Building Survey and Schedule of Condition – Surrey

We were pleased to receive instructions from our Client negotiating a lease of the retail unit for use as a hair salon. 

The negotiations were well progressed however the demised space was in a modest condition with the previous tenants fitting remaining in place.  The retail until is also located in a period building with a similar unit adjacent to it and flats above it on the upper floors.  Our Client wanted to ensure that they were aware of their liabilities before agreeing the lease. 

Our instructions included to carry out an inspection of the building to include the proposed demised retail space and the external elements of the building.  We recommended that whilst the external elements were outside of the intended demise, the cost of any repairs, would be need to be paid for via the service charge, for which our Client was liable for a percentage.  Whilst service charge payments are split between the tenants in a building they are often overlooked by incoming tenants when contemplating taking a  lease.  Service charge costs can be significant if there are expensive defects such as structural problems or roofing defects required.  We highlighted the potential defects which may impact on the service charge costs in our building survey report to allow our Client to discuss those issues with the landlord, ensuring that our Client fully understood their potential liabilities. 

Our Client, in addition to understanding the issues with the building and their proposed demise, was keen to limit their future dilapidations liabilities for the internal condition of the retail unit.  Their proposed demise contained the previous tenants fixtures and fittings, which along with the finishes were in a poor condition so our Client also instructed us to prepare of a schedule of condition.  This schedule of condition was to be agreed with the Landlord so our Clients’ repairing and redecoration obligations could be limited in their lease.

The building survey and schedule of condition were undertaken at short notice to allow our Client to achieve their timescales in completing on their lease.  We always work with our Clients to advise them on the implications of the acquisition of the freehold interest of the building or a lease.  We work with our commercial clients and ensure they understand the existing and potential issues with the buildings they are looking to acquire.   In instructions where our Client is looking to take a lease we are able to offer advice on the potential dilapidations that they may face during the lease terms and at the lease expiry.