Financial & Legal News

INSIGHT: TOP TIPS for buying or leasing a commercial property

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Karen Piontek takes clients through her top tips

•  MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET A VALUATION

It may surprise you to note that people often agree upon a price without having a surveyor tell them what the property is actually worth which could mean that when the owner comes to sell or refinance the property it is not worth what they thought it was.

•  GET A SURVEY DONE

This is another important area that often gets overlooked.  A survey identifies any potential defects with the building and means that the property is bought knowing the potential cost of remedying any problems. This can also give the buyer the ability to renegotiate the sale price.

• CARRY OUT SEARCHES

Time and time again I am asked by clients not to carry out searches to try and cut costs as they often see them as an unnecessary expense.  Searches are an important part of the investigation of a property.  The type of searches required vary depending upon the location of a property and often reveal whether or not there are any outstanding financial charges against the property, the potential risk of costs in the future, environmental issues or adverse issues regarding rights to the property.

• CHECK THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

The law of restrictive covenants is a complex area and a mystery to many landowners, some of whom believe that restrictive covenants cannot be challenged, however, this is not the case.

It is vital to check the title to the property to ensure that it does not contain any restrictive covenants that may affect the intended use. Restrictive covenants can be challenged of course, but this can be a lengthy legal process.

• ENSURE RELEVANT PLANNING PERMISSIONS ARE IN PLACE

It is important to check if there is requisite consent for the building or any alterations to the building. The absence of planning permission and/or building regulation approval could mean that works previously carried out on the building are structurally unsound or alternatively that consent was refused.

The local planning authority has wide ranging enforcement powers in the event of a breach of planning.

Over the years I have come across many poorly drafted leases and defects in title that often are discovered many years later.

I am sure that you will agree that the common thread throughout this article is that if corners are cut or leases are not drafted by a suitably qualified person, then the costs of rectifying matters will far outweigh the legal fees incurred by instructing a lawyer to do it properly in the first place.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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