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Which type of building survey is best for your commercial property

20th February 2020

Making sure a commercial property purchase is a sound investment is important for buyers with all budgets. There are many steps you can and should take to ensure you are making the right decision when purchasing or renting a commercial property. 

As commercial property specialists serving Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire, our experienced estate agents are here to guide you through the entire process, from property search to sale. There’s one thing we’d recommend above anything else when purchasing a commercial property - undertake a Building Survey.

Building Surveys are essential for both commercial and residential property purchasers and tenants. They reveal the good, the bad and the challenging side of property buying. With the right building survey, you know exactly what you’re buying or leasing. You also have the information you need to boost your negotiating power to help you save money and can even ask sellers or landlords to fix problems in advance to avoid costly mistakes in the short and long term.

Now we understand why investing in a building survey is important, next it’s time to find out which is the best survey option for your commercial property. Here our experts dig deeper into each type of building survey available for commercial properties.

Building Survey

As the name suggests, a building survey generates a detailed report about the condition of a commercial building. As well as stating the current condition of the property, this type of survey lists any defects that may cause problems for the new owner. It also offers advice on what, if any, maintenance or improvements could be required in the future as a result of these defects.

During a building survey, the surveyor will analyse various areas, providing vital information on the construction of the building as well as the presence of asbestos or any other hazardous materials to name but a few things. Building surveys aren’t just useful for landlords looking to expand their portfolios with a new commercial property purchase, they can be requested by tenants. As most commercial leases make the tenant liable for repairs, a building survey provides a clear picture of future repair costs and can help them negotiate lower rent if the condition of the property is questionable.

Schedule of Condition

This is another survey type that’s relied on by property owners and tenants alike. A Schedule of Condition provides an assessment of the condition of every part of the property at a given point in time.

A Schedule of Condition is particularly useful for tenants who are about to enter into a lease. Tenants have a responsibility to return the property in its original condition, so a Schedule of Condition undertaken at the beginning of the tenancy can help to limit liability if the property wasn’t in good condition in the first place. Landlords can also refer to the Schedule of Condition at the end of a lease to ensure tenants that damage the property can be charged for its repair or refurbishment.

Schedule of Dilapidations

Unlike the Schedule of Condition, a Schedule of Dilapidations is completed at the end of a lease by a building surveyor at the request of the property owner or landlord. Similarly, to the schedule of condition, this survey type can be used to establish liability, calculate and settle associated repair costs out of court if the property has become damaged during the tenancy.

Whatever type of building survey is best for your commercial property, make sure it is completed by a surveyor accredited by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). For further advice regarding your commercial property purchase or lease, contact our team today.