Practical, legal and financial issues facing landlords

Practical, legal and financial considerations for landlords

Practical, legal and financial considerations for landlords 

Landlords of commercial premises will find themselves dealing with many routine management issues. The value of the landlord’s investment will be best preserved if the landlord keeps on top of the day to day management of the property or appoints agents to do so.

Health & safety

Many health and safety requirements fall to be complied with by the tenant rather than the landlord. However, the landlord needs to be kept informed of any issues and ensure that all relevant legislation is complied with as the onus will be on the landlord during any void periods. Relevant legislation includes the asbestos regulations, fire safety legislation and regulations regarding construction works at the premises. 

Landlord’s rights over the premises 

Leases generally reserve rights for landlords to enter the premises to carry out inspections and repairs. Landlords may also need other rights, such as to erect scaffolding around the premises or to connect into service media (pipes, wires, etc.) at the premises. The landlord must refer to the lease before exercising such rights. If the landlord goes beyond what is permitted by the lease he will risk being in breach of the lease and having to compensate the tenant financially for any disturbance. 

Covenants to insure and to provide services

Two of the landlord’s key covenants are to insure and to provide services to the property. Almost all leases require the landlord to insure the building, with the tenant reimbursing the premium. Leases of premises in shared buildings will often require the landlord to provide certain services for which the tenant pays a service charge. The landlord or its agents must ensure that these covenants are complied with and that the tenants are invoiced and provided with information as appropriate.

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