Inspection Tips and Tools For Commercial Investment Property

When you inspect a commercial, retail or industrial property, it is the physical aspects of the property that should be well explored and documented. These matters below are some of the key issues for you to review before you complete the property listing or promotion.

 

  1. Tenant compliance to physical building use: The tenants to a building may be obliged to undertake compliance to the way in which they use the building. Such matters will be detailed in the lease. You should read the leases in this regard to identify these things.
  2. Antennas and aerials: Some buildings feature communication antennas and aerials. In the first instance these should have been approved by the landlord and in some circumstances the local planning authority. The antenna or aerial installation will have been made on the approved structures with supporting plans and documentation together also with access restrictions and risk signage to prevent people in the area being exposed to radio frequency radiation. You need to know that these things have been correctly handled.
  3. Asbestos: It is common knowledge that asbestos is a hazardous building material that still exists in buildings constructed prior to 1990. From that time onwards, it was largely avoided and prohibited as a construction material in most buildings. Originally it was used as an insulation material in areas including electrical switchboards and also on the beams and columns of the building structure as a fire resistant material. It is therefore quite possible that you will sell or lease a building in which asbestos is still located. In your town or city there will be legislation rules and regulations that apply to the existence of asbestos. It is necessary that you get information from the building owner regards compliance to Legislation in this regard.
  4. Asset replacement value: With commercial real estate properties, it is common for regular valuations to be undertaken by the building owner for insurance purposes regards asset replacement. This type of valuation would be applicable in the event of a fire or building disaster. You can also get building replacement values from information sheets provided by local quantity surveyors. You can usually obtain these from the internet. Importantly the construction costs and replacement value need to be applicable to your location given the costs of sourcing the construction materials and the labour.
  5. Building Code Compliance: When buildings are first constructed they are done so to the current building code. As time progresses the building code changes and it is sometimes necessary for existing buildings to be upgraded to current code. A good example of this is the need for disabled access to buildings and internal disabled facilities. When you inspect and list a building you should identify if any such notices under the building code currently exist. A note of caution here; when a building is put through a major refurbishment, the planning authority may regard the refurbishment activity as a trigger for a code compliance upgrade. This can be a large cost. A quantity surveyor is the best person Lentor Modern to consult on costs of this nature.
  6. Floor and site surveys: When working with investment properties it is the internal lettable space that is of prime importance to the generation of rental and occupancy. All the leases for the tenants will be linked to the survey plans and the net lettable area therein. For this reason you should ask to see the survey plans for the building and the lettable space. You need to know that they are accurate and up to date at the time of sale or lease. Part of this process is to inspect the property with the plans so that you can identify any discrepancies. In all cases of error or concern with the plans you should get a building surveyor to give assistance and guidance.
  7. As Built Drawings: Every building has a set of plans that were approved for the building to be constructed. They are a great source of information and cover, structural, hydraulic, electrical, mechanical, and lighting layouts. They are an excellent source of information on which you can base your leasing strategies.

 

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