Buying a purpose built flat and home over

a shop which is leasehold or shared



We have experience of carrying out structural surveys on all types of flats

We have carried out building surveys (also known as structural surveys) over the years on most property issues. We are independent Surveyors that deal with all types of property related work and are happy to help you with property problems. Our structural surveys have identified rising damp, lateral damp, penetrating damp as well as black mould, condensation, cold bridging, roof problems and structural problems amongst many other issues and believe saved our clients money.


Independent Building Survey

With our building surveys of flats we are very well aware you have a liability, albeit a percentage liability for the property as a whole and as such we not only look at the specific flat that you are buying we also look at the surrounding properties and the specific requirements to these. Call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat about your property.

Flat over shop


What do the red ovals mean?

The red ovals are a system that we used within our structural surveys and building surveys to highlight problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is. In addition to this if the photographs do not we believe explain the problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own sketches such as the example that is shown here.

Problems in roof due to wind driven rain


Things to look out for when looking for your first property

Without doubt buying your first property is a major step and often a very costly one and also often a very big learning curve. We find most people generally look forward to buying their first property in the first few weeks and generally enjoy the process although, we would say, that as time goes on people get very frustrated with the process of buying a property. We would also say that without doubt people say that it is more expensive than they expected.

This article looks at flats over shops that you may see and typical items that Surveyors will spot for you although we do have to say that nothing is as good as getting your own structural survey and meeting your own Surveyor at the property. We are of course promoting our services call us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.

Caveat emptor

Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.

Remember the building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.


Top floor Flat over a shop

Flats over shops

In some areas the flats have been intentionally built over the shops which tend to be from the Post War era in local shopping precinct developments although there are some which we would term as being in High Street Primary locations.

Shop locations

These properties can be great flats due to their central location however they can have the disadvantage of being built with a concrete frame where there can be areas of thermal bridging. Also they can have a disadvantage of having the wrong shop beneath you!

Your shop may be a non traditional construction using a structural frame.

Structural frame


Noise transfer

It seems very obvious but when buying a property over a shop noise transfer from the shop below your flat can be an issue. If you work during the day and the shop is closed on your return from work then this will be an issue at the weekend if the shop is open and you are at home. Also you should be aware of times of deliveries outside of opening times which can be a concern if noise levels increase and cause a disturbance.


Who is occupying the shop?

Much thought needs to be given to purchasing a flat above a shop as the occupier of the shop may change in due course and thereby the nature of the business being above a bookshop can be very different from being above a fish and chip shop or Chinese takeaway not only with noise but with cooking smells, rubbish and queues of people.

Entrance to first floor flat next to entrance of takeaway


Sometimes buying a flat over a shop gives fantastic opportunities

One of the advantages of buying a flat over a shop is that it can enable you to purchase a property in a location that you might otherwise not afford. We are aware of friends who have purchased a flat overlooking a harbour and sea view in a very expensive area. The flat was located over a number of shops thereby not only giving them a sea view but also a quirky property with different size rooms as it ran over the top of different size shops giving character. The price was reduced as many viewers were not interested in purchasing such a quirky property.


Good entry systems for flats

Good entry systems should be installed in flats over shops as you are unable to see the people you are letting into the property. We recommend and prefer video entry systems although voice entry systems are acceptable. It is necessary of course to make sure that other occupants using the entry systems make sure that the entrance door is kept shut and locked for the system to work.

Please see our surveying articles on:-

Homebuyers report or structural survey?

Why have a residential survey?

Structural survey, what does a Surveyor do?

Should I have a structural survey?


Or call us for a friendly chat it costs nothing to talk to us on

free phone 0800 298 5424

or at the very least take a look around our website

Always make sure when you have a survey your meet your Surveyor at the property.


Modern flats above shops built like commercial properties

Many modern flats above shops are more akin to commercial properties than to residential properties so make sure that your Surveyor understands commercial properties and the materials used.


We can email you examples of our structural surveys

If you are interested in having a structural survey on a flat please call us on free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424. If you are a landlord please contact us as we would be happy to help you with Schedules of Condition or Structural surveys on blocks of flats.


Phone us for an example of a property like yours

Whilst we cannot guarantee it we believe we have carried out surveys on nearly every type of property so contact us on 0800 298 5424 and we are sure that we will be able to send you an example survey of a similar property to the one that you are looking to buy so you can see what you will receive from us before you purchase.

No matter who you commission to carry out your structural survey we always recommend that you go along to the survey to have a chat with the Surveyor.

We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We also find that Specific Defect Reports can be use where there is one problem or issue that needs resolving between the landlord and tenant.

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 content of the website is 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. Free phone on 0800 298 5424


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