What Are Your Responsibilities As A Commercial Landlord?
Achieving Compliance When You Let Out Property To A Business From gas and electrical safety to understanding fire regulations and asbestos management, this guide breaks down the responsibilities for commercial landlords. Being a landlord of commercial property can be a lucrative game to be in, particularly if you own a number of units. However, there are serious responsibilities attached to the job. As a landlord you are bound by the law to provide a safe environment for your tenants to operate their business in. The terms will be explained in your commercial lease, but here we break down some of the specifics in health and safety. Electrical Safety One of the top priorities in a rented business unit is to ensure that the electrics are safe and pose no threat to any occupants of the building. It is recommended that electrical testing is carried out at least every five years or when there is a change in tenancy. However, IDV Electrical explains that it is always best practice to have a site survey conducted which may recommend that the frequency of testing is increased. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) can be issued to prove that testing has taken place and that your circuits are deemed safe. You should also have PAT testing carried out on your appliances to ensure that your equipment is in working order. Gas Safety Gas safety checks should be managed in a similar way to electrical testing. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 advise that a landlord’s responsibility is to ensure that annual inspections are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Engineer to check the maintenance and installation of any gas appliances. They should also keep records of these inspections for a minimum of two years. Fire Safety The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places an emphasis on the finding of one or more ‘responsible persons’ to oversee fire safety in a commercial property. The duties of this responsible person are to carry out a risk assessment of the property to identify any potential hazards, along with determining emergency exit routes and making sure that they are fully maintained and made aware of to the occupants of the building. They should also check that fire safety equipment in the property, such as extinguishers, is in good working order. All fire safety responsibilities should be thought of as ongoing with strict adherence to compliance. Failure by the responsible person to meet regulations could result in a fine or even imprisonment in some cases. Asbestos Awareness For commercial properties that were built before 2000, there’s a possibility that asbestos is present. A full assessment will need to be carried out to determine if any asbestos is present and if it needs to be removed. As a commercial landlord, if you plan to have any renovation work completed in a property containing asbestos, then you will always need to check first as to whether the project is allowed and how the asbestos should be treated. Only licensed contractors are able to handle asbestos. Becoming a commercial property owner can be a wise investment which provides you with regular income. But consulting with a commercial property management team is an important step to ensure that you have fully understood all of the responsibilities of being a landlord and that you comply fully with current regulations.