Building Safety Act 2022 – Legal Guidance for Commercial Tenants

In recent developments, the Building Safety Act 2022 has been introduced with the aim of reshaping safety standards for commercial properties. This update provides information for businesses leasing spaces and outlines proactive steps to navigate potential cost implications.

Prompted by safety concerns raised after incidents like the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, the Building Safety Act 2022 is a response to significant failures in building safety regulations. The Act introduces stricter rules governing the design, construction and management of buildings, emphasising accountability and oversight within the construction industry. Its primary objective is to prevent disasters and protect the safety of occupants in both commercial and residential buildings.

Applying to various building types, including residential, commercial and mixed-use properties, the Act encompasses both new constructions and existing structures. While its focus is on tall buildings exceeding 18 meters or about six stories, it also includes provisions for shorter structures. The legislation extends to structures with multiple occupancy, such as hotels, hospitals, schools and care homes, ensuring rigorous standards for fire safety, structural integrity and overall building performance.

One notable consequence for businesses leasing commercial spaces is the potential increase in service charges to cover the costs of safety upgrades mandated by the Act. These charges may result from necessary improvements to meet the heightened safety standards set by the legislation.

To navigate potential increases in service charges and protect their interests, commercial tenants are encouraged to take proactive steps:

Review Lease Agreements:

•           Thoroughly examine lease agreements to understand existing service charge provisions.

•           Ensure clarity and explore mechanisms to limit unreasonable increases.

Negotiate Terms:

•           Engage in discussions with landlords during lease negotiations to transparently discuss service charge terms.

•           Aim to limit liability for unforeseen expenses related to safety improvements.

Legal Guidance:

•           Seek advice from legal experts specialising in commercial leases to comprehend rights and obligations under the Building Safety Act.

•           Obtain guidance on negotiating favourable terms that align with tenant interests.

Detailed Information:

•           Request comprehensive details from landlords on planned safety improvements and associated costs.

•           Use this information to assess the potential impact on service charges and plan accordingly.

Monitoring Expenditures:

•           Keep a vigilant eye on service charge expenditures and request regular updates from landlords or property managers.

•           Ensure any increases align with lease agreements and relevant regulations, seeking surveyor advice if needed.

Participation in Decision-Making:

•           Actively participate in discussions and decision-making processes related to safety improvements.

•           Advocate for reasonable and necessary changes that align with tenant interests.

Exploring Alternatives:

•           Investigate alternative leasing arrangements, such as fixed service charge caps or leases with dispute resolution mechanisms.

•           Ensure any changes agreed upon are fair and reasonable.

As businesses adapt to the implications of the Building Safety Act 2022, proactive engagement and careful consideration of lease agreements will be key. By taking these measures, commercial tenants can position themselves to navigate potential service charge increases, ensuring that any adjustments are fair and reasonable.

For an in-depth conversation or legal guidance concerning your commercial leases in the context of the Building Safety Act 2022, or to address any other aspects raised in this article, feel free to contact our commercial property team at Spire Solicitors LLP:

Phone: 01603 677 077


Spire Solicitors LLP is a leading law firm with a reputation for delivering high-quality legal advice and client-focused services. With a team of experienced solicitors, the firm provides comprehensive legal solutions to individuals and businesses across various sectors.