PRE-LEASE SURVEY AND WANTS OF REPAIR
Surveyed on xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Offices in Northamptonshire
Mr A Client
GEM Associates Limited
INDEPENDENT CHARTERED SURVEYORS
FOR ANY HELP OR ASSISTANCE CALL FREE PHONE:
0800 298 5424
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Mr A Client
We have not seen a copy of the
lease and we have therefore assumed the property has a full repairing
and insuring covenant – or will have under the propose lease.
We have assumed it is a standard lease with no unusual or onerous
clauses. Your Legal Adviser should confirm this and advise us of
any unusual or onerous clauses immediately.
With this survey we have taken
approximately 140 photographs during the course of a Schedule of
Condition. We reserve the right to produce these photographs as
evidence of the condition of the property if so required at a future
|All directions are taken as if viewing the property
from xxx Street.
Situation and Description
Summary of Construction
We have been asked to prepare a Pre-lease Survey and
Wants of Repair on xxxxxx, Northamptonshire, for xxxxx Limited, represented
by xxxxx for an E-Commerce business, who will require some office space
and some storage.
SITUATION AND DESCRIPTION
This is a two storey property sitting on a sloping
site consisting of a relatively new purpose built unit. To the rear
there is an older property. From what we could ascertain the property
is sub-divided and let to two companies, this being the third vacant
The property is situated in a predominately residential area on the
xxx Street side, although there is some retail across the road. To the
rear there are some commercial businesses, such as a garage in the adjoining
SUMMARY OF CONSTRUCTION
|A mansard-style roof with felt to the top and slates
to the sides
| Boxed gutters (various linings) and plastic
|Brickwork finished in a cavity bond (assumed)
|Timber double glazed windows
The perimeter walls are dry lined
with a plasterboard finish; the internal walls being formed with
studwork with a plasterboard finish (all assumed)
Ground and First Floor:
These both felt solid and firm underfoot, we therefore assume it
is a concrete construction. With this type of building it is likely
to be a reinforced concrete slab
The property has a mains water supply and drainage
along with two toilets with wash hand basins. Heating is from Vulcana
6 wall units.
The above is explained in full in the main body of
the Report along with the technical terms used. We have used the term
‘assumed’ as we have not opened up the structure.
- Access stairway to the first floor
- Various different sized offices. Two large open plan
spaces to the rear of the property
We believe there is a parking space to the rear (please
remember we have not seen a copy of the deeds) with pedestrian access
to the front and rear of the property.
The following photos are of the internal of the property
to help you recall what it looked like and the general ambience (or
lack of). We have not necessarily taken photographs of each and every
General view of one
of the smaller offices
General view of
The larger storage area to the
rear of the property and the doors leading out onto the rear access
The largest storage/open plan
To help you understand our Report we utilise various
techniques and different styles and types of text, these are as follows:-
This has been given in the survey where it is
considered it will aid understanding of the issues, or be of interest.
This is shown in “italics” for clarity.
TECHNICAL TERMS DEFINED
the Report, we have endeavoured to define any technical terms used.
This is shown in “Courier New” type face for clarity.
We utilise photographs to illustrate
issues or features. In some hotographs a pencil has been used to
highlight a specific area (with this property we have taken approximately
one hundred photographs in total and we have enclosed a sample of
these within the report).
Any reference to left or right is taken from the front
of the property, including observations to the rear which you may not
be able to physically see from the front of the property.
ACTION REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We have used the term ACTION REQUIRED
where we believe that there are items that you should carry out action
upon or negotiate upon prior to purchasing the property.
Where a problem is identified, we will do our best to offer a solution.
However, with most building issues, there are usually many ways to resolve
them dependent upon cost, time available and the length of time you
wish the repair/replacement to last.
Summaries are dangerous as they try to précis
often quite complex subjects into a few paragraphs. This is particularly
so in a summary about someone’s future business premises, when
we are trying to secondguess what their priorities are, so it is important
the Report is read in full.
It is inevitable with a report on a building of this nature that some
of the issues we have focussed in on you may dismiss as irrelevant and
some of the areas that we have decided are part of the ‘character’
of this property you may think are very important. We have taken in
the region of 140 photographs during the course of this survey and many
pages of notes, so if a comment has not been discussed that you are
interested in/concerned about, please phone and talk to us before you
purchase the property (or indeed commit to purchasing the property),
as we will more than likely have noted it and be able to comment upon
it. If we have not we will happily go back.
Having said all of that, here are our comments:
Generally we found the property overall in below average
condition, considering the property’s age, type and style, due
manly to the roof issues and possible lease issues (please remember
we have not seen a copy of the lease). However this is a sweeping statement
so we would also, in addition, draw your attention to the following
and also recommend that you read the report in full. We have divided
the Executive Summary into three sections. The first area looks at the
properties potential, next we have areas of concern and finally we have
items that we feel are critical. We have divided the Executive Summary
into ‘The Good’, ‘The Bad’ and ‘The Ugly’,
to help distinguish what in our mind are the main issues.
Survey reports often are full of only the faults
and general ‘doom and gloom’, so we thought we would start
with some positive comments on the property!
The property offers a variety of offices and storage facilities in reasonable
condition and, due to the design of the building the partitions are
easily moveable to change the size of the offices or storage areas.
The unit is a good size for a starter business of this kind.
Problems / issues raised in the ‘bad’
section are usually solvable, but often need negotiation upon. However,
a large number of them may sometimes put us off the property.
From what we could see there is no designated parking area for your
property, which will be a problem/bone of contention, particularly
when you have members of staff. From our discussions with yourself
you believed there is one car parking space. We would expect, with
offices of this size, there to be more car parking spaces, indeed
it probably was a requirement when the original planning permission
ACTION REQUIRED: You should discuss
with your Landlord how many parking spaces are available.
Please see the Access and Parking Section of this
2) Fire Requirements
Generally Leases have standard terms in them that require the building
Lessee to comply with current Legislation. The building, in its current
state, does not meet Fire Regulations.
Door Closers Missing to Fire Doors
We noted that some of the doors
to the property are fire doors. These should have door closers on
them that prevent the spread of fire. This photo shows a broken
door closer, but in most cases they are missing. We also noted that
there were no fire extinguishers throughout, although you do have
Shared Fire Exits
We believe there has to be some
overall Fire Policy/fire protection system where a property is in
multi occupation, such as this one. If a Fire Policy is not in place
then problems can occur, for example a problem such as the padlocked
shared exit to the front right hand side spiral fire escape.
ACTION REQUIRED: Before legal
completion of the Lease contact a fire protection company and ask
for a quotation to bring the property up to current Fire Regulations
standards and also the cost of a regular maintenance contract.
ANTICIPATED COSTS: Quotations required, but in
this instance we would expect costs to be in the region of a few
thousand pounds, based upon what we have seen.
The lighting that is present in theoffice areas is not to modern
day standards. You currently have florescence strip lighting, as
can be seen in this photo.
As owner occupiers you can make a decision with regard
to how you wish to deal with this, however, when you have employees
the requirements then fall under the Offices, Shops and Factories
ACTION REQUIRED: In due course
suitable lighting will be needed throughout the property. We suggest
that you obtain a quotation from an NICEIC registered electrician.
ANTICIPATED COST: Quotations
are required, but we believe in the region of £1,000 - £2,000.
We suggest that you box-in the exposed fuse board and associated
electrics to give a half hour fire protection.
ACTION REQUIRED: Box-in using a half hour fire
ANTICIPATED COST: In the region of £200.
Please see the Services Section of this Report.
4) Spalling Concrete to the Underside of First Floor
The first floor is a reinforced concrete slab (from what we could
see). We could see that this is spalling and deteriorating in areas,
for example around the front fire exit.
If you look closely at this photo
you will see that the concrete to the left hand side looks to have
been repaired in the past and to the right hand side you can see
the exposed reinforcement rod, which is not ideal, as it should
ACTION REQUIRED: Although under
the Full Repairing and Insuring Lease this would be your responsibility
we do feel you should draw it to the attention of the Landlord and
get some sort of agreement to repair it.
ANTICIPATED COST: All costs should be met by the
Please see the Flooring Section of this Report.
We normally put here things that we feel will be difficult to
resolve and will need serious consideration.
5) Mansard Roof
The roof and roof drainage is
via a flat roof that forms the top of the mansard roof and the mansard
walls that also form the roof, which are clad in slates and then
discharge into a box gutter where the water is taken away via downpipes.
Main Flat Roof
During the course of our inspection it was raining. We were therefore
able to go onto the main roof and discover that there were large
areas of ponding, which will lead to accelerated deterioration.
