Vickery Holman’s building surveying department provide detailed and specialist advice as part of a personal and flexible full-range local service.

Full building commercial and residential surveys in Plymouth, Truro, Exeter & Bristol

Company-wide specialist support is provided as required by individual instruction and circumstance. The strength of the team means they can take on large commissions and complete them in a timely, cost-effective and consistent manner. 

Whether it is domestic or commercial, a full building survey provides a detailed picture of the condition of a building. All elements are surveyed throughout a property and its grounds to ensure a purchaser fully understands the extent of disrepair. 

For any property purchase, this type of survey is essential to ensure a full understanding of potential liabilities is obtained. This is where our Plymouth, Truro, Exeter and Bristol teams can help, wherever you are based in the South-West. 

Surveys - Vickery Holman

Asset Management Plan

The asset management plan is designed to advise building owners and occupiers specifically on maintenance and repair works. The report sets timescales for works to be undertaken and provides budget costs, enabling the user to accurately cost-plan maintenance work over a desired timeframe. The schedule is a useful tool for landlords and occupiers by providing a structure to manage maintenance and repair works. 

Major Elements Survey (Commercial)

This survey focuses on the main elements of the fabric of a commercial property, looking primarily for signs of movement and structural failure. The survey also concentrates on identifying rot, decay, damp and other deteriorations in building fabric.

The survey is aimed at people who want to purchase a commercial property but who plan on undertaking major refurbishment works so have no need for information relating to general condition. 

Reinstatement Cost Assessment

This assessment provides the figure insurance companies require for the demolition and rebuilding of the property in the event of fire, flood etc. The insurance companies may require this to be updated anything from two to five yearly cycles in order to avoid the property being under or over insured. 

Stock Condition

The stock condition survey and report is aimed at organisations with multiple properties that want to gain a picture of the general condition of their buildings. 

Quinquennial Survey

This is a survey of all elements of a building on a five-year cycle. Most churches and chapels across the country require these to be undertaken, along with historic buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and historic ruins. 

Access audit

An access audit reviews the accessibility of a building and benchmarks it against the relevant accessibility standards. This format is used for buildings with public access or where a building owner needs advice on where the access provisions fall short of standards and where improvements can be made.

Audits are also useful for employers to ensure their facilities are appropriate for the requirements of their employees. Our reports identify shortfalls in the accessibility, and make recommendations on the best, most appropriate remediation. 

Defect analysis

This survey is targeted at owners and occupiers of buildings that have a specific defect and who need to understand the cause and most appropriate method of remediation. 

Key Contacts

Building Surveys Case Studies

Building Surveys FAQs

A commercial lease is a contract between two parties to grant the right to use land or buildings. The terms of the contract can vary greatly, and both sides are legally bound by them. Do not get caught out by unintended or unfair conditions but seek specialist advice instead. If the terms cause problems or need action a lease advisory specialist can help. 

A rent review is a right included in most commercial leases for the rent to be adjusted at periodical intervals. They are almost always for the benefit of the landlord not the tenant as in most cases the rent can only go up not down. The landlord must prove market rents have risen to secure an increase and the legal wording of the lease contract can cause complications. The process can cause conflict if not dealt with correctly and it is important to seek specialist advice. 

When most leases come to an end, the tenant is protected by law and has the right to a new lease. The process triggers a negotiation of what the new lease terms and rent should be to reflect market conditions at that time. There are exceptions where the parties have agreed to exclude protection and some limited circumstances when a landlord can overthrow the protection, for instance if the property is to be redeveloped. The process is complicated, legally binding and contains pitfalls. Both parties need specialist advice to ensure they protect their rights and the process is followed correctly according to the law. 

There is no right for either party to change the terms of a lease or restructure except at the end of the lease. To reach an agreement to do that early needs a negotiating lever or joint advantage to both parties. For example, landlords may agree to reduce the rent if the tenant commits to stay for longer in return or a tenant may threaten to activate a break clause unless the landlord will cooperate. Success will depend on seeking specialist advice to identify and apply these options. 

In most commercial leases the terms seek to limit the landlord’s day to day responsibilities as much as possible. The onus is placed on the tenant to repair and look after the property and comply with any restrictions that have been agreed. There are exceptions such as multi occupational buildings where the only practical option is for the landlord to take responsibility and recover the cost by a service charge. It all depends on the exact terms of the contract that specialist advice can clarify. 

Break clauses have become more common in recent years mainly to give tenant’s flexibility in uncertain and rapidly changing economic times. There are dangers as time limits and conditions must be strictly complied with. They can also be a useful method to trigger a restructure of the lease. There may be a financial penalty to pay. It is important to use specialist advice to know when and how your break option can benefit you. 

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