REPAIRS/MAINTENANCE & INSURANCE

INFORMATION FOR TENANTS & LANDLORDS

For residential & commercial properties

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

The majority of existing and indeed all new residential tenancies are now deemed to be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs). These must be for a minimum term of 6 months and in general terms the tenant is required to look after the property and obtain the landlord's permission before attempting repairs or decorating. Tenants should also insure their own contents.

The Landlord is required to maintain the structure & exterior of the property and must also:

Fit smoke alarms on every floor

Fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms using solid fuels

Deal with any problems with water, electricity & gas supply

Maintain any appliances & furniture they have installed

Carry out most repairs if something is not working

Arrange an annual gas safety check

Insure the building to cover the costs of any damage from flood or fire

COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

In general terms, commercial properties are let on either a Full Repairing & Insuring Basis (FRI) or an Internal Repairing & Insuring Basis (IR&I), the basis of which is fundamentally different to that of residential properties. Furthermore, the specific repairing obligations placed on the tenant and/or landlord can only be determined by reference to the physical lease which often differs in each case.

An FRI lease would in general terms mean the tenant is responsible for the day to day maintenance, upkeep & repair of the building they occupy whether this be internal or external, whether this be partially recoverable by way of a service charge or not. They will also be responsible for the payment of buildings insurance which is often recovered by the landlord as additional insurance rent, but generally they must insure contents themselves & more than not plate glass within the building.

An IR&I lease would in general terms mean the tenant is responsible for the day to day maintenance, upkeep & repair of the internal elements of building they occupy with the landlord responsible for maintenance & upkeep of the external elements & main structure.  They will also be responsible for the payment of buildings insurance which is often recovered by the landlord as additional insurance rent but generally they must insure contents themselves & more than not plate glass within the building.

Specific legal advice should however be sought in each case if specific obligations are in doubt.

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