We noted areas where the asphalt has started to deteriorate and/or
has had previous bitumen repairs.
There is what we consider to be
bad design detailing to the perimeter of the flat roof (or possibly
this has been amended by the people that last did the roof). A few
particularly bad areas need amendments to stop water discharging
in these areas. In this photo you can see the staining that is occurring
due to this poor detail.
This is a close up photo of the deterioration to the perimeter of
the flat roof.
A product known as Flashband (trade
name) has been used to repair the edge details of the slates. This
is not ideal, as Flashband is generally considered to be a temporary
Although this is the only area
of repair that we could see to the parapet wall, it does show that
there must have been problems or no-one would have taken the trouble
to carry out the repair work otherwise.
This photo shows the roof over
the left hand stairwell. We believe that dampness is getting in
around the cement fillet on this parapet wall.
Please see the next item for our ACTION REQUIRED
We are particularly concerned about the poor quality
detailing to the box gutters to the property as a whole. Any leak
would cause fairly rapid deterioration and would be costly.
In this photo you can see the box
gutter to the right hand side of the property (all directions given
as you face the property) looking towards the front of the property.
You can see that water sits in the box gutter, even when it is not
raining and also that the asphalt is deteriorating if you look on
the of the box gutter.
ACTION REQUIRED: All of the issues
with regard to the flat roof need to be addressed. We can see two
options on this, either completely re-roof the property with a high
performance felt and insulation cut to falls, appropriate lead flashing
detailing, completely removing any flat areas and weak areas on
the flat roof and in addition to this any liability with association
to the box gutters needs removing.
Alternatively the liability with regard to the
roofs and the box gutters should be removed completely from the
6) Who Owns What?
By this we mean who is responsible for what repairs.
For example if the box gutter that is above the gym, although it is
adjacent to your storage area and above the ground floor offices,
leaks, who pays for the repair? Will it be a shared cost or is it
the cost of the gym that it actually sits over.
This is a photo of the box gutter
alongside the gym that we are discussing above. Here you can see
that water is sitting in it and winter has only just begun.
This is just one example of many we could give.
ACTION REQUIRED: Your Legal Advisor
needs a clear understanding of who is responsible for what with
regard to the roofs and to fully explain this to you.
SUMMARY UPON REFLECTION
The Summary Upon Reflection is a second summary so
to speak, which is carried out when we are doing the second or third
draft a few days after the initial survey when we have had time to reflect
upon our thoughts on the property. We would add the following in this
We feel very strongly that the roof issues are an unacceptable risk
to take in this instance, particularly if, as indicated by another occupier,
they are entirely your responsibility.
Even a substantial rent free period would not entice us to take this
property on without some form of agreement with regard to the roofs.
We would ask that you read the Report and contact us on any issues that
you require further clarification on.
If so wish when you want to do the roof work we can prepare specifications
and obtain quotations for the work, whatever you do don’t allow
the agents to organise the quotes as he will utilise people he regularly
uses who know they have to keep in with him/her to get further work
and therefore are very keen to please the estate agent, as opposed to
you the real client and at the end of the day it doesn’t take
long to organise.
MORE ABOUT THE REPORT FORMAT
Just a few more comments about the Report format before
you read the actual main body of the Report.
TENURE – FREEHOLD (OR AS GOOD AS)
We have assumed that the property is to be sold Freehold
or Long leasehold, with no unusual or onerous clauses and that vacant
possession will be available on completion. Your Legal Advisor should
confirm that this is the case.
ESTATE AGENTS – FRIEND OR FOE?
It is important to remember that the estate agents
are acting for the seller (usually known as the vendor) and not the
purchaser and are therefore eager to sell the property (no sale –
no fee!). We as your employed Independent Chartered Surveyor represent
your interests only.
To carry out your legal work you can use a solicitor
or a legal advisor. We have used both terms within the report.
TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT/LIMITATIONS
This report is being carried out under our terms of
engagement for Residential Building Surveys, as agreed to and signed
by yourselves. If you have not seen and signed a copy of our terms of
engagement please phone immediately.
OUR AIM IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SATISFACTION
Our aim is for you to be completely happy with the
service we provide, and we will try and help you in whatever way possible
with your house purchase - just phone us.
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.
2. Box Gutters and Downpipes
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.
The walls are made up in part of the slates to the mansard roof
and in part of the brickwork section.
