Bowcliffe Chartered Surveyors

Commercial Building Surveys

In general, Building Surveys are carried out in relation to:

  • The purchase of a freehold or long leasehold interest in a property by an owner occupier
  • The purchase of a freehold or long leasehold interest in property as an investment
  • The anticipation of a tenancy agreement by Landlords and tenants
  • The preparations necessary for a building owner to disposal of their asset
  • The formulation of a planned building maintenance regime.

Although Building Surveys generally take similar formats and the key areas of focus are usually the same, it is essential that the survey is carried out with the key objectives of the client clearly in mind.

If you are purchasing the freehold of a building for owner occupation, then it is important that a building survey concentrates on costs that would be necessary to keep the building performing throughout your occupation, coupled with ensuring that statutory requirements are met. A building survey will give you advice as to what regular maintenance would be needed and the likely Life Cycle Cost. If you are acquiring the freehold for investment purposes, then the purpose of the building survey report would be to assess what responsibilities, and associated financial liabilities, may fall upon you as a landlord.

If you are acquiring a leasehold interest in a property and will occupy the premises as a tenant, then you will need to consider both ongoing maintenance requirements throughout your lease term, coupled with an understanding of potential repairing liabilities, particularly upon termination of the lease agreement. A building survey is therefore important, as failure to budget for such expenditure can often place a large, unforeseen financial burden on companies, and these factors are often not factored into commercial business plans.

If, as a commercial business, you are considering a sale and leaseback transaction to release capital from your property assets, then a building survey is vital as matters which may normally have been acceptable to yourselves, as a former occupier, in terms of the standard of repairs to buildings, may not necessarily conform to the standard of repairs required under a normal Full Repairing lease. Any investor wishing to purchase the freehold of your building and then lease it back to you will wish to ensure that, as tenants, you maintain the building in a good standard of repair. A building survey is therefore helpful as these standards often vary between the two parties and it is essential that these issues be considered during such a sale and leaseback transaction.

You may have one or several properties that you are considering disposing of. It is often the intention of the seller to sell the property as quickly as possible so as to release funds for other purposes. Disposal Surveys for vendors are critical in order they may assess the condition of their own buildings prior to sale. By doing this, they are fully aware of costs that a potential purchaser may wish to negotiate upon and are better placed to deal with negotiations when these issues arise. A disposal survey can often speed up the whole transaction; if the vendor is advised from the start of the disposal, any future negotiations by a prospective purchaser do not usually come as a shock, at the last minute.

Bowcliffe LLP can undertake all forms of the above building surveys and will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.