Guide

Commercial property: landlord and tenant responsibilities

Responsibilities for maintenance of commercial properties

When taking on a commercial property lease it's important that you understand your responsibilities for the repair and maintenance of the building you are renting.

Tenants are typically responsible for internal repairs and maintenance. In some cases you will also be responsible for external maintenance. This is more likely if you're the sole occupant of a building.

Maintenance responsibilities and the rental lease

Ultimately the division of maintenance responsibilities will be set out in the rental lease. As a result it's important to check a lease carefully before you sign.

Before you sign the lease you should check what your liability is for repairs needing to be done. If you're not careful you could end up having to pay for them.

You should consider having a survey done and insisting on any alterations, repairs and redecorations being completed before you sign the lease.

Dilapidations

When signing a lease you should be clear on the repairs the landlord may require you to pay for at the end of the agreement - known as dilapidations. This can often be a problem area, so it's important to take it seriously.

You may be responsible for reinstating the premises to its original condition. As a result it's important to get professional help from a chartered surveyor, who will record the state of the premises when you took on the lease. This will prevent the landlord from making unjustified demands later on. Find a chartered surveyor.