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Commercial Property:

Guide to buying a commercial property (either buying an existing lease or taking on a new lease)

The process involved with buying an existing lease (known as assigning a lease) or taking on a new lease of a commercial property are very similar - this guide will take you through all the steps involved.

Throughout the guide you will see red text - just Hover your mouse over the text to see a more detailed description of what it means

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Step1We will contact the solicitors acting for the seller or landlord and request that they provide us with a contract or lease, evidence of title, and replies to enquiries

Step2 We will ask you to let us have £250 so that we can order a pack of searches upon your behalf. This contains the local authority and water searches. If the property is in a mining area we'll have to request a mining search as well. Searches are simply a list of questions about the property that are sent to the local council, the water authority and the Coal Authority. If you are having a mortgage your lender will insist that you to obtain searches; If you aren't having a mortgage then it's your choice (but we still advise you to have them).

Step3 If you are having a mortgage we will need a copy of the mortgage offer. The mortgage company will normally send this through to us but in case they don't we may ask you for a copy.

Step4 Once we have all the documents from the seller/landlord's solicitor we will look through them and raise any additional questions that we think need answering. Once all questions have been answered to your satisfaction we will arrange for you to sign the contract and/or the lease

Step5 On a purchase only (not on grant of a new lease) once the parties are ready, we will then exchange contracts (this simply means swapping the contract signed by the seller for one signed by the buyers - together with a deposit provided by the buyers). After contracts are exchanged the contract is binding and neither party can withdraw without incurring massive expense. A date will then be set for completion. Upon exchange you will need to ensure that the property is insured.

Step6 On a purchase only - upon completion we will hand over the remaining purchase monies and in return we will receive the documentation transferring the property into your name.

For grant of a new lease when the terms of the lease have been agreed and both parties have signed the lease,the lease will dated with an agreement date. This will be the date that both parties have confirmed that they are happy with the full terms of the lease, it does not have to be the date when the lease is to start (the start date could actually have already passed or be a date in the future). If there are any payments due under the lease we will obtain these from you and pay them to the landlord upon completion.

Step7 If stamp duty is payable on the purchase or the lease we must send off the stamp duty to the Inland Revenue within twenty eight days. On a purchase and on leases over seven years within two months of the completion date we must also apply to register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry - including details of the lease and any mortgage recorded against the property