Technical Due Diligence Pre-Acquisition surveys

For freehold and leasehold commercial properties

When you are acquiring an interest in a property, your due diligence process needs to be carefully considered in order to protect you from the numerous pitfalls that properties bring with them. The statutory requirements relating to commercial property ownership are changing at an ever increasing rate. As as a result you need the kind of specialist advice that comes from a wealth of experience in the commercial sector to be sure that you are making the most informed decision you can.

Whilst most people assume that pre-acquisition surveys are only for acquiring freehold and long leasehold property, there can be major benefits in considering a survey in relation to short leases, particularly of larger premises. There can me lots of surprises hidden behind how a building is either constructed or repaired prior to marketing. You don't want to uncover these costly surprises when you've signed the lease, so be prepared, contact us now.

The condition of the building has traditionally been at the forefront of peoples minds when buying freehold property, however other considerations are now just as important if not more:

Energy efficiency - The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) now preclude letting of commercial premises with energy efficiency ratings of less than E. In October 2019, the government launched a consultation on changing the minimum rating from E to either B (preferred) or C by 2030. This increases the likelihood of many properties requiring major upgrades or indeed replacement in order for Landlords to remain within the law. Whilst the upcoming targets look daunting, it is likely that there will be assistance to help landlords comply. Nevertheless, with legislation now moving at speed in order to try and achieve the Governments Net Zero ambitions, now is the time to start thinking about how you keep your buildings compliant. 

Air-conditioning obsolescence. Most people know about R22 and the issues that caused, both in the run up to 2015 and since. However, it didn't stop with R22, the phasing out and phasing down of many other refrigerants currently in use in air-conditioning systems continues until 2030, so the maintenance and de-commissioning problems and increased costs will happen with many other systems still in use.

Covid compliance - Whilst we all are hoping that the onset of vaccines will represent a panacea for the workplace, in reality, there is not yet the evidence to support that. Moving forward it is likely that we will want to ensure our buildings are more resilient when pandemics hit. That can be something as simple as a shop entrance that can accommodate entry and exit with social distancing, or the need for office spaces to have ventilation systems, which limit the spread of virus.

Whatever you want from your building, we can help you make sure it won't let you down.

Defect Report

What is that?

There are many things that can go wrong with buildings and some of them can be serious. If you have spotted a problem with your building and you just don't know what bit is or what to do about it, then a specific defect report may be the answer. 

We use our extensive knowledge of building pathology to identify both causes and effective solutions to any given problem. When you know buildings like we do, the building tells you the story.

Reinstatement Cost Assessment

As regularly required by Insurers

With the exception of smaller residential properties, insurers will often require Reinstatement Cost Assessments to be carried out every few years. It is extremely important that you are not under insured should the worst happen and simply applying inflation rises does not accurately reflect changing construction costs. Equally, you do not want to be over insured with the increased premiums that would entail.

We always inspect properties when carrying out these assessments to ensure the figure we provide gives you peace of mind.

Schedules of condition

Limiting your liability

If you are taking a lease on full repairing terms and the property isn't in A1 condition, you need to consider a schedule of condition. the alternative is that on day one you are responsible for putting everything into good repair and that means everything! There are some people who will suggest that a few photographs will do the trick. Sadly there was a recent court case that proved that to be most definitely not the case. A schedule should be comprehensive, covering all areas, with photographs and description. We can help if you need one. As part of this service we will also help you understand your repairing obligations.

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