Do I need a surveyor to acquire leasehold commercial premises?

The strict answer is “no”, but the following points will illustrate the undoubted financial and business benefits of appointing a surveyor to act on your behalf.

1. Market knowledge

Commercial property surveyors are involved with their marketplace 24/7. They therefore have a thorough working knowledge of rental values, incentives, comparable transactions and many of the landlords and occupiers operating in the area. They will have knowledge of competing properties and alternatives, some of which may be “off market”. Quoting rents can often be well in excess of market levels, particularly when incentives are taken into account.

2. Professional expertise

Surveyors not only have a wealth of experience with reference to values but will provide important advice with reference to appropriate lease terms, any material building issues and the correct basis of measurement, ie., gross external/gross internal or net internal. These factors can have a major impact on the correct rent to be agreed and future liabilities.

3. Negotiating skills

The surveyor’s role is to achieve the best deal for the client and in this respect the surveyor will set out and agree the various parameters for the acquisition. The surveyor will advise on the available “negotiation levers” and where to compromise in order to achieve the best overall result for the Client.
The surveyor will agree Heads of Terms covering the principal points of the deal and ensuring that solicitors have a clear framework on which to build the lease documentation.

4. Additional information

The surveyor will provide advice in relation to, and identifying, missing information that could lead to crucial delays or indeed the collapse of the deal. Early alerts with regards to the need for building or ground surveys, asbestos reports, EPC’s and M and E reports could be vital in ensuring that the transaction proceeds smoothly, on budget and on time.

5. Client and Professionals Liaison

The surveyor is the hub of the transaction. Having finalised the Heads of Terms the surveyor will work closely with the legal representatives to keep the documentation moving and helping to deal with any matters arising as swiftly as possible. The overriding objective and purpose of the surveyor is to ensure that the transaction completes on the best possible terms and to the required timescales and operational requirements of the client.

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