Here at Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham Hill, we have years of experience handling different litigation cases, including commercial property disputes and conflicts between landlords and tenants. From analysing a commercial landlord’s health and safety responsibilities to making claims under the Landlord and Tenants Act 1985, we aim to present our clients with the very best results through alternative dispute resolution, keeping claims out of court whenever possible. If you believe that your commercial landlord has acted in breach of your contract, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Health and Safety Regulations
In many cases, the tenant of a commercial property has the greatest level of responsibility for looking after their own health and safety. However, this varies depending on what is stated in the lease agreement. Tenants are responsible for setting their workplace to a reasonable temperature, providing adequate lighting and safe drinking water, and should always have their employees’ safety as a paramount concern. Landlords will be responsible for safety in communal areas, but this will be highlighted in the lease agreement. The employer of the property will be responsible for fire safety, although the landlord may be responsible for providing fire blankets and extinguishers depending on the lease.
The Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007 highlights responsibilities that both landlords and tenants should adhere to, although this is not bound by law. It is authorised by the British Council for Offices, and highlights lease negotiations, rent reviews and service charges. If your commercial property dispute relates to a health and safety issue you believe to be the fault of your landlord, we can analyse your tenancy agreement and determine whether your health and safety was put at risk, and to what extent.
Gas and Electricity
Once again, the lease agreement will state who has a responsibility when it comes to gas and electricity safety measures. The tenant is usually responsible for maintaining gas equipment, which involves annual checks and inspections performed by a registered engineer. The landlord, however, has a legal obligation to check that the electrical system is safe. The Landlord and Tenants Act 1985 states that the electrics must be safe at the start of the tenancy and maintained throughout. This duty of care applies to the tenant and anyone who may visit the property, in accordance with the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
Tenants are responsible for maintaining any electrical appliances that they bring into the property. Before the tenancy begins, commercial landlords should consider having their property surveyed by an Electrical Conditions Report.
Maintenance and Repair
Normally, landlords are responsible for any structural concerns and repairs, such as the foundations and flooring, whereas tenants will be responsible for non-structural repairs such as plumbing. The leasing agreement may specify that the tenant has a responsibility to leave the property in a good condition. All responsibilities that tenants and landlords may have all depends upon what is stated in the tenancy agreement; when disputes arise that cannot be clearly resolved by the lease, you should seek legal advice.
Here at Van Eaton, we have years of experience in a wide range of commercial property disputes, effectively helping our clients get the results they need as efficiently as possible. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please contact us today by calling 0208 769 6739 for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form here.