When clients are acquiring and disposing of commercial properties, we urge them to contact us for advice and support in order to help them make the most appropriate decisions for their businesses and organisations. We have created a checklist of points to consider when exiting or acquiring premises.
1. Review your lease carefully, or ask a property expert to. Are you approaching the end of the lease, or is it a break clause? You may be required to give notice to the landlord so make sure you don’t leave planning your move to the last minute. If you wish to exit a property during a the lease term, it may be costly but if your business needs have changed, then there may be no choice. A surveyor could potentially negotiate an exit deal on your behalf or help you plan your strategy.
2. Are there conditions in your lease for returning your property to a landlord? A building surveyor can review the current condition and compare with the original lease and if applicable conduct a Schedule of Condition to assess what work needs to be carried out to comply with your contractual obligations under the lease.
3. Is it better to pay a dilapidations claim or get the work done? In some cases, obtaining quotes for completing the work and carrying out refurbishments to return the building back to the owner is more cost effective than paying the claim from the landlord. A surveyor can assess both options and advise on the most appropriate for your company, bearing in mind your business position and capabilities.
4. Review what incoming tenants may require for the property, as ripping out equipment/fit outs could be a waste of money/time if needed by the incoming tenant.
5. Appointing a project manager to plan and oversee dilapidations works that can be completed on time and to budget could be a good investment in ensuring best value.
Taking on a new property
1. Review the proposed lease from the landlord and ensure you are not signing up to anything too erroneous. Lease negotiations at this stage can be crucial in limiting your costs upon exit.
2. Conduct a Schedule of Condition to record the property at the point of occupation. A Chartered Surveyor’s record could be a good investment at this point.
3. Undertake a building survey to identify any current defects and identify any potential future issues so this can be used in negotiations to get the Landlord to undertake any repairs prior to occupation.
4. Think carefully about short- and long-term business goals to help you decide what to do with the space. Make your space as flexible as possible. Ensure you take into account how it will be used by staff/clients/customers.
5. Ensure you take professional advice on meeting legislation and building regulations; you must ensure your property is accessible for disabled people (where possible) and safe for staff and clients/customers.
6. Ensure you have the relevant O&M manuals, fire Risk Assessment, Asbestos Registers, Electrical/Gas Test certification, etc to comply with your obligations as a company and building occupier.
7. Consider preparing a Planned Preventative Maintenance Plan to ensure future maintenance tasks are managed and budgeted correctly to minimise any risks to your business.
8. Plan for the future and consider how your needs may change in line with your business growth.