A businessman on the phone next to a sign that says 'for rent'.

The volatility of the residential property market in recent times has led to many landlords opting to invest in commercial property, especially commercial properties in LondonBecoming a landlord is a big responsibility, but what are the responsibilities of being a commercial landlord? How do they differ from the responsibilities of residential landlords? 

Landlord and tenant shaking hands in a commercial property.

Here, our expert team of landlord insurance specialists at CIA Landlords look more closely into the responsibilities of a commercial landlord.

Firstly, what is a commercial landlord?

A commercial landlord is someone who owns and rents out property intended for use as a storefront or business space. In contrast, residential landlords do not permit commercial activities on their properties. Their focus lies in providing living spaces for tenants, encompassing both multi-family and single-use homes.

Commercial landlord responsibilities 

If you have decided to become a commercial landlord, there are certain responsibilities you must fulfil. 

Maintenance and repairs 

The responsibilities of the commercial landlord and tenant for different aspects of maintenance and repairs will be laid out in the lease agreement. Commercial landlords are usually responsible for structural maintenance and repairs, such as the roof, walls, and flooring. 

Commercial property tenants are responsible for non-structural maintenance and repairs, such as heating, plumbing, lighting, and providing drinking water for employees. 

Communal areas 

Commercial landlords are responsible for communal areas and ensuring health and safety in them, whereas tenants are usually responsible for fulfilling health and safety regulations in non-communal areas of the building. 

Providing fire safety equipment 

Although commercial tenants are responsible for complying with fire safety in commercial properties, landlords are responsible for providing fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, blankets, and evacuation chutes. 

The fixtures and fittings you own 

As a commercial landlord, you will be responsible for securely installing and repairing any fixtures and fittings you own. For example, if you have fixed a hanging ceiling light yourself in your commercial property before a tenant’s arrival, you will be responsible for it.

However, if your tenant brings in their own fittings such as a fridge-freezer unit to your commercial property, they will be responsible for it. This includes being responsible for taking out their own insurance coverage to cover such items. 

A businessman on the phone next to a sign that says 'for rent'.

What are the benefits of being a commercial landlord? 

Why become a commercial landlord and make the switch? Well, there are clear benefits to being a commercial landlord, which include:

  • Increased tenant security
  • Longer leases with commercial tenants 
  • Improved cash flow with tenants paying you in advance 
  • The potential for considerably higher ROI than with residential properties, e.g. due to multiple businesses working in the same building paying you rent 

Thinking about ways to protect your commercial property investment? Take out a commercial landlord insurance policy with CIA Landlords.

Get a quote today to learn more about our affordable landlord insurance rates. Call us on 01788 818 670 or email  info@cia-insurance.co.uk.

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