Tenants renting a commercial property will have certain responsibilities to meet. They include health and safety, repairs and maintenance, and moving out.
RENTING A BUSINESS PROPERTY: A tenant of a commercial property has a lawful duty to ensure that the business premises are:
As a rule, United Kingdom law determines the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant in a commercial property.
But, if you are renting a property for your business, the terms of the lease may also affect the usual commercial property responsibilities.
Many of the health and safety responsibilities belong to the tenant in a rented business premises. But, that does not always mean that the landlord is exempt from liability.
As a tenant in commercial property employing staff members, you must ensure the workplace meets some basic safety requirements. As a rule, you would be responsible for:
The basic tenant responsibilities when renting a business property also extend to making sure there is:
Note: The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 apply to most workplaces. Read the HSE guide titled 'Workplace health, safety and welfare: a short guide' for further details.
The landlord of a commercial property also has some responsibilities to fulfill. As a rule, landlords are responsible for any aspects of health and safety written in the lease. A typical example would be any communal areas.
Note: It is the responsibility of a tenant to take reasonable steps to check that the landlord is meeting their full responsibilities. But, you must keep paying the rent even if there is a dispute between a tenant and the landlord. Failing to do so may mean you get evicted from the property.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 appertains to health and safety at work in the United Kingdom. The responsibility for the governance of these laws belongs with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the local councils.
Note: Failing to follow all workplace health and safety rules means you can get prosecuted. You can download the guide titled 'Health and safety regulation: a short guide' for further details.
The responsibility for general repairs and maintenance of a commercial building is often shared between the landlord and the tenant. As a rule, the lease agreement will state who has the responsibility for property repairs and maintenance.
As a tenant of a commercial property you may need to pay for some repairs when you vacate the premises. The landlord will usually expect you to return the property to the state that it was in at the time you first rented it.
A buildings surveyor would refer to these general repairs as 'dilapidations'. As a rule, these types of defects or disrepair would get written into the lease agreement.
Note: In most cases, the tenant would adopt any of the responsibilities that are not mentioned in the lease.
Tenant Responsibilities in Commercial Premises in the United Kingdom