When buying or leasing property how many times and how long do you spend looking around and asking questions before committing yourself? From my experience prospective tenants or purchasers come to a decision within minutes of walking over the threshold. There is nothing necessarily wrong in this. I do though suggest there are a considerable number of questions you should be asking. Just some you may wish to consider are:
- What are the physical boundaries to the property and are these the same shown on the title deeds / lease plan?
- You may think that in today’s technological world of course drawings will accord with the physical boundaries. This is by no means the case. We were recently asked to value a property with a view to putting it up for sale. I don’t know if this was by chance or not but unusually a title plan was provided. The boundaries of the property and the title bear little relation to each other.
- Look to see if a third party has a right to pass across the property or indeed if there is a right to cross over neighbouring properties. This may impact on a property’s value and have privacy implications.
- What is the overall state of repair externally and internally including items such as the windows, the fixed electrical system and the boiler? How much is it going to cost to bring the property to a condition where you are happy and in compliance with any lease terms? If there are repairs and decoration you can’t do, do you know someone who can?
- If a property is leasehold:
- Is there a service charge? What does the service charge cover and is it value for money?
- What are the landlord’s fixtures and fittings and are these documented?
- If the landlord is insuring the property and has a right to recover the premium is the cover reasonable and on what basis is the premium apportioned?
- What is the user covenant? If restrictive might this limit the opportunity to assign at a later date?
- If everything goes wrong can you afford to meet all outgoings until the lease can be broken?
- Is the property assessed for rates? If so is the assessment reasonable and is this likely to rise or fall at the next revaluation?
- What is the planning consent for the property? Does the consent have conditions such as times of operation?
The above should not by any means be considered as exhaustive. You can no doubt think of many more. If you read my last jotting I suggest you might wish to consider just one more question. Is this the time to spend to save?
Next jotting – Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery and could it effect you?
Jeremy’s jottings do not constitute advice on any specific matter. Lawson Commercial recommends you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of the jottings.
Lawson Commercial have let the last remaining former Autoshape unit at 52-60 Bell Lane, Uckfield. Unit 1 of some 2,000 sq ft overall has been taken by a new gym business following the grant of planning permission. We are pleased that we have been successful in letting all these units and now there is a childrens activity centre at one end of this terrace and an adult activity centre at the other, all being within a secure compound with good car parking.
Lawson Commercial have let 65 High Street, Uckfield, a shop of 665 sq ft on the ground floor with 300 sq ft at 1st floor accommodation and having the benefit of rear access and a car space. The premises have been acquired by Southern Co-operative Funerals Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Co-op Society. We were aware that this shop was going to become available towards the end of 2013 but we were not prepared for how quick the Co-op would move once they realised this. Terms were agreed quite quickly but the deal has been delayed whilst essential roof repairs were carried out, these having been delayed by the recent poor weather.
This large, spacious shop at 1-3 The Seed House, Bell Walk, Uckfield, offering over 4,000 sq ft of accommodation on 2 floors, has been acquired by the Sussex Bed Centre Group for a new retail format. Unfortunately Furniture Hut was a victim of the recession and, because it is such a large property, it has taken over 12 months to find a suitable retailer. The premises have been of great interest to a wide variety of businesses including secondhand furniture, a gym. childrens activity centre and a restaurant but the landlords preferred to keep the building as a retail outlet. This is certainly a vote of confidence in Uckfield as a growing retail centre and we will have to wait and see what the new format is going to be. Sussex Bed Centres took an assignment of an existing lease held at a rent of £34,000 pa.
Lawson Commercial have let the former New Waves hair salon at 73 High Street following their relocation to 115 High Street. The premises are to be occupies by the Pepenbury Group from Tunbridge Wells who propose to use the ground floor for the sale of new and secondhand goods with the 1st floor as a training centre. The Pepenbury Group were established in the 1920s and provide high quality care and support for adults with learning disabilities. They have a number of shops already in Kent but this is their first in East Sussex. It is good news that a business from outside the area has chosen to come to Uckfield raising money for their worthy care work.
We have just taken on an instruction to market the former Mother India restaurant in Crowborough High Street right next to the Fernbank Centre. The premises have some 600 sq ft on the ground floor ideal as a cafe/coffee shop with a kitchen on the 1st floor together with staff and preparation areas. There is a useful electric lift between ground and 1st floors and the possibility of delivering supplies via the service yard at the back of the Fernbank Centre.
The property is available on a new lease at a rent of £16,500 pa + vat. We hold keys for you to view now.
We have just been instructed to find a new occupier for the former Blockbuster premises in Bell Walk, Uckfield. This is a very large spacious shop by Uckfield standards facing the High Street and offering just under 2,000 sq ft of total area. It has excellent window frontage to the High Street – some 37 ft – as well as return frontage to the Bell Walk walkway through to the free shoppers car park. The unit is ideal for businesses needing a bit of space and seeking a prominent position. A new lease is available.
This is not something you get to market too often and from time to time when we have had people looking for a recording studio there has rarely been any building suitable. However we now have just the ticket .
This unit at Ricebridge Works on Brighton Road, Bolney, literally yards from the A23 but on an industrial estate, has been expensively fitted out into a number of rehearsal rooms with a single recording studio plus breakout area. Considerable attention has been paid to the acoustic treatment of the various rooms created within this building which is just under 4,000 sq ft in total with good parking and no houses nearby.
The Estate is well situated being only 0.5 miles from the junction with the A23 at Hickdstead and 0.8 miles from the Junction with the A272.
A rare and truly wonderful opportunity.