The slates look in reasonable condition, although some are missing.
ACTION REQUIRED: Repair will be needed in due
course. This should form part of the works to the roof.
We noted some staining to the rear walls. This is due to the poor
roof detail above, which needs amending to resolve this problem.
We are also concerned about the single
skin brickwork detail to the top of the box gutters,
which we think may allow dampness into the property. Indeed there
looks to be some minor spalling to the brickwork in this photo.
ACTION REQUIRED: The roof detailing
needs amending. Please see our comments in the Roof Section in the
4. External Joinery
The property has timber double glazed windows that
open by way of a pivot action. We opened a random selection of these
and they opened reasonably well. Although the windows look similar
they actually differ in the way that they have been finished.
We would draw your attention to the problem with redecorating these
windows. You will need scaffolding and/or approval to access some
of the other roofs, for example the Gym Roof. It is fairly standard
for a redecoration clause to form part of a Lease.
ACTION REQUIRED: You should negotiate
this clause out of the lease.
5. Ceilings, Walls and Partitions
We believe the ceilings to be plasterboard. There
is a small stain to the stairwell, which we believe is due to the
lack of lead flashing above. Please see our comments in the Executive
The dividing walls are hollow to tap. We therefore
believe they are studwork and can be removed. We believe this property
is what is known as portal frame and therefore allows an open plan
The floor is solid and firm underfoot, therefore
we assume it is concrete. Please see our comments in the Executive
Summary regarding the spalling concrete around the front fire exit.
7. Internal Joinery
Maintenance is required to the doors. Please see
our comments in the Executive Summary with regard to the addition
of door closers.
8. Internal Decorations
The property looked to have been recently redecorated throughout.
9. Thermal Efficiency
We believe that this roof has a fairly thin construction
without any insulation. Therefore, when heating the property the heat
will pass through it rather than being retained. Please see our comments
within the Executive Summary where we have recommended that insulation
is added to the flat roof. We would add that without this you will
get heat gain during the summer and heat loss in the winter.
Electrics and Gas
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.
Plumbing and Heating
The taps have been run for approximately an hour
with no build up or blockage in that time.
The heating has not been turned on and therefore we cannot comment
11. Sanitary Fittings
The sanitary fittings have suffered from day to
day use without any cleaning or repair work. However, they are what
we would term as ‘saveable’.
12. Access and Parking
We would reiterate that you should establish exactly
how you can access the property and also whether you do have parking
to the rear of the property. We do not think the gym owner will be
pleased if you park in front of his main entrance.
13. Main Drains
No manholes or inspection chambers were found within
the curtilage of the property.
As we have not seen the lease it
is difficult to advise about the boundaries of this property. Our
main concern when we walked the boundary is that there is a wall
to the rear right hand side that is in a poor state of repair. You
really do not want this included in the lease. We think it is unlikely
to be your responsibility but we have mentioned it just in case.
For and on Behalf of
GEM Associates Limited
This Report is dated: xxxxxxxxxxx
Our limitations are set out in
our Terms of Engagement, we would remind you specifically that:
We have carried out a visual inspection only, therefore elements
of the structure that were covered, unexposed or inaccessible during
our survey cannot be confirmed as being free from defect, structural
or otherwise. We have however made our best assumptions based upon
our knowledge of this type of construction.
We have carried out a visual inspection and have not undertaken
material tests to determined whether any hazardous materials have
been used in the construction such as high alumina cement, asbestos
etc. We have however carried out a visual inspection and where we
believe these materials may have been used have done our best to
Our report is for the sole use of the party to whom it is addressed
to on the cover of this report. No responsibility is accepted under
the Third Parties Act for any third parties who use this report
in whole or in part without written consent from GEM ASSOCIATES
We have only carried out a visual inspection
of the services and have not undertaken comprehensive testing of
any services. We therefore cannot confirm that they are operational,
but again we have made our best assumptions based upon our visual
inspection. We can arrange tests if you so wish.
We are Chartered Building Surveyors and Engineers and we have carried
out the report without the aid of specialists or specialist reports,
for example an environmental report or an audit report upon the
property. We are therefore unable to advise whether any contaminated
or other adverse environmental issues affect the site.
This Pre-lease Survey and Wants of Repair has been prepared by GEM
Associates Ltd in xxxxxx. The inspection was carried out on xxxxxx.
This report does not constitute a Structural Survey (now known as
a Building Survey).