It is essential for anyone buying or leasing commercial property to consult a building surveyor experienced in commercial property at the outset. A building survey (FBS), preaquisition or condition survey carried out by a chartered surveyor is an essential to assure yourself that the building is in a good state of repair and will be right for your business, before making a definite decision which will involve a major financial outlay.
A condition survey, or Schedule of Condition, is another important safeguard for anyone leasing commercial premises. Anderson Associates carries out all types of commercial property surveys, and can be relied on for the highest of standards. We are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which sets detailed guidelines for surveys of all properties, including commercial premises.
Reasons for a Full Survey
When you buy or lease any type of commercial premises, you are making a commitment for a number of years, as well as investing your money and your future in the building concerned. You might be taking on an existing shop, office or restaurant, or buying premises which you intend to convert for business purposes. Whichever is the case, you need to be sure that your plans for the building are feasible and that you are not likely to face unexpected costs or repairs in the foreseeable future.
Just relying on a valuation provided via a commercial mortgage is not advisable, because this will not give a full picture of the building. It is just a check on whether it provides suitable security for the proposed loan. A full survey is a much better option, because the surveyor is working for you, not for the lender, and will give you far more detail on the condition of the building and any potential problems. This is particularly important if the premises has been poorly maintained and the lease is full repairing and insuring.
What a Survey Covers
When carrying out a full building survey, a chartered surveyor will look in detail at all accessible parts of the property, giving a detailed report on all defects which are found. A summary of the costs involved in dealing with any issues will be included, in addition as to the timescales and urgency of any works.
This information is essential for your company as you draw up a budget for your business relocation, and work out what your maintenance and repair costs are likely to be after the move. Also, if you are leasing only part of a building for your business, the survey still needs to take account of the condition of the whole. This is because you could potentially be liable for part of the costs if repairs are later needed for the entire building, not just the specific area you may occupy.
When a full survey has been carried out, you can discuss any concerns with your surveyor afterwards, and can arrange other types of inspection such as electrical surveys if it is felt these are needed.
Schedule of Condition
As well as building surveys, it is also advisable for people taking on commercial leases to have a Schedule of Condition, drawn up by a professional building surveyor. This condition survey will record the condition of a property before a lease starts and, with the landlord's agreement, can form part of the contract with the tenant.
It means that, when a tenant later moves out, it is possible to prove what condition the building was in at the start, and avoid being charged for any dilapidations which already existed before they moved in. Anderson Associates are experienced in this field and can advise both tenants and landlords over the whole area of dilapidations.
Finding a Building Surveyor for your Commercial Premises
When you are looking for a building surveyor, an assurance of high quality work is to choose an RICS member.
Paul Anderson is an experienced RICS member (MRICS), having joined this professional organisation in 2002, and all property surveys are carried out in accordance with RICS guidelines.
Anderson Associates has extensive experience in surveying all types of commercial property across the South East, in areas including East London, South East London, Suffolk, Essex and Kent. Click here for more information on finding an expert Building Surveyor, or alternatively you can ring our office on 0800 652 8285.