By Paul Young, head of commercial property, Gordons
If you are a manufacturer looking to buy or rent a new commercial property, it’s vital you understand fully what you’re agreeing to take on.
Enquiring with your seller or landlord as early as possible is key and taking advice from a lawyer will also ensure the information provided is satisfactory for you to sign on the dotted line.
Your negotiations will depend partly on market forces – which could give either you or them the upper hand – but being as informed as possible will help you secure a positive deal. Here are my top tips on what manufacturers should look for.
On day one, the seller/landlord should supply a copy of the planning permission authorising your proposed use of the property. If the current permissions don’t cover your intended use, then a new application will be needed, causing delays.
Planning permissions often come with conditions. Make sure that the permissions match with your requirements for hours of use, delivery times and restrictions on noise, lighting and external storage. If the conditions don’t meet your needs, this will prevent you from running your operation as you wish.
They should also provide you with evidence that the conditions relevant to the building’s initial construction have been satisfied.
The seller/landlord must comply with various statutory obligations, and if they don’t then this may cause delays and extra costs for you. There are five key areas to check for compliance.
Firstly, an asbestos report should be thoroughly checked. The best type is a full refurbishment type report, but management surveys are normally supplied. These need checking and care given to any areas not surveyed and limitations generally. It may be that a new, more detailed survey is required.
Secondly, an EPC certificate will need to be supplied. This will set out recommendations for works which may be needed to be carried out. Obviously, this may have a cost consequence for you as the new owner/tenant. Thirdly, the seller/landlord on a new build, or where a property has been refurbished, should supply you with a building regulations completion certificate.
Fourthly, the owner/landlord should be asked to provide a fire risk assessment to show their compliance, particularly where cladding is present. Finally, initial installation and test certificates should be provided for all electrical installations, gas installations, emergency lighting and lifts if applicable.
You need to identify any extra costs which maybe applicable, such as service charges. This may be relevant even where you are buying the property, for example, where it is on “a private estate”. In addition, if you are leasing, ask your landlord about how much they are going to charge for insurance and how much the business rates are so you can include it in your costings.
Have the building surveyed so you understand its condition, including plant and utilities. Also ask if the building has flooded in the past, as this will affect the level and availability of your insurance.
If the premises are newly built, then you will need to obtain a list of all guarantees and warranties, available. These will be needed to cover the remediation of any defects going forward.
If you are leasing, when negotiating the terms with the landlord, there are many elements that should be thought out. Below are a number you should consider:
At Gordons we have a long history of working with Bradford manufacturers. We understand how manufacturer clients operate, what makes them successful and what keeps them up at night. This enables us to provide clear and practical legal advice for the issues and opportunities they’re faced with.
You can find out more about our manufacturing sector expertise on our website or for further advice on acquiring your commercial property, contact Paul Young, head of commercial property at Gordons, on 0800 077 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.