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commercial landlord's responsibilities - help!(3 Posts)
Would be very grateful if anyone has any ideas on this one!
I belong to a small sports club that rents premises in the basement of an old mill building. Rent and service charge are paid monthly.
Last week a water pipe burst outside the building (but inside the grounds and car park) and the flood wrecked the floor, toilets, back room and some of the equipment. The club owner has been given estimates of around 5k to replace the floor and put right the damage, however the 5k is a mates rate and it's probably closer to 8k in reality.
The mill owners/landlords are saying he'll have to claim on his own insurance as they are not insured for this kind of problem. The pipe doesn't belong to the club though, it's part of the general fabric of the building, outside the boundaries of the club.
Where does the club stand? Can we find out whether the landlord does have insurance, and how? Is there any recourse with the local council, will they have insisted he has insurances if he's got a commercial building etc? Surely it's illegal not to have any insurance if you are letting/subletting? Shouldn't they have to have liability insurance?
Any advice at all would be fantastic, thank you!
Hi, I used to be in lettings, I can tell you what i know from a private let point of view, I don't think the fundamentals in commercial lets are too much different but I hope this helps.
As its a structural thing it should be the responsibility of the owner/landlord. If the club owner has a lease that says otherwise then that changes things.
Assuming the tenancy agreement they have is straight froward and has no individually negotiated clauses, as this is again a problem related to the fabric of the building the landlord should claim on their insurance, if they have no insurance it has to come out of their pocket. the tenant should only be claiming damages to their belongings on their contents insurance, they wont have buildings insurance to claim the repair on (unless this is different in commercial lets).
From memory it is not illegal for the landlord not to have insurance unless its a requirement stated in the tenancy agreement, but is very stupid, and can be classed as negligent as the buildings ins usually covers public liability or one of those kinds of insurances.
You can get more advice from ARLA or there used to be a company called something like the tenancy advisory service.
You can request to get a copy of the landlords insurance but its not something they have to register so there's nowhere really you can look it up and you wouldn't be given the info because of data protection.
The bit that did catch my eye is that you mentioned that the tenants pay a service charge. This could indicate that the bill has to be footed by all the tenants paying the service charge but would be split equally between them, again that would only be if that's what has been agreed to in the terms of the service charge which should be in the tenancy agreement.
Hope that helps!
*You can request to get a copy of the landlords insurance * from the landlord
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