Responsibilities of landlords and tenants
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.
In multi-occupancy premises the landlord is more likely to carry out external repairs and maintain common parts.
Ultimately, however, the division of maintenance responsibilities will be determined by what's agreed in the lease. As a result it's important to check a lease carefully before you sign.
In particular, before you sign the lease you should check what your liability is with regard to 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.
When signing a lease it's important to 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 to prevent the landlord from making unjustified demands later on.
Subjects covered in this guide
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