Review of a Schedule of Condition
on a High Street Retail Property
Why is it essential to have a Survey / Schedule of Condition when buying / leasing a Commercial Property?
Under the terms of most leases there is a Yield Up Covenant requiring repair, redecoration, reinstatement and statutory regulations on termination of the Lease. A Schedule of Condition will enable you to agree with the Landlord the condition of the property when you start to lease it and should be signed and appended to the lease. The Schedule of Condition ensures that you are not liable for any repairs that should have been carried out by the previous tenant or indeed the landlord.
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Schedule of Condition for a high street retail property
In this particular instance we surveyed a commercially let lock up shop on a high street location which was previously leased to a major national retailer who had relocated into larger premises. Our client was the prospective tenant of the property (an outdoor wear retailer) who was considering taking a lease on the property. They had been advised that the landlord had carried out some of their own repair works and as landlords are not renown for carrying out top quality work they asked us to inspect and advise prior to legally committing to purchase the lease.
What did the survey uncover?
In this instance unfortunately we did find problems not only with the landlords work but also with the adjacent property which in turn had caused problems to our client's property. Our clients, the prospective tenants, are now looking to exclude these elements from their Full Repairing and Insuring lease meaning that they don't get a Dilapidations claim at the end of the lease. This was in the form of a Schedule of Condition which is appended to the lease.
Changing property market
A good strong covenant is a tenant that is likely to pay the rent and is likely to keep paying the rent and also to carry out any dilapidations work at the end of the lease.
A list of work given at the end of a lease of things that are not to the standard set out within the lease. This often comes as a shock for tenants who think that they only have to give the property back as stated within the lease.
The effect of a recession for landlords
During the recession times they find that not only do they have to reduce the rents; in living history they have been known to have had to reduce them to a fifth or twenty per cent of what they achieved during the boom times and along with this the tenants that take on a Full Repairing and Insuring lease will want a detailed Schedule to be attached to it as well. Generally this will only be for a relatively short lease period, by this we mean less than five years.
Other surveying articles that may be of interest
We have written many surveying articles which may be of interest to you:
What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?
Other information you should consider prior to legally committing to a lease
Prior to legally committing to the lease we would recommend that that you have an independent check by a specialist contractor with regard to all services.
G enerally cyclical three/five year redecoration is required in typical clauses within a Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) lease which has not always been undertaken by the previous tenant.
There are many requirements that commercial buildings need to adhere to such as Environmental Health, Asbestos Register and Disability Discrimination Act. Here is some brief information:
It is now a requirement for any public building to have an asbestos register, indicating whether there is or is not asbestos and if so where it is. An Asbestos Register should be provided by the outgoing tenant/landlord. You should note that work involving products containing asbestos is covered by Health and Safety legislation and you are recommended to seek the advice of the Local Authority Environmental Health Officer before proceeding with any such work.
Disability Discrimination Act
You should be aware that it is now a requirement to give reasonable access to the disabled and make reasonable amendments to the property as is necessary to accommodate them. You should ask to see if a report has been carried out in line with the Disabilities Act highlighting areas that can be improved or have been improved.
Compare our website and compare our surveys
Please feel free to have a look at our website 1stAssociated.co.uk to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports written in plain English which we have been carrying out for many years on every type of commercial property across the UK.
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a building surveyor with regards to buying/leasing a commercial property please contact us on 0800 298 5424 to have a free of charge friendly chat with one of our surveyors. Also if you are a landlord please contact us as we would be delighted to help you with Schedules of Condition or Structural Surveys.
We can email you examples of our commercial surveys
We have normally carried out a commercial building survey similar to the property you are considering buying/leasing and therefore we can show you an example of the type of survey you will be receiving.
If you are looking for commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold, we would recommend a survey as this will prevent dilapidations claims in the long run. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com , both of which we have been advised are very helpful!
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.
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