Navigating exit strategies: how a building surveyor can help commercial tenants

One essential ally in this journey is a building surveyor, whose expertise can prove invaluable in helping tenants navigate their exit strategies effectively.

The end of a lease can be a pivotal moment for commercial tenants. Whether a business is relocating to a new location, closing its doors, or negotiating a lease renewal, the process can be complex and filled with potential pitfalls.

What a building surveyor can do for you

Property Assessment: At the outset, a building surveyor can assess the condition of the property and document any pre-existing damage or wear and tear.

This initial assessment provides a baseline for negotiations with landlords, helping tenants avoid unfair charges for damages they did not cause.

It also helps in determining if any necessary repairs or maintenance are the landlord's responsibility before the lease ends.

Dilapidations Assessment: Dilapidations are the repairs or reinstatement work that a commercial tenant may be required to carry out at the end of their lease.

A building surveyor can conduct a thorough dilapidations assessment to determine the scope and cost of these obligations.

This assessment can be a crucial tool in negotiating dilapidations claims from landlords, potentially saving tenants significant expenses.

Negotiation Support: Having a building surveyor on your side during lease negotiations can be a game-changer. They can help tenants negotiate favourable lease terms, including the tenant's repairing obligations, schedule of condition clauses, and rent concessions.

Their expertise can prevent tenants from agreeing to onerous responsibilities or unexpected costs that could arise at the end of the lease.

Compliance and Regulation: Commercial properties must adhere to various building codes and regulations. A building surveyor can ensure that the property is compliant, reducing the risk of costly legal issues or delays during the exit process.

They can also advise tenants on any necessary permits or approvals for renovations or repairs during the exit.

Project Management: If a tenant needs to make repairs or modifications to the property as part of their exit strategy, a building surveyor can oversee these projects.

They can ensure that the work is carried out to a high standard, on time, and within budget. This is especially important when negotiating with landlords who may challenge the quality of the work.

Expert Witness: Disputes may not be easily resolved – with one or both parties unsatisfied with the claims made against them at the end of a lease. This can sometimes end up in court.

Taking on the role of Expert Witness, a building surveyor can provide their records as evidence throughout the legal proceedings whilst remaining impartial when discussing their findings.

This can be particularly helpful in resolving a dispute quickly and fairly, ensuring the right party is compensated appropriately.

Why should you appoint a building surveyor at the end of a lease?

Exiting a commercial lease can be a complex and challenging process for tenants. The expertise of a building surveyor can be a vital asset during this transition.

From property assessment to dilapidations assessments, negotiation support, compliance with regulations, and project management, their skills and knowledge can help commercial tenants protect their interests and avoid unexpected costs.

Commercial tenants should consider enlisting the services of a building surveyor early in the lease process to maximize the benefits they provide throughout the tenancy and exit phases.

Who are we?

Sillence Hurn’s Chartered Building Surveyors are RICS qualified with extensive experience of building surveying across London and the South of England.

From advice around feasibility, cost planning, undertaking the work in the current market, specifying works, overseeing and managing the implementation of changes, our chartered building surveyors will be able to identify any upgrades and advise you on the best measures going forward.

Read more about our solutions here:

Technical due diligence
Project management
Dilapidations consulting
Cost management
Monitoring Surveying
Party Wall
Contract Administration
Planned Preventative Maintenance 

Email us at or call our Southampton team on 02380 014786 / London at 020 3143 2128

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