A building survey will provide a detailed report on the condition of a building, highlighting any defects, outlining the current condition and advising if any maintenance will be required in the future. The report will state what the building is constructed from, whether that be steelwork, reinforced concrete, traditional brick etc, and point out if any hazardous material, such as asbestos, is present.
Because of the nature of commercial leases, whereby a tenant is often liable for repairs to the premises, a building survey is essential to clarify in detail the condition of the building and its component parts. Suggestions for remedial works may also be given in the report. For tenants, it is important to understand future repair liabilities and how the implications of this can affect lease negotiations and for those wishing to purchase a property, it can assist with the possibility of a lower price being accepted by the vendor.
For both property owners and new tenants, a schedule of condition is a useful report on the state of a commercial property at a given point in time. This report will describe, in detail, the condition of every part of the property, from floor to ceiling, and everything in between, and document that with photographs. This is important for tenants who have a liability within the lease to return the property to its original condition at the end of the term of the lease and has the potential to save thousands of pounds in repairs.
For property owners who have invested in the refurbishment of their property, a schedule of condition is useful to avoid contentious litigation at the end of a lease, if a tenant has damaged or abused the property in some way, providing documentary evidence of its condition at the start of the lease.
If you’re looking to invest in or lease a property, building surveys are essential to analyse the conditions, risks and liabilities associated with the property. A pre-acquisition survey is an important part of the due diligence process, helping you to make an informed decision before purchasing or investing in a property.
It is one of the best ways for a potential buyer or investor to get critical information on the state of a building.
A pre-acquisition survey has the potential to pay for itself many times over. By getting this in depth survey done, a potential buyer gets critical knowledge on the condition of a building, with all present and potential problems being highlighted.
This information can be essential at the beginning to help negotiate a better purchasing deal. It can also help to put a long-term plan into place to mitigate liability at the end of a lease or if the buyer decides to sell the building at a later point in the future.
The survey can also give estimates on the life cycle costs of a building, advice on refurbishments or improvements and repair obligations.
This type of survey is usually carried out at the end of a lease by a property owner in order to establish the repairing obligations of their tenant, and to understand how best to settle the amount of dilapidation without resorting to legal action. In cases where the dilapidation is considerable, a building surveyor may also act as an expert intermediary in any negotiations, on behalf of either the landlord or the tenant.
It is vital that any commercial property survey of whatever sort is undertaken by a suitably-qualified and -experienced surveyor and that they are a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The reasons for this are twofold; firstly, RICS surveyors have undergone extensive and on-going training, backed with years of experience; secondly, they have comprehensive public liability insurance which protects both their clients and themselves.
A Planned Maintenance Programme (PMP) should cover everything from structural checks to re-decorating and gutter clearing. And although not dramatic, its effects can be hugely beneficial. Also, when there are a group of leaseholders collectively responsible for repairs, a comprehensive PMP can avoid disputes, which often require expensive resolutions. The key to getting planned maintenance right is to develop a programme of maintenance work that is comprehensive, well-organised and affordable. A PMP is a vital tool to help managing agents or property owners set reliable levels of service charge expenditure or reserve funds for the cost of future repair and maintenance of a building.
Construction administration or construction project management is the overall planning, coordination, and control of a construction process from beginning to completion. Construction project management is aimed at meeting a client's requirement in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project.
A measured building survey is an accurate representation of your building showing all the structural elements and architectural features. Floor plans are essential to give an accurate representation of the building and this is backed up with elevations and cross sections presented as a scaled survey drawings.
If you have a commercial interest in a development – but no immediate control over its construction – our monitoring teams will protect your interests and make sure you get what you expect. Whether you’re a prospective tenant, a bank providing development finance or an investment purchaser, our team has the experience and background to help you achieve exactly what you need from a project.
A principal designer is a designer who is an organisation or individual (on smaller projects) appointed by the client to take control of the pre-construction phase of any project involving more than one contractor.
Principal designers have an important role in influencing how risks to health and safety are managed throughout a project. Design decisions made during the pre-construction phase have a significant influence in ensuring the project is delivered in a way that secures the health and safety of everyone affected by the work.
Principal designers must:
- plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase. In doing so they must take account of relevant information (such as an existing health and safety file) that might affect design work carried out both before and after the construction phase has started
- help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information designers and contractors need to carry out their duties
- work with any other designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks
- ensure that everyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required
- liaise with the principal contractor, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase