Health and safety responsibilities of commercial tenants

When renting property for your business, you have various health and safety responsibilities by law, some of which might not necessarily be set out in your lease.

Health & Safety

You must carry out a health and safety risk assessment  in the workplace and take action to remove any hazards. Click Here for further information and guidance.

Fire Safety

As the responsible person you:

  1. must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises, review it regularly and tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  2. put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
  3. plan for an emergency
  4. provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training


Read how to make sure your premises are safe from fire by clicking here.

Electrical Safety

You will usually be provided with an electrical certificate for your new premises when you take occupation, but responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace thereafter will usually rest with yourself as tenant. Click Here for further guidance on ensuring electrical safety compliance.

Gas Safety

You must maintain gas appliances and equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which could mean an annual inspection by a registered gas safety engineer to make sure appliances and pipework are safe. Click Here for further advice and to find a registered gas safe engineer.

Managing Asbestos

Asbestos is commonly found in many products used in the UK construction industry including ceiling tiles, cladding, pipe insulation, boilers and sprayed coatings. It was extensively used from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s but can be found in many buildings built as late as the year 2000. Asbestos materials present a risk to health when the fibres become airborne. This happens if you cut, drill or otherwise break asbestos containing material during construction, repair or maintenance work.

You need to be aware of your legal duty to monitor, maintain and manage any asbestos containing materials within your premises.  Often this is not an onerous management task but failure to maintain your duties can result in prosecution and serious harm to health.  Click Here for further information.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local councils are responsible for making sure you follow the law. The following links provide further guidance:

Download ‘Health and safety regulation: a short guide

Download ‘Workplace health, safety and welfare: a short guide’

The main law covering health and safety at work in the UK is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Your landlord will be responsible for health and safety in communal areas of estates and multi-occupied buildings.  Landlords are often not on site at all times so if you become aware of any safety issues on site, it would be in everyone’s interests for you to advise your landlord immediately.

You can be prosecuted if you don’t follow health and safety rules so always be alert and seek guidance if you are not sure.