Common Commercial Property Issues And How To Resolve Them

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Commercial Property

When you own commercial property, there are inevitably things that could go wrong. Knowing what these issues are will make it easier when it comes to resolving them. Whether you rent to the same client or you have several different tenants, the responsibility falls on you if there is an issue with the property.

You need to know the standards expected from a commercial property, which are set out by the government. This will ensure you meet the standards of your clients and are not eligible for any fines or court cases against you. Below we look at some of the most common commercial property issues and what you can do to resolve them.

Table of Contents

Unclear Contracts

If you own part of a shared property, you want to make sure that the contract is clear before investing. For first-time commercial property owners, it can be difficult to know what should be included in the contract and what it all means to begin with, especially if you are not versed in the law.

Your solicitor should go over the contract beforehand and make sure everything is in order before you sign so that issues do not arise further down the line and cause problems. If your solicitor did not inform you of something included in the contract, like a regular payment or something that could affect your lease, you may have a right to a professional negligence claim.

You should speak to a professional before using a solicitor for negligence, as you need all the relevant information or your case will be shot down before you begin. Professional negligence lawyers, such as those at Hugh James, can assist you in building a case and will let you know if you have the right evidence to pursue it further. They have specialist training and experience in negligence claims against solicitors. 

Cracks

A crack in your commercial property is something that should be addressed as soon as possible. Regular inspections of your property are vital, as tenants do not always notice or inform the property owner of cracks. Even a small crack could lead to a greater problem further down the line and it may be the first sign of a structural issue.

When you find a crack, hire a professional to look further into this and patch it over. You should also be aware of subsidence, which happens when the ground underneath your commercial property begins to move or sink.

This causes the property to lose shape and structure, and you may notice other signs within the property, such as ripping wallpaper or doors no longer fitting within the door frame. Having commercial property insurance will help with these costs, but make sure that subsidence is covered within their terms and conditions. For more information on subsidence, click here.

Poor Ventilation

Another common issue in commercial property is poor ventilation, which is more often the case if you have bought an old property. Poor ventilation can lead to things like dampness and mold. This can be more challenging to sort out, as natural airflow is difficult to replicate. Poor ventilation may become a huge problem for tenants if they are renting the property to create a bakery or restaurant, or any other business where steam or fumes are created. Vents and fans can increase airflow and air quality and should be installed if ventilation is an issue.

You can also use materials like breathe bricks, which are bricks that absorb air pollution. Installing windows or a skylight can add more natural airflow to the property, but this depends on your budget. The last thing you want as a commercial property owner is for ventilation issues to cause respiratory problems for tenants, or you could be held liable.

Pests

When a commercial property is used for anything food-related, the chances of pests are increased. As a property owner, you need to do what you can to make the property pest-proof. If pests have been reported in or around the property, you need to deal with this quickly and safely. It is not enough to put a few mouse traps down, as this may not do much to help and will only delay the inevitable.

Once pests have gained access to your property, they can cause further damage, as they chew through important electrics and cause drywall damage. At the first sign of pests, get a professional pest control service in to sort the issue. This will ensure that the problem is dealt with from the source. They may also be able to advise you on any holes or cracks where pests are getting in, so you can cover these up to prevent the same thing from happening again.

Damp

Damp can occur for many reasons and is most often due to leaks or excess moisture. Leaks can cause all sorts of damage and if left for too long, could cause structural damage to the roof or ceiling. This will also trigger dampness, which will eventually lead to mold growth. Mould is a health hazard that could cause tenants to sue if not sorted promptly. You can find out more about dealing with dampness in commercial property here.

If you have found that the damp is due to a leak, see if the leak is an easy fix. It is better to get a professional in if you are unsure as bad management of leaks will cause further loss of money and more effort in the future. Get the roof of the property regularly inspected, as this can minimize the risk of leaks.

Another reason for the dampness is excess moisture, which could be caused by a leak, humidity, or poor temperature control. Dehumidifiers are a great investment if you start to notice the excess moisture in the property, which may be made worse depending on what the property is used for. Proper insulation can help minimize the risk of this too.

Security

The security of your property is important, especially if you have shared areas in your commercial property space. This tends to occur if you own rental or student flats, as these often have shared areas like a kitchen or laundry area. A breach in this area could cause issues for your residents and complaints within the property. There should be CCTV cameras installed in any shared area, as well as a safety system. If there has been a report of a broken lock or an electric fob system not working, you must address this immediately.

Your tenants should understand the importance of not letting other people through these areas unless they know who they are. Usually, thieves gain access this way and once they have gained access, it makes it easy to breach security. Repeated cases of theft will erode your tenant’s trust and confidence, which could lead to bad reviews against you.

Understanding the common commercial property issues and how to resolve them quickly will minimize the costs and efforts associated. As a commercial property proprietor, look out for dampness, cracks, poor ventilation, pests, and security issues. If the contract was unclear and you are having issues that your solicitor did not discuss with you beforehand, you may be able to take out a negligence case against them.