Our client, a local car repair business, on the advice of their solicitor instructed us to carry out a building survey of a 2,500 square foot workshop unit in Milton Keynes prior to taking on a 10 year lease. We were also requested to prepare a Schedule of Condition for incorporation into the lease.
From the forecourt the property appeared to be in an acceptable condition, however, the unit had a corrugated asbestos cement sheet roof hidden from view by parapet wall cladding. We therefore recommended that the roof was surveyed using a lorry mounted access platform. This proved to be a wise decision as our inspection revealed defective roof lights and a patchwork of historic repairs typical of a 35 year old building. This defective roof was not apparent from an internal view of the ceiling. The estimated cost of repair was in excess of £25,000.
Our client was advised not to proceed with the lease until liability for repair was excluded. Although the landlord’s advisors were reluctant to accept this exclusion from the tenant’s lease it was subsequently agreed. This has resulted in our client saving the cost of our survey many times over.
As the client’s solicitor delightedly explained “it is a job well done”. The survey was carried out by Stuart Brown, Senior Building Surveyor of Robinson & Hall. Stuart comments that “it is surprising how many tenants enter into a full repairing lease without appreciating that, irrespective of current condition, they will be responsible for the cost of rectification at the end of the lease”. Pre-lease surveys make tenants aware of the current disrepair and Schedules of Condition can be used to limit the extent of repairing liability.
If you are considering taking on a new lease or purchasing a commercial building, please give Stuart a call to discuss your requirements.Back to articles