.
  • Obtaining gas and electrical safety certificates, as well as providing essential safety devices such as fire detectors and extinguishers.

The precise responsibilities of a commercial landlord will be determined by the lease agreement and any relevant regulations and laws.

To prevent future confusion or disputes, landlords and tenants must create clear plans for duties and obligations in the tenancy agreement.

Need help with commercial building or refurbishment works?

We hope you found our guide on commercial landlord responsibilities useful.  If you require assistance with any aspect of the design and build of your brand new commercial building, or need help with the re-design or refurbishment of an existing space within a commercial property, then we can help!  And we’ll help you to remain fully compliant with UK commercial building and health & safety regulations.

We provide commercial design and build & renovation for property owners and landlords, and refurbishment works for commercial tenants.

We provide the complete package for your convenience including project management, build and fit out, together with the provision and installation of furniture, lighting, air conditioning systems and equipment.

Get in touch and we’ll be very happy to talk you through the services we provide and offer our advice and expertise on commercial design and build.

Call us for a chat on 0161 503 9075, or use our contact form to email us.  If you’d like to see what some of our customers have to say about our services, then you can read our reviews on Google.


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