Commercial Conveyancing Solicitors
Commercial Conveyancing London
Buying and selling commercial property is a complicated legal process that can include a range of financial, planning and leasing factors. We can help you navigate these considerations to success.
Guy Osborn Partner
What is commercial conveyancing?
Commercial conveyancing is a blanket term for the legal work required when you transfer business premises from one owner to another. It includes a variety of transactions, the most common being:
- Sale and purchase of business premises.
- Sale and purchase of development land, including those that are conditional on planning.
- Financing or refinancing business premises with a mortgage from a bank or private lender.
- Leasehold transactions such as the grant of a new lease or transfer of an existing lease.
Companies, public bodies, financial institutions, developers and landlords may all require commercial conveyancing services at some point in their business operations. Our commercial property team supports all types of clients in a range of industries, providing tailored legal advice to ensure their transactions are completed smoothly and efficiently.
Is commercial conveyancing the same as residential conveyancing?
Commercial conveyancing is the same as residential conveyancing in the sense that it transfers the title of a property from one person or company to another.
However, the stakes are higher with commercial conveyancing. Errors can damage the value of your investment, reduce your rental income or land you with higher-than-expected outgoings. It can even put your business at risk.
That is why it’s essential to work with a specialist commercial conveyancing solicitor. You need someone who understands the nuances of buying or selling property for business purposes and can guide you through the process with precision and care.
Our commercial conveyancing services
Purchase of commercial property
The process of purchasing a commercial property will differ depending on the type of property and whether you intend to trade from the property or you’re buying it as an investment. However, all transactions will involve significant due diligence and contract negotiation.
Once the seller’s solicitor has sent us the contract package, we carry out extensive due diligence checks on the property. This includes investigating the title, planning permissions, leases the property is subject to, and the results of your structural survey.
We will request various property searches including a local authority search, an environmental search and a water and drainage search. We may advise that additional searches are carried out, for example environmental investigations, depending on the property and what you wish to use it for.
Once we have reviewed these documents, we will raises enquiries with the seller’s solicitor to make sure there are no other issues we should be aware of. Due diligence is the longest part of the commercial conveyancing process. It may take several weeks to complete, depending on the property.
Negotiating the sale contract
Commercial contracts are often drafted with special conditions that are not covered by the standard form of contract. These are bespoke to the property and the deal, and might include conditions that have to be met before the transaction can complete.
For example, there may be an obligation on the seller to provide a fire risk assessment or an indemnity for environmental issues. Where the property is tenanted, there may be an obligation on the buyer to try to recover rent arrears from the tenant which relate to the period of time when the seller was the owner of the property.
We will negotiate the contract conditions on your behalf, ensuring that you are protected against any issues we identify.
Finance and tax
Security documentation can be more complicated for a commercial property than a residential one. We will help you understand the full implications of your loan and ensure that it aligns with your strategy for the property.
In addition, every commercial property transaction will have certain tax implications. From VAT to Stamp Duty Land Tax, we will explain the tax considerations and ensure that you are compliant with all relevant legislation.
Sale of commercial property
When it comes to selling commercial property, sellers have a number of tasks they must complete. Here are the three main steps:
- Establish legal ownership
It’s the job of the seller’s solicitor to prove that you can legally sell the property. Our experienced commercial