Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

Can a Building Survey Be Used for Commercial Properties As Well as Residential Properties?

Whether you are looking to invest in a commercial property or wish to obtain a complete over view of a building before leasing or buying it, a commercial building survey should be the first step to take. 

These surveys are essential for understanding the condition of the commercial property, identifying any legal or structural issues, and ultimately assessing the viability of your investment. A chartered surveyor specialising in commercial property surveys can help you access all the property data you require. 

So, can a building survey be used for commercial properties as well as residential properties? Yes, and you should not underestimate the importance of investing in an ad hoc survey for your commercial premises. Let’s look at the benefits of this choice below. 

Building Survey for Commercial and Residential Properties

What Is a Commercial Building Survey?

To understand the importance of commercial building surveys, let’s start by clarifying what these reports are. Firstly, if you are looking to buy or lease a commercial property, a complete structural survey of the building can help you pinpoint its condition. 

But commercial property surveys are more than just a valuation. Commercial building surveys will provide you with a detailed report of the building, its condition, existing defects, and characteristics. A survey will also help you identify issues that need addressing and can estimate the costs of remedial work. 

Commercial building surveys are extremely detailed and comprehensive, and they are carried out by Chartered Building Surveyors. 

Building Surveyors

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Marlow and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

What Is Commercial vs Residential Surveying?

If you have purchased or leased properties before, you know that residential building surveys are an important instrument for investors and homebuyers alike. The same can be said for commercial buildings. 

However, commercial building surveys are different from residential surveys in more ways than one. 

Commercial property surveys are highly detailed and more complex, and they include details of the building itself as well as the surrounding land. Commercial surveys are also important documents that describe the legal conditions of the property, such as whether there are disputes, legal issues, or existing leases.  

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What Are the Three Types of Building Surveys?

As seen above, residential property surveys are not the same as commercial property surveys. Additionally, homebuyers only have a choice of three RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) home surveys, depending on detailed they wish their report to be:

  • Level 1: Home Report (also known as Condition Report) 
  • Level 2: Homebuyer Survey
  • Level 3: Building Survey Report (also known as Full Structural Survey)

On the other hand, commercial properties tend to be more complex and, depending on the client’s commercial needs, there are several reports to choose from. Some of the most common reports that can be carried out by landlords, purchasers, or other interested parties include:

  • Commercial Property Valuation
  • Schedule of Condition
  • Pre-Lease or Pre-Acquisition Surveys
  • Schedule of Dilapidations

These surveys can be used to establish liability, settle repair costs out of court, and agree on maintenance issues that need to be addressed. These surveys should be carried out by a surveyor accredited by the RICS. 

Chartered Building Surveyors
Oakfield Structural Surveyors
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Moisture Meter Chartered Surveyor

Do I Need a Survey on a Commercial Property? The Benefits of Investing in a Building Survey

Whether you already own a business, are looking for commercial premises to add to your investment portfolio, or are considering a commercial lease, investing in comprehensive surveys is a step not to be skipped. 

From assessing legal liabilities and environmental concerns to helping you understand the actual value of a property, commercial surveys can help you maximise your capital gains while reducing your investment risk. 

Below, we’ll look at the benefits of instructing a chartered surveyor. 

After laying the basis of a comprehensive commercial building survey, a chartered surveyor will provide you with all the details you need about your property’s physical and legal conditions. 

Some of the aspects covered in your report include:

  • Details about the property (i.e.: size, measurements, type, age, and use)
  • The extent of the inspection
  • Construction site, layout, and configuration details
  • Technical analysis of the building
  • Description of each accessible part of the building
  • Description and cost estimates of any current and future maintenance or repair projects
  • Details regarding electrical system installation

This part of the summary is preceded by an executive summary. The summary carries all important details regarding the property and can be used to make high-level decisions about the building. You may also take advantage of this summary when liaising with financial directors and legal teams.  

One of the main reasons why you should consider investing in a commercial property survey is that this document will highlight any existing or future liability concerns

Some of the aspects included as part of the due diligence examination include:

  • Implications regarding Listed Buildings
  • The status of or need for planning applications and permissions
  • Compliance with building regulations
  • Health and safety measures in place and hazards
  • Accessibility features 
  • Risk and fire assessments 
  • Presence of hazardous materials, such as asbestos
  • EPC rating and energy consumption 
  • Legal document screening 

A commercial building survey can help you assess the viability of your investment, calculate future costs, and estimate your returns. 

A few key aspects that a commercial building report will include are:

  • Existing and possible maintenance issues, as well as the costs involved with remedial work
  • The efficiency and health of mechanical, electrical, drainage, and plumbing systems
  • A summary of the running costs of the building

This document can be used to negotiate with tenants, sellers, and purchasers. 

The Benefits of Working With a Chartered Surveyor at Oakfield Chartered Surveyors

Unlike conventional residential properties, commercial premises are unique in many aspects. A commercial building will have one-of-a-kind construction characteristics and, depending on how it will be used, specific needs. 

Because of the nature of purpose-built commercial properties, it is important to partner with a chartered surveyor who specialises in surveying and investigating business properties – such as the accredited professionals at Oakfield Chartered Surveyors

With the help of our team, you’ll be able to obtain relevant and accurate data about the building, ensure that construction works are carried out in line with the latest Building Regulations, and, ultimately, make the most of your investment. 

If you are ready to get started, get in touch with us at 01494 926236 or request a quote for your commercial property today. 

Picture of James Peck

James Peck

James has worked the residential property sector since 2005 with roles in Asset Management, Probate, Insurance, Party Wall Matters, Valuation and Building Surveying in both local and national areas having spent several years working within the London area and the Home Counties. James specialises in building surveying with a particular interest in non-traditional construction properties and historic buildings. James has an in-depth knowledge of residential buildings and provides clear and concise advice to clients.
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