Tenant or Landlord: Who Is Responsible For Commercial Property Maintenance?
There are a number of differences between residential and commercial property contracts, which often serve to catch people out, particularly those who have rented a commercial property for the first time. One of the major points for dispute is often who is responsible for on-going building maintenance.
The biggest factor, probably the most obvious but shockingly, the one that many people do not follow on, is to read any agreement before you sign the thing! This is extra critical when it comes to agreeing a lease on commercial property for rent, as in many cases these are bespoke agreements. These will differ heavily to residential contracts, which are all almost identical. When searching for the best commercial property for rent, bear in mind that you can negotiate on, and challenge if necessary, pretty much everything that is in there. One of the major points of contention when renting commercial property is who is responsible for maintenance.
In the vast majority of residential letting agreements, it is the landlord or letting agent who is responsible for the on-going maintenance of the property. In terms of commercial property for rent, the exact opposite is true, with most likely all maintenance obligations falling under the tenant’s jurisdiction. With that in mind, what are the key practices you should do before signing on a commercial property lease?
· Satisfy yourself that the property is to your needs, and is 100% safe
· Facilitate the finances for at least two different independent surveyors to look at the property. A landlord will likely have used their own surveyor, but second or third opinions are always good
· If things such as plumbing, electrical wires, and gas supplies are not something the building surveyor is additionally qualified in, also get professionals in these fields to check out these crucial areas.
Only when you are 100% satisfied that these are all good should you sign your rental agreement. This saves any nasty, hidden surprises early on in your tenancy. Say you are operating a retail store, and something in the building which was not checked out injured a customer, this could then make you liable and, if you are a start-up business, could be terminally damaging to your finances.
When it comes to building repairs, maintenance and renovations of commercial property, ensure you use a trustworthy company, with a proven record of delivering high-class results. A search online or simply asking around locally will direct you to the best, most highly recommended maintenance companies in your area.