Is it necessary to commission a detailed commercial building survey report when taking over an existing lease?

Is it necessary to commission a detailed commercial building survey report when taking over an existing lease?

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Usually when taking over the lease from another party it is essential to have some sort of Schedule of Condition or Dilapidations Survey so that it is evident which defects were existing before you take over the lease and to ensure that you are not then liable for those defects if say under a Full Repairing Lease.
At Tayross Associates we carry out Schedules of Condition, Dilapidation Surveys and Detailed Commercial Building Surveys for parties located in Camden, Kentish Town, Chalk Farm, and other areas in North & North West London. If you contact us with your proposed property that you intend to lease we can very quickly supply you with a sample survey and a cost for carrying out a Schedule of Condition or Dilapidation Survey.
Case Study

In the instance of this case study based in Camden Town, the client did not require a Dilapidation Survey but required a more detailed Commercial Building Survey Report for the commercial premises in which she intended to purchase with a 10 year commercial lease. This report would include the current condition of the property (so they don't get caught for repairs or replacements such as the entire roof) and any issues like asbestos or damp that is likely to cause issues.

We were able to highlight several issues in our report that our client should get clarified by the landlord before taking over the lease such as their responsibilities for the newly installed Delta Membrane System (see photo below), which we observed several weaknesses with.

Also, that the property did not meet current safety standards, our recommendations were that a mains operated (interlinked & battery back-up) heat detector should be installed and connected to the smoke detectors located in the front shop, rear rooms, kitchen and in the basement. That a fire blanket should be kept in the kitchen and that wet and dry powder extinguishers should be kept on the ground floor and that these should be supplied by the landlord and serviced on a regular basis.

Landlords of Freehold properties can be particularly aggressive these days when it comes to lease repairs, and by not having one of the surveys mentioned above you can leave yourself open to substantial costs.
This article was written by Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS. Carl is a full professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building for which he currently sits on the CIOB professional conduct committee and adjudications panel.

If you would like a Schedule of Dilapidations, a Schedule of Condition or a Detailed Commercial Building Survey in London or the surrounding areas then please call us at our office on 0208 426 1448.