Chartered Surveyors and Business Property Specialists

FAQs

Here are the answers to a selection of questions we are often asked about commercial property.

ShowHide I need someone to act for me at rent review or when renewing my tenant’s lease to ensure that my property is always working to maximise returns for me. Can you help with this?

Our lease consultancy team will be able to advise you. Contact them on 01872 247038. There are some pitfalls in doing nothing, including reducing your ability to take action against your tenant if they should fall into arrears so always best to check with us.


ShowHide My tenant has either a rent review or the lease is coming to an end and I’m not sure what to do?

Miller Commercial have a lease consultancy and valuation team who specialise in acting for you at rent review or renewing your tenants lease. This ensures that your property is always working to maximise returns for you.


ShowHide I hear how Health and Safety is becoming very important and I am worried about whether the building is compliant?

Miller Commercial facilities management team work closely with a national health and safety provider to ensure your building is fully compliant.


ShowHide The building is in a poor state and I am not sure how to repair it and who should pay for those repairs?

Miller Commercial has a dedicated team of facilities managers, as well as a team of Chartered Surveyors, with experience in building repair diagnosis. We can meet with contractors to discuss repairs and obtain quotations for you and help you decide what the best option is for you. The lease will dictate who is responsible for paying for the repair. Our team of surveyors will be able to guide you through this without the need for expensive legal fees.


ShowHide My tenant is in arrears, what can I do?

The chasing or monies owed is heavily regulated. Miller Commercial management surveyors have decades of property management experience between them. They keep fully up to date with current rules and regulations with regards to what can, and what cannot be done when chasing arrears of rent and service charge, and work closely with local law firms when it is necessary to escalate matters to that level. Having a professional managing agent working for you will help contain any arrears and potentially increase the chances of recovering monies owed to you. Miller Commercial has an arrears containment programme that, once all arrears have been collected, will reduce the chances of it happening again.


ShowHide Will employing a managing agent cost me a lot of money?

Quite often the fees of a professional managing agent are recoverable from the tenant, especially if there is a service charge. The answer will lie within each lease: we will be happy to take a look at your lease and comment upon recoverability free of charge.


ShowHide Can you provide me with an indication of what the value of my property will be before I commit to paying for a formal valuation?

In most cases we are unable to do this because there are many variables that impact upon the value of a property and until we have inspected and carried out our research we are not in a situation to provide an informed opinion.


ShowHide What information is required for a formal valuation?

Again, this varies from case to case. We will need to inspect the property thoroughly and if the property is an investment we will need copies of leases; if the property is a going concern we will require the last 3 years profit & loss accounts along with various other information regarding the operation of the business.


ShowHide How long will a formal valuation take?

We generally request 2 weeks from instruction to completion. Sometimes we can turn reports around in a shorter timescale depending on workload and equally we may request longer if a valuation is complex or say for court purposes.


ShowHide Our lease consultancy team will be able to advise you. There are however some pitfalls in doing nothing, including reducing your ability to take action against your tenant if they should fall into arrears.

We do not operate a fixed fee scale instead we assess each valuation on a case by case basis and we will happily provide a quote with no obligation attached. Fees generally range between £750 – £1,500, however, a fee could be above or below this range depending on complexity.


ShowHide I've been advised that my property needs an EPC. As the Landlord of a privately rented non-domestic property what do I need to do to comply?

In order to commence marketing of a commercial property it is necessary to hold a valid EPC. In order to conclude a letting this needs to have a minimum “E” Rating. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for domestic and non-domestic property came into force in England and Wales on 1 April 2018 and restricts the granting or renewal of commercial leases where the property has an EPC rating of less than “E”. From 1 April 2023 regulations will state that you cannot continue to let any property with an “F” or a “G” rating There are some exemptions to the above and recommend you refer to the below link, which provides further guidance from the government:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance


ShowHide Can you offer advice on locality?

Absolutely. We are very familiar with the South West in particular Cornwall and Devon and therefore we can advise on the type of community and schooling etc within the vicinity of the business.


ShowHide What does SAV mean?

Stock at Valuation – this is the value of the stock which is assessed at completion and is payable in addition to the purchase price.


ShowHide When would I need a Personal Licence?

When supplying and selling alcohol, an individual will also have to have a Personal Licence, which allows them to sell alcohol.


ShowHide What is a Premises Licence?

A Premises Licence relates to the supply and sale of alcohol from a premises, which is issued upon application by the relevant Council.


ShowHide Can Miller Commercial Offer Advice for Finance?

We have strong relationships with all lending institutions and can make a direct referral, or typically we would recommend purchasers speak with a Commercial Broker, who will guide them through the process and invariably be able to search the market to obtain the best deal.


ShowHide Is Commercial Funding different from Residential?

Yes, as the application is related to the business being able to provide enough income to service the debt and afford the individuals a living.


ShowHide Can I Obtain Finance to Purchase a Business?

Finance is readily available for freehold property and businesses. However for leasehold businesses (where one does not actually own the property, but rents it annually) funding can be limited and normally relates to the value of the fixtures and fittings.


ShowHide Can it take a long time to find the right business?

This will vary from buyer to buyer and business to business. Sometimes buyers find what they’re looking for straightaway whereas others will want to take the time and wait for the perfect opportunity. It really depends on how quick as a buyer you want to move and get the business started. Inevitably when buying any business there will always be some form of compromise between your perfect business idea and what is actually available.


ShowHide When is the best time to start looking for a business?

As a seasonally influenced region, with holiday makers visiting in the peak summer months, typically buyers start their search in September/October ahead of the following season, which is normally denoted by Easter, through to Whitsun and then summer proper.


ShowHide Will I be able to buy a business either Leasehold or Freehold?

This would depend upon whether you have any property for sale, the level of borrowing requirement and what experience you have in this sector. All these issues are not insurmountable and indeed most transactions require an element of a property related matter and indeed funding. We are here to offer you guidance in respect of your search.


ShowHide For Leases, what is ‘Security of Tenure?’

We refer to leases enjoying the Security of Tenure Provision, meaning that the tenant has the automatic right to have the lease renewed at the end of the initial term, as long as they have been adhering to the lease terms, namely paying the rent and maintaining the property.


ShowHide How is the Business Transferred to me?

Your Solicitor will undertake legal searches and Due Diligence in respect of the full transfer of the business, including any website domain, any advance monies in respect of future bookings, staff, licences and fixtures and fittings.


ShowHide How is a Business Valued?

For a leasehold premises, the business is valued based on its fixtures and fittings (chattels to run the business) and the goodwill, namely the profit that the business generates year on year. For a freehold purchase the same applies with the addition of the property value. We are able to provide advice to both purchasers and their advisors (typically Accountants and Solicitors) in respect of the ‘breakout’ or apportionment of value.


ShowHide Can I Purchase the Business with no experience?

Yes, a lot of buyers who purchase businesses through us are new to whichever sector, be it hospitality, leisure or retail.


ShowHide What is a Going Concern?

A trading business of any type that is to be transferred as a going concern, i.e. it is not closed and is trading to the public.


ShowHide I’ve been advised that my property needs an EPC. As the Landlord of a privately rented non-domestic property what do I need to do to comply?

In order to commence marketing of a commercial property it is necessary to hold a valid EPC. In order to conclude a letting this needs to have a minimum “E” Rating. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for domestic and non-domestic property came into force in England and Wales on 1 April 2018 and restricts the granting or renewal of commercial leases where the property has an EPC rating of less than “E”. From 1 April 2023 regulations will state that you cannot continue to let any property with an “F” or a “G” rating There are some exemptions to the above and recommend you refer to the below link, which provides further guidance from the government:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance


ShowHide What is a long-leasehold interest?

This is normally for an original term of at least 99 years. The reason they are created is to enable enforceable conditions to be put in place between parties for example when part of a building is sold – and there needs to be a contribution towards the maintenance of the exterior.


ShowHide What is a the difference between an assignment and a new lease?

An assignment is when you take over an existing lease and the terms are therefore inherited from what was previously agreed.


ShowHide How much will my legal costs be?

This can vary much depends upon whether as part of the transaction each party pays their own which is normal for sales or whether you are required to contribute towards a landlord’s or head landlord’s fees as well. This means that you may be required to pay the other sides costs as well as your own.


ShowHide Whilst the Energy Performance of a building is stated what does this mean and can it be improved?

Yes you need to refer to the Recommendation Report which accompanies the EPC – this can be found on-line by submitting the post code.

https://www.ndepcregister.com/reportSearchAddressByPostcode.html


ShowHide Where can I find out how much business rates I will have to pay?

The best place to go is here: – https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-business-rates