Whether you’re liable for a leaking roof in a commercial property will depend on your ownership status and any contracts. Of course, if you own a standalone commercial property, it would make it your responsibility to repair to leaking roof. But if you own an office within a building, you should check your paperwork to see whether you are responsible for some or all of a leaking roof.
If you’re a tenant in a commercial property, things get a bit more complicated. Lots of commercial leases are FRI, or Full Repairing and Insuring leases, which means that the tenant is responsible for all external and internal maintenance and insuring the building. It means that it’s vital that you read through your tenancy agreement in full before signing it and seek legal advice if you think you need it. If your lease is an FRI lease, you are liable for a leaking roof in your commercial property.
It’s important to ensure that you have a schedule of condition for the property, which will mean that you only have to restore the commercial property back to the condition that it was in when you took over. It’s also worth getting the roof inspected before you sign the lease, as if there is any damage before you sign the landlord may be responsible.
The best way to avoid having to pay for a leaking roof in a commercial property is prevention. If you are liable for repairs and maintenance, make sure you have the roof inspected regularly by a reputable company to avoid having to pay for costly repairs when disaster strikes.