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Getting The Most Out of Your Surveyor In Commercial Property Transactions | Pre-Acquistion, Due Diligence
In part 2 of Getting the Most Out of Your Surveyor we discuss the pre-acquisition, due diligence and transactional process.
This post is part of a series of posts where we discuss ways in which we, as a firm of Chartered Surveyors, can help solicitors and their clients in commercial property matters– both in terms of non-contentious transactional led work, and contentious litigious matters.
We know that as part of the solicitor’s due diligence process they should recommend the client appoints a Chartered Building Surveyor to inspect the premises and report on wants of repair. We would always advise an independent surveyor be recommended, since we’re free of all market pressures, interested only in delivering best advice and value to our clients. Often our appointment comes extremely late in the deal process. We understand why this occurs; clients don’t want to outlay possibly abortive fees when the deal may yet go sour.
So when is the best time to appoint a Chartered Surveyor?
1. We thoroughly recommend our appointment at the earliest opportunity. Giving the surveyor more time to inspect and report will inevitably lead to a better service, giving us more time to research, and therefore to write more comprehensively in regard to the property in question.
2. We prefer to facilitate deals and transactions; many defects are common across property types and sectors, so it’s important to put defects in context. The period of reflective thought between inspection and reporting helps enormously, meaning reports can be better tailored to client’s requirements. This will ultimately speed up the client’s decision making process, enabling transactions to complete on time.
How Can We Help?
As surveyors, it’s our job to be inquisitive, to get our hands dirty, to look for problems, to understand what’s causing them, rationalise them and ultimately help clients manage them. We can extend this help to solicitors too as part of the process, adding value to both our services.
- Provide us with a copy of the proposed lease drafting, the description of the demise, the repairing obligations, or title document and plans. Let us be your eyes and ears on the ground. We can review the documents and discuss proposed changes with you, tightening the wording, making leases more accurate, assisting with exactly what should be demised, common areas, rights of access etc.
- All too often we review leases on termination as part of the dilapidations process and the lease wording doesn’t tally with what’s on the ground, causing disputes and complications for our clients. We will discuss and provide practical examples which could’ve been averted through collaborative working in future posts.
- Don’t forget we can also prepare Land Registry Compliant Lease Plans and Photographic Schedules of Condition to limit our client’s repairing liability. Bear in mind that notes, measurements and photographs for all these services can be undertaken during a single site visit, making our services more cost effective, passing on savings to clients - streamlining the transaction. Often our instructions are received piecemeal, meaning travelling to and from the property more than once; making it less cost effective - not to mention worse for the environment.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you’ve found it a useful insight.
Watchout for future posts, on the following topics:
- Dilapidations and exit strategies
- Lease renewals and Licences to Alter
- Schedules of Condition
To read part one of our series where we explain how a surveyor can help solicitors click here
If you are in a position where you need or will need some advice in a commercial property matter, please feel free to contact me, Mark Newman, on 0161 238 9800 or email. My team and I would be happy to chat through any concerns you have. If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find me here.