Why use a building surveyor at the start and end of your commercial lease?

A building survey is not just for properties being sold. In fact, there are many reasons why you might appoint a surveyor to carry out a building survey or inspection on a rented commercial property.

Assessing the condition of the property

All commercial leases have clauses regarding the condition of the property, and how it should be maintained. This wording is designed to protect both landlords and tenants. But when it comes to enforcing these clauses, or ensuring a commercial property is being properly maintained, professional help is often needed.

This is where a trusted building surveyor is worth their weight in gold. They can carry out building surveys and other inspections, and provide detailed reports (including photos) on the condition of the property and any maintenance issues. With this in mind, having a building survey done at both the start and end of any lease is a good way to reduce risk and ensure peace of mind.

As well as a formal building survey, surveyors can also help with:

Schedule of Dilapidations – when a tenant has failed to properly maintain the property, this report outlines the items of disrepair and specifies the work needed to bring the property up to scratch.
Photographic Schedule of Condition – this document sets out the condition of the property in forensic detail, and covers the repair and maintenance obligations for the length of the lease, as agreed between the landlord and tenant.
Rent reviews – setting out the property’s current rental value, this report can be used to support lease negotiations and ensure the rent is set at the proper market rate.

Benefitting commercial landlords and tenants alike

Many commercial tenants choose to have a survey done before they take on a new lease because it can save them a lot of money in unexpected repairs. And for landlords, surveys and inspections are a vital way to protect their investment.

Ultimately, working with a professional surveyor means both sides can be sure the advice given is accurate and fair – which helps to promote positive communications and deepen trust between the landlord and tenant.

At Perry Hill Chartered Surveyors, we support both landlords and tenants with the full range of surveys, inspections and valuations. Discover how we can help you get the most out of your commercial lease agreement.

What is a Home Buyer Report – and is it right for you?

If you’re buying a house or flat, you might be thinking of getting a Home Buyer Report. This inspection report looks at the property’s structure and overall condition, highlighting whether there are any major problems with the property.

The Home Buyer Report tends to be the preferred inspection report for UK buyers, but it’s not the only option. Here’s what you need to consider.

Remember, it’s not a full building survey

Many buyers think the Home Buyer Report is a formal structural survey, when it’s not. A Home Buyer Report gives an overview of the property’s condition, and is designed to flag urgent, visible issues that may affect its value. But it doesn’t look beyond what’s immediately visible. For example, the surveyor wouldn’t lift carpets or look at wiring.

The Home Buyer Report is therefore a sensible choice for conventional, fairly new properties in reasonable condition. For other properties, the Home Buyer Report may not be detailed enough.

How does a building survey differ?

A building survey (also known as a Full Structural Survey) is the most detailed type of property inspection you can choose. Not only does it cover the visible issues that are included in the Home Buyer Report, it also looks for issues that may not be immediately visible, such as woodworm in structural timbers. It also details the apparent cause of problems, how urgent they are, how they should be fixed, and how much it might cost. This information is incredibly valuable for buyers – particularly when it comes to negotiating a reduced price.

As an example, we recently carried out a building survey that found £80,000 of work was needed – a huge cost, and one that the buyer hadn’t factored into their budget. Armed with this advice, they were able to renegotiate with the seller.

Doesn’t a building survey cost more?

In a word, yes. Building survey costs vary according to the property, so each case is different, but in terms of value for money, we think the building survey wins hands down. As the previous example shows, it can save you a fortune in the long run.

At Perry Hill Chartered Surveyors, we’ll discuss your goals before the inspection, so that we can provide the information you need. Say, for example, you want to extend the property in future, we can tailor the report to include this and highlight potential issues. This way, we make sure you get maximum value for money.

Bottom line: a building survey is a worthwhile investment. Get the advice you need to make an informed purchase decision.

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