Being a commercial property landlord means you have a duty to ensure that your building is a safe, well maintained place for people to work. Your responsibilities as a commercial landlord are different to those of a residential landlord and the responsibilities of a landlord differ property to property, landlord to landlord and tenancy agreement to tenancy agreement.
So, let’s take a look at what is a landlord responsible for in a commercial lease?
Health and Safety
When it comes to health and safety responsibilities the tenant is usually mostly responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all the people who use the building. Landlords only share this responsibility in the case of sharing a premise and common areas or having an active role in management.
Fixtures and Fittings
Fixtures and fittings mean everything from fixed lighting and heating systems to carpets and paintings on the walls. It is your responsibility as landlord to ensure that every fixture and fitting fitted in your commercial property is fitted safely and properly. Also remember that in terms of electrical fixtures this will mean having the safety certificates.
If your tenant installs any fixtures or fittings themselves this will usually be their responsibility to ensure they are safe and maintained properly. It will be safer for you to clarify exactly what you will take responsibility for before your tenants move in.
Gas and Electricity
The legislation on gas safety has changed since April 6th, 2018. Landlords now need to have a copy of two gas safety certificates from the last two years instead of just having a copy of one for two years. Landlords can also now have their gas safety inspection with a gas safe engineer two months before the due date, this allows much more flexibility for you to plan for this inspection. The responsibility of gas and electrical safety is all upon you so it’s important to make sure you are being inspected by a gas safety engineer and an electrical safety engineer. Anything that the tenant installs which is gas or electric falls upon them to be responsible for. The exact terms of everything will be set out in the lease.
Maintenance and Repair
It is hard to give a brief explanation of a landlord’s maintenance and repair duties as it will differ in every tenancy agreement. Tenants are usually responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of a rented property and in general any landlord responsibilities that are not mentioned in the lease will then fall upon the tenant.
Landlords are usually responsible for any structural repairs to maintain a commercial property. This includes the exterior walls, foundations, flooring and the roof. Non-structural repairs like plumbing or air conditioning usually fall upon the tenant to get fixed unless stated otherwise in the lease or a maintenance fee is paid to the landlord.
It is so important to keep on top of asbestos as the penalties for failing to manage the risk of asbestos are severe. In 2011, Marks and Spencer were fined £1,600,000 for a work environment that put builders they hired at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres. It will be in your lease who is responsible for asbestos in your property. If you are responsible for any asbestos you need to ensure you know where the asbestos is, ensure the material has been analysed and the results recorded, make sure to complete a health and safety risk assessment, keep everything in the vicinity of the asbestos in good condition and tightly sealed and ensure that you inform anybody coming into contact with the asbestos that it’s there.
The responsibility of fire safety falls upon the tenant usually unless stated otherwise in your lease. However, even if you are not responsible for the fire safety of your building you should still include fire safety in your risk assessments.
How a Facilities Management Company Can Help
It can be complicated trying to work out what responsibilities fall on you as a landlord and onto your tenants. You need to make sure that your lease is clear and that all parties understand their responsibilities to ensure there’s no complications further down the line.
It Can Help You Organise your Business Across Multiple Locations
As your business begins to become more successful and starts to grow, you may find that in order to keep up with the growing demand, you need to hire more staff and open more facilities across multiple locations. Whilst this is without a doubt something to be celebrated, you might discover that your ability to organise and maintain your facilities properly, as well as stay on top of your planned maintenance schedule, becomes increasingly difficult and you begin to see cracks appearing.
Running facilities management over multiple locations on your own can be a logistical nightmare, like juggling china plates. Taking your eye off the ball (or plate) for just one moment can mean that everything comes crashing down, maintenance in your facilities begins to suffer, which directly impacts your staff, customers, and ultimately, your profit. Hiring an external company that operates nationally means that you can hand over the management of your various facilities with peace of mind that all the various logistics will be taken care of. The facility management company will be able to undertake any services you choose across all venues, using multiple highly skilled tradespeople, and allowing you time to concentrate on other aspects of your growing business.
It Can Help Reduce Property Expenditure
A facilities management company should offer a range of services to help reduce your expenditure. At MSL we have cost-saving programmes which include improving energy efficiency through providing an ESOS service to survey your facility for any energy efficient changes you could make, as well as identifying cost-saving measures to implement. We also have experience in the designing, supplying and installing of new energy efficient lighting systems, as well as upgrading of existing systems, to help reduce your lighting bills significantly.
In addition to this our planned maintenance programme can help save a large amount of your property’s expenditure. Planned maintenance essentially means that your businesses’ equipment is maintained and serviced regularly, ensuring that any issues are dealt with promptly and unexpected, costly breakdowns or replacements are avoided.
In addition to these, we also offer a variety of security measures that we can implement, from CCTV to manned guards to ensure that your property and assets are protected as well as fire protection in the form of fire alarm systems and fire safety training.
So, How Does a Facilities Management Service Work?
Our building facilities management services are second to none, and offer you complete and comprehensive 360 management, meaning you only need deal with one partner for all your core facility needs. The services we offer range from Maintenance Management, to Hygiene, to Security, and everything in-between. Essentially, our services work to make your business run more efficiently.
But, what really sets us apart from other facilities management companies are the bespoke, award-winning extras that we offer. In this blog, we take a closer look at them, and how they will help you and your facility.
At MSL, you will be provided with your own help-desk coordinator, who is fully versed in all aspects of your business, so is able to understand any issues you have quickly, and deal with them promptly, In fact, our customer services team is so good that they were awarded the ‘Top 50 Company for Customer Service – First In Service Provider Category 2015’. We also provide our clients with a one-stop web reporting system, so everything you need to know about your facility management program is just a click away. The system is accessible 24/7, and gives you access to a wide range of information, including the ability to track every reactive job, and access to all your compliance records.
In addition to this, we offer supply chain management and procurement services; through our MSL Safepartner Scheme we make sourcing and maintaining a large supply chain easy. In fact, we take it out of your hands completely. Our team will negotiate, manage and monitor, whilst ensuring quality, health and safety and environmental standards are met, so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
At MSL our facilities management service has been created to make your life easier and to try and take some of the worry out of running a business. We provide you with a completely transparent overview of every aspect of your program with us, as well as a fully dedicated team to help you along the way. To discuss any of our services in greater detail, please call us on 0333 123 4450.