Commercial property surveys: Which one do I need?
As commercial Chartered Building Surveyors, Lea Hough offer a range of building surveys on commercial properties. Surveys of commercial properties vary widely and depending on the reason for instruction, commercial surveys are often more detailed and complex than residential surveys.
Here are the three main types of commercial property survey and the circumstances in which they may be required:
Building Survey Report
A Building Survey is a detailed pre-purchase report advising a prospective commercial property buyer on the condition of a single property / portfolio of buildings. Highlighting any defects that may be present at the time of survey, the Pre-Acquisition Building Survey Report also looks at any areas that may need future maintenance in the short to medium term; describing observations in detail as well as advising on how to deal with any remedial works that may be necessary. A Building Survey Report may form part of negotiations before a sale is agreed, having the potential to save the buyer a significant amount on the purchase price.
Schedule of Condition
A Schedule of Condition records the condition of a property at a given point in time and is most frequently required when a new tenant is taking up a lease on a property. It is usually the tenant that appoints a surveyor to undertake a Schedule of Condition, acting to limit their liability for repairs and maintenance. A Schedule of Condition involves a thorough inspection of the building, followed by a report which contains many photographs and a detailed description of each element of the building. In documenting the condition of the property at the point of taking occupancy, the tenant can ensure they won’t be liable to return the property in a higher standard of repair than described in the report.
A Schedule of Condition may also be requested by a landlord in some cases, for example if they have undertaken recent refurbishment of a property and will therefore want to ensure that their new tenant returns it in the same condition at the end of the lease.
Schedule of Dilapidations
This report is usually carried out at the end of a lease under the instruction of a property owner in order to establish the repairing obligations of their tenant. A Commercial Building Surveyor will carry out a Dilapidations Survey to review whether the repair obligations of the tenant have been met, advising on the cost to rectify any defects that do not meet the required state of repair.
Following preparation of a Schedule of Dilapidations, a Building Surveyor can act on behalf of a landlord or tenant to try and reach a settlement for a dilapidations claim.
The technical knowledge and expertise of commercial Chartered Building Surveyors to advise on commercial premises can offer significant benefits to both landlords and tenants.
Lea Hough’s team are on hand to advise commercial clients in regards to property transactions of all types, and can point you in the direction of most suitable survey for your needs. Visit www.leahough.co.uk
Article by Paul Dignan, Partner