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Business tenancy advice: what is a Schedule of Condition?

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When seeking a commercial property, you are probably looking for a building that can accommodate you and your business’ needs. It could be that you find a building in the perfect location and of the perfect size, but to which you might need to make some adjustments. In which case, you should be aware that if you rent a business premises in the UK, you are likely to have to accept a repairing liability – meaning that you will be required to leave the property in better condition than it was at the start of the lease. ..

 

Most business premises in the UK are let on Full Repairing and Insuring leases, which means it is up to the tenant to keep the premises in good condition and makes them liable for all repairs, which could include something as expensive as replacing a roof. To avoid this, well advised business tenants should document the condition of the premises before they acquire a lease, by seeking the help of a chartered building surveyor who will conduct a Schedule of Condition survey…

 

What is a Schedule of Condition?

A Schedule of Condition survey determines the condition of the building before any agreements are made, highlighting any existing problems or defects, including ones that might need attention in the future, along with the cost of repairs. This information can then be used to negotiate or renegotiate with the landlord to have them corrected prior to signing a lease and can save you a considerable amount of money.

 

What is included in a Schedule of Condition?

Experienced chartered surveyors will be more than familiar with carrying out Schedule of Condition surveys, so will know exactly what they are looking for. They will review the condition of each element of the property, both externally and internally, covering everything from the ceilings and walls, to external joinery and any facilities included. They will describe the condition of each element in great detail and provide photographic evidence to support what they have found.

 

Does the landlord have to accept the Schedule of Condition?

If you insist upon a Schedule of Condition before signing your lease, it is more than likely that the landlord will agree, but in some instances it can take a fair bit of negotiating. In an ideal situation, the landlord will agree and the survey can be legally attached to the lease, but if for whatever reason the landlord does not agree, it is best to still have a survey carried out anyway and to keep it for yourself. Later down the line, a new landlord might take over the property and you will be the only one with documents to prove the condition of the property before you entered it – you don’t want to end up with a {Schedule of Dilapidations} served upon you.

Inspections can vary for different people and for different properties, so seeking advice from an experienced professional is the best way to determine what you need. At Bradley-Mason LLP, we provide building surveys to suit your individual needs and will offer you the advice you need to move forward. If you would like a Schedule of Condition survey to be carried out on a commercial property, contact one of the team at Bradley-Mason LLP to discuss your options.

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