Most people when buying a house would insist on having a survey done before signing the contract - but how many business people would think to have a survey carried out on a building on which they were proposing to take a lease? From our experience the answer is not as many as there should be. The cost implications however to the tenant at the end of the lease could be quite catastrophic.
There are basically two types of surveys on leased properties:
Schedule of Condition:
A schedule carried out by a surveyor on behalf of the prospective tenant indicating that the building will not be put into any better state of repair than is evidenced by the schedule at the commencement of the lease.
Schedule of Dilapidation:
A schedule drawn up by a surveyor acting for the landlord or tenants at the end of the lease indicating what work is required to comply with the repairing covenants contained within the lease.
All too often businesses taking on a lease feel that a survey of the building is not necessary and is an expense which could be saved. The cost implications however are never fully recognised until several years later when the landlord suddenly lets loose his surveyor on the building. Only then does the tenant wish he'd taken further advice from the start.
Landlords are usually reluctant to agree that a Schedule of Condition should be attached to a new lease. They would much prefer that a tenant was responsible for repairs for obvious reasons.
Such a schedule will record, not only in words but more importantly in photographs, the state of the building at the commencement date of the lease.