Business Property Surveys: What to Expect

Looking for new commercial premises for your business can be an exciting time. Whether you’re opening your first business, franchising or moving on to bigger and better things. You’ve set your budget, started looking and found something that would be just perfect.

You’ve shown your interest with an offer and now it is time for the survey. What should you expect? Here are all of your questions answered:

What is a survey?

A survey is a write up and drawing of a property and any surrounding land. A survey will include physical features as well as highlighting any structural weaknesses. The contents included in this document will vary according to the property for sale but when looking at commercial land there is often a focus on zoning.

The survey will also highlight any pipelines or cables underground that local officials may need to gain access to at any given time. The chartered surveyor however will not report on the heating, electrics or drainage unless asked to and a special survey will need to be held in order to test for asbestos.

How is it done?

A surveyor will take out a visual inspection of the building or land. They will inspect the building they can see and look for any signs of decay, damp or settlement. They will also inspect the roof from a distance and will have a look at the windows. These findings will then be noted and presented in a written report.

Why do I need a survey?

When buying a property there are a number of checks that must be done. One of these is a business property survey. When visiting commercial mortgage brokers and lenders you will be informed that you will require a survey in order to be eligible for a mortgage.

Even if a survey has been done in the past this is often required to show any recent changes such as a different parking facilities or change of use. A survey will provide evidence of exactly what is being bought and help you to assure the condition is as expected. It allows you to make sure it is worth the money you are spending on it.

A survey however should not be confused with a valuation. A survey will highlight any damp or structural issues that a valuation will not. As a result surveys are extremely important.

How do I find a good surveyor?

To find out if a surveyor is qualified and respected see if they are a member of RICS, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. An association in the UK since 1868, members are known as chartered surveyors and will have the initials FRICS after their name.

The RICS regulate and promote the profession maintaining the highest of educational and professional standards. So if the surveyor you have hired is a member of RICS you know they’ll get a good job done.

We hope we’ve covered all your questions. If not set up an appointment with one of our brokers and we’ll answer any questions you may have on the requirements in receiving a commercial mortgage. The best of luck with your new purchase!


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