There are a number of types of survey available and these can be adapted to suit your particular requirements.
A pre-lease survey may identify unknown or expensive items that require attention, and thus can help you negotiate better terms with your landlord.
For example, a survey might be used to:
- Identify problems that require attention, and help you negotiate that the landlord undertakes any such works prior to you signing the lease; or
- Help you negotiate a financial capital contribution from the landlord equivalent to the cost of remedying the defective problems, or, an equivalent rent-free period; or
- Allow you to negotiate that you are not to be held responsible in future for repairing certain items, by the agreement of a Schedule of Condition being attached and referenced in the new lease.
A schedule of condition is a document that simply records the condition of a building at a particular moment in time.
It has two main uses. Firstly, to record the condition of a building at lease commencement – prepared on behalf of a tenant to limit their future dilapidation repairing liability. A well-advised tenant who has a schedule of condition prepared can save thousands of pounds at lease termination by requesting a schedule of condition be attached to their lease.
The second situation where a schedule of condition is often used is where the works involve The Party Wall etc. Act 1996. If a building owner wishes to carry out works to party walls or floors, or undertake certain excavations, then a Party Wall Award must be produced. A schedule of condition is prepared on the adjoining owner’s building to record its condition, prior to the building works commencing.
It is then later re-examined to see whether the building works have caused any additional damage to the adjoining property. If any extra damage is noted over and above that recorded in the schedule of condition, the building owner carrying out the works will have to compensate or remedy the defects on the adjoining property.
The issue of dilapidations can be a very fraught and expensive area connected with properties held on leases. Whether you are a Landlord or a Tenant, if handled incorrectly they can often cost parties a considerable amount of money.
If you are a tenant, ensure you consider your dilapidation liabilities early. Costs of dilapidation repairs, decoration and reinstatement works can be a considerable expense to any organisation. If not carried out before the end of a lease, the landlord is often entitled to recover further substantial monies from you, for items such as professional fees, loss of rent and VAT, all of which could have been reduced or even avoided if, as a tenant, you had carried out the works yourselves.
By having a Dilapidation Assessment report prepared, you can establish the likely costs involved early on, to enable you to develop a strategy for either carrying out works, or reaching a negotiated cash settlement with your landlord. If you have been unable to plan in advance, and you have already received a claim from your landlord, we can assess the claim and try and reduce this by negotiation.
Once a party has purchased a property, whether this is for investment purposes, or even for occupation, it is necessary to plan ahead to ensure that the building performs satisfactorily for future years.
If you have purchased a property as an investment, it is essential that the building is maintained and perhaps enhanced to ensure that the asset value is realised to its full potential.
If you have purchased the property for owner occupation, it is essential that the building is maintained and repaired firstly to comply with your repairing obligations under the terms of your lease and secondly to ensure that the building performs satisfactorily to allow your use of the building to continue without disruption to your business.
In either situation, without planning for such repairs in advance, problems can arise. What often happens is that people tackle maintenance on a reactive basis, which is often an expensive way to deal with remedial works. All too often, people fail to prevent problems prior to them occurring, which can often result in downtime to a business operation and loss of productivity.
What do I need from a survey?
We often find people are all too keen to follow their dreams and start up a business, or, having seen successful growth, need to move into a larger property.
In such situations, people can be so focused upon their business, matters such as the lease liabilities they will inherit upon signing a lease are often overlooked.
If you are acquiring a leasehold interest in a property and will occupy the premises as a tenant, then you will need to consider both ongoing maintenance requirements throughout your lease term, coupled with an understanding of potential dilapidation liabilities at lease termination.
Failure to budget for such expenditure can often place a large, unforeseen financial burden on companies, and these factors are often not factored into business plans.
We also have a range of surveys designed specifically for landlords, follow this link to find out more.