Taking the leap and signing a lease on a new commercial property is a significant step in the life of a business. If you find a property that ticks your boxes in terms of its size, location, access and facilities, you may be tempted to snap it up, before someone else does.

But ploughing headfirst into a lease without first undertaking due diligence can leave you with significant problems in the future. Leases can contain many clauses that may be unsuitable for your business and as such, advice should be sought from a commercial property lawyer. Additionally, it is important to know where you stand in terms of liability or repair, redecoration and dilapidations. We look at this in more detail in this blog…

Just as we would always advise a survey report when buying a home, a survey report when taking up a lease on a commercial property is just as important. In fact, due to the nature of commercial property, the greater potential for wear and tear and often the size of the property involved, knowing and understanding its condition before becoming responsible for it is arguable even more important.

A Pre-Lease Assessment is one of the best ways to learn about the condition of a commercial property in more detail – and ultimately find out what costs you may face for upkeep and repair. A Pre-Lease Assessment ‘tells the story’ of the general condition of the building, looking at all aspects of the building’s exterior and interior in detail and identifying any defects that exist at the time of the inspection. A Pre-Lease Assessment can also provide a timescale of future maintenance and repair work, as well as likely costs. 

A Schedule of Condition is a specific type of report that is produced to limit the liability of dilapidations in the future. The idea of a Schedule of Condition is that the condition of the property is detailed at the time that occupancy is taken, therefore reducing the chance that a landlord can charge you for pre-existing defects at a later date. As dilapidations responsibilities often extend to roofs and other significant parts of the property, a detailed Schedule of Condition can prove extremely valuable down the line. The completed Schedule needs to be appended to the lease for both parties to see and agree to.

Without having one or both of the above documents professional prepared by a Chartered Building Surveyor, a tenant can face significant risk and liability for the cost of repairs in the future. For more information on any of our surveys or reports for commercial properties, please get in touch. we are happy to advise on the most appropriate report and can undertake surveys and reports across properties in Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and the Yorkshire Dales.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR