Guest Blog : 4 reasons to have a commercial property survey
A guest blog from Right Surveyors.
It is a common misperception of chartered surveyors that we exist only to help people with a survey or valuation before they buy a home. Whilst that’s a big part of our role, we also spend a lot of time assisting commercial property buyers with navigating the complex and costly matter of buying a new office, or taking on a new business premises.
In our experience, the advice of a chartered surveyor during a commercial property transaction can be absolutely invaluable – often bringing in thousands more in savings than the surveyor’s fee. We’ve put together four reasons why you should have a commercial property survey:
Commercial properties are often constructed using different materials to residential property stock, including cladding, curtain wall systems and reinforced concrete. Even if the property looks like a typical brick construction from the outside, the concealed system may be something more complex like a timber or steel frame. Whilst almost everyone has some basic knowledge of their domestic home, these materials create their own unique problems.
The insight of a trained building surveyor will help you identify the problems unique to your commercial property, allowing you to avoid making a flawed investment. As our surveyor in Manchester explains:
“Not only can defects in a commercial property be expensive to rectify, they could also impact your insurance. A claim can put up your premium, which will have ramifications for your cash flow. Avoiding a property with hidden problems, as well as sensibly maintaining a building after you’ve moved in, are both important considerations for a business owner.”
Running a business is all about minimising costs and maximising revenues. Investing in a commercial property is naturally a very large cost, both in terms of initial outlay and ongoing upkeep, so any action which can help manage this can be financially sensible.
Crucially, maintenance forecasting will help to avoid unexpected outlays and aid the accuracy and consistency of your cash flow.
A commercial survey will lay out both the incumbent defects and the expected future issues, allowing a system of Planning Property Maintenance to begin.
If you’re signing the lease for a commercial property, it will be possible to limit your repair liabilities by creating an exact record of the condition of the property on commencement. You – as tenant – won’t be liable to return the property to a higher standard of repair than when you moved in – which can mean thousands in refurbishment savings.
At the expiry of the lease, a schedule of dilapidations can be created to review the repair obligations and guide the dilapidations settlement negotiations. A clear schedule created by a competent professional will offer a credible, neutral point of negotiation and help avoid conflict.
Health & Safety
The legislative burden on companies is much greater than on a typical person; a new property means new health and safety risks, as well as new fire precautions and escape routes. The safety of your staff and third parties who visit your property is a source of potential liability and a chartered surveyor can advise you on how best to manage this.
If anything, it is even more important for a commercial property buyer to instruct a surveyor than it is for a residential buyer. The liabilities attached to commercial property, as well as the impact it can have on a business’ cashflow, can be the difference between success and failure.