Commercial Property Standard Enquiries

Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs) are standard pre-contract enquiry responses, which are provided to the lawyer on behalf of the buyer or tenant. They ask the seller (or landlord) for detailed information about the property which will help the buyer (or tenant) decide the value and whether they want to purchase (or lease) it. The CPSEs are a further way to find out more about the property, and are used by us alongside property searches.

You should not rely on CPSEs as an alternative to inspecting the property or having a survey undertaken. The seller (or landlord)  has no duty to answer the CPSEs but does have a legal duty to disclose latent defects which affect the property and to provide truthful responses, which the buyer (or tenant) can then rely on.

What are searches for?

Local authority searches

Local authority searches are arguably the most important type of search your solicitor will arrange, as they will look at all information held by the local authority involving the property, including any prospective plans for nearby new developments or roads. They will also show who is responsible for maintaining roads and paths adjoining the property and planning use of the site.

Environmental searches

An environmental search is important as it will establish whether the property you are buying is built on or near contaminated land or water, or an old landfill site. Your lender may insist that this type of search is carried out before they will offer you a mortgage. The reason this type of search is required is because many properties are built on land which was previously used for industrial purposes, and toxic substances could remain in the ground. If these aren’t uncovered before you take ownership of the property you could find yourself with a building that is impossible to sell later, or even worse is a health hazard. An environmental search should also show whether there is a risk of flooding.

Water authority searches

A water authority search will establish where your water comes from and whether there are any public drains on the property. This is vital. If there is a public drain it could affect any building work you want to do in the future, such as an extension.

Freehold or leasehold enquiries

Freehold commercial property means you will own the absolute title to the entire property and land – meaning you are the true property owner.

Leasehold is an interest in  land created by a lease – meaning you are a tenant which has the right to occupy the property for a fixed period of time.

What to do if you are thinking of buying or leasing a commercial property

Once you have found a commercial property you think you want, contact our Commercial Solicitor and Senior Partner, Gideon Cristofoli. With over 25 years experience, Gideon can guide you through all aspects of your business premises.

Contact Gideon Cristofoli by calling Kate Healey on 01420 558295 to book an appointment.