CP Law Associates

Who is responsible for damage and loss in commercial properties when bad weather hits?

Commercial Property Law

Recently, the UK fell victim to Storm Arwen, the first big storm to hit the UK this year, resulting in a number of business premises becoming damaged. But, if you rent a business premises that has been damaged, then whose responsibility is it to make the repairs? What id the business unit is no longer fit for use. In this article below we will look at the issues that arise when it comes to storms and commercial tenancies. 

Scenario 1: Your business premises becomes damaged by a storm

If your business premises becomes damaged in a storm or as a result of damage caused by a storm, it is generally covered by your contents insurance. Any additional fixtures or fittings inside the property that you have bought are usually your responsibility to repair, replace and then insure.

Scenario 2: equipment or stock is damaged

If your equipment or stock became damaged because of a storm it will generally be covered for by your contents insurance, so this reiterates the importance of ensuring you have a good contents insurance provider when renting a commercial property. 

In some cases, storm damage may be so bad that it means you are unable to operate until repairs are made. With your insurance, you may find that you have a business interruption clause that may cover these circumstances. If you do not have this insurance policy you may think about asking your landlord and you have several options below if your landlord will not make the repairs needed. 

The outcome

Commercial property leases and repairs obligations are a complex area of commercial law and are the source of many disputes that we see here at CP Law Associates, therefore if things start to get tricky, we suggest speaking with a lawyer on the specific situation to advise on the best course of action for you. 

If you decide to make the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from any rent due to the landlord then it is important to understand that you must not take this course of action without seeking legal advice beforehand. 

If your landlord is still refusing to pay or delaying the repairs which is in turn costing your business money, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation of damages against them. 

Our solution

Nothing in this article is official legal advice and we would always suggest that you speak to one of our commercial property lawyers at CP Law Associates for more information if you find yourself in this situation.

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