How can we help?


The Internet of Things arising from Smart Buildings

The Internet of Things (‘IoT’) is not a particularly novel concept: the idea that everyday items be connected to the internet and be enabled to send and receive data is something which has been in development for a while.  More and more ‘uses’ for this type of technology are being developed.  Internet-enabled devices are able to operate at very low levels of power usage and produce tiny packets of data.  Data which is captured in this way over a long period, when properly analysed, can assist in numerous ways.  These can include monitoring utilisation rates, behaviour and footfall patterns and analysing the efficiency of utility management.

Buildings can be made ‘smart’ in a variety of ways.  Data is captured from sensors or cameras installed in the building or equipment.  The analytics being applied to the data is becoming ever more sophisticated.  Systems are able to predict future usage based upon past patterns of use.  There can be numerous different ways in which the information is able to be used to beneficial effect.  These can include making efficiency savings as well as subtly influencing behaviour, for instance, of customers in shopping centres.

Energy consumption and efficiency continue to be an increasingly important consideration – in view of the possibility of energy shortages and ever more rigorous energy efficiency requirements on the horizon.  Using IoT-enabled plant and equipment, with rigorous data analytics, it will increasingly be possible to reduce energy consumption in a smart way, tailoring system performance around expected patterns of energy usage whilst not compromising on building comfort.

Data which is captured in this way over a long period, when properly analysed, can assist in numerous ways.  These can include monitoring utilisation rates, behaviour and footfall patterns and analysing the efficiency of utility management.

The different types of data collected from IoT-enabled devices can all seem quite innocuous.  However, issues of data security do arise.  Anything which is connected to the internet is at risk of cyber attack.  Protection against such attacks and insurance of losses consequent on them will need to be considered as matters to be set out in leases – especially where the IoT building systems are managed by or on behalf of the landlord in a multi-let building.

Additionally, landlords themselves could use the data collected from IoT systems installed in tenanted areas to their advantage.  Shopping centres in some parts of the world have sensory technologies installed that mean that retailers can compete through mobile phone apps; time-limited discounts have been used to propel shoppers to other stores.  Data sharing of this kind needs to be properly regulated in leases so as to ensure that the tenant is not disadvantaged.

The Internet of Things is here to stay.  Occupational requirements continue to change at an unprecedented rate.  The relationship between landlords and tenants needs to evolve and leases will continue to change in their scope and expectations to reflect this.

About this article


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 22 September 2023
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: New family friendly rights

In this first podcast in the ‘Talking Employment Law’ series, Lucy Densham Brown and Rebecca Dowle, members of the employment team summarise some of the big new family-friendly Bills that are working their way through parliament.

  • 20 September 2023
  • Commercial Real Estate

Commercial buyers beware of residential Stamp Duty Land Tax

This article discusses a recent case in which a property buyer calculated the Stamp Duty Land Tax due on the purchase at a lower rate, due to the mixed-use purpose of the property.

  • 19 September 2023
  • Privacy and Data Protection

Organisations’ use of social media: Data protection

Social media applications (or commonly known as ‘apps’) are being developed all the time and we are constantly being introduced to new social media platforms, some of which take almost no time to gain huge popularity.

  • 14 September 2023
  • Immigration

Entrepreneurial Dreams: What is the Innovator Founder Visa?

In an era defined by innovation and entrepreneurship, the United Kingdom has made a substantial effort towards fostering its reputation as a global hub for start-ups and innovators. The introduction of the UK’s ‘Innovator Founder’ route has marked a pivotal moment in the country’s immigration policy.

  • 11 September 2023
  • Corporate and M&A

Changes to the tax treatment of Employee Ownership Trusts

The government published a consultation on 18 July 2023 seeking the public’s views on its proposals to reform the tax treatment of Employee Ownership Trusts and Employee Benefit Trusts. Parties are invited to express their opinions via email via the government website until the consultation closes on 25 September 2023.

  • 08 September 2023
  • Immigration

Navigating the Latest Immigration Rules for Overstayers in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Staying beyond the expiration of your UK visa is a serious matter that, in most cases, can result in significant and long-lasting repercussions.