Refurbishment works to a commercial property can often require significant planning. In addition to minimising downtime and ensuring works are competed on time and within budget, there are a wide range of compliance matters to consider.

The extent or nature of the refurbishment will often dictate which regulations or compliance matters will apply. These cannot simply be ignored or considered after the event; they need to be planned into the project, with requirements being adhered to and checked at every stage.   

Here we look at some of the regulations that may apply to the refurbishment of commercial properties.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations are a set of minimum standards that must be adhered to when constructing, altering or extending a building. These standards cover a wide range of requirements including structural safety, fire safety, energy efficiency, ventilation, and accessibility. If the Building Regulations apply, then a completion certificate should also be held/obtained following completion of the relevant works.

Where largescale works are planned, planning permission may be required.

Asbestos Regulations

Under the majority of leases, all repairs and maintenance fall under the responsibility of the tenant. For this reason, obtaining a copy of an Asbestos Survey Report should be part of your due diligence.

Where asbestos has been identified, regulations require for regular ‘management inspections’ of asbestos containing materials (ACM’s), at least annually. If you propose to carry out any refurbishment works, an Asbestos Survey Report will need to be carried out prior to any works commencing.

Listed Buildings

Listed buildings are often attractive or intriguing and can be a lovely place for businesses to operate from. However, any refurbishment of a listed building will require research into what can and can’t be done, and very careful planning. Depending on the listed status of the property, restrictions may be extensive, covering both the interior and the exterior of the property.

MEES regulations

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are regulations which require a minimum energy efficiency standard to be met. Many commercial property owners will be looking to refurbish properties with MEES in mind; employing energy efficient materials and designs to try and improve their EPC ratings. Should the refurbishment be for another purpose, MEES will need to be considered and energy efficiencies incorporated as part of the project design and specification.

CDM Regulations

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations). The CDM Regulations apply to all construction projects, including refurbishment projects, and relate to health and safety and risk control during works. If you are planning work on a refurbishment project, everyone on the team needs to know about CDM and carry out their duties, it’s a legal requirement.

Other compliance matters to consider may include Fire Safety Regulations, Planning Permission, and the Party Wall Act, Electrical Safety and Gas Safety.

Lea Hough are able to advise commercial clients on all aspects of compliance. Where we are instructed to project manage a commercial property refurbishment, part of our role is to ensure that all compliance issues are dealt with. Where planning permission or building regulations are applicable, we are able to apply for these and obtain the relevant paperwork on completion. This provides the peace of mind that all permissions have been obtained and compliance matters met. This can save significant cost and potential issues in the future.

To discuss a commercial refurbishment project with a member of our team, please get in touch

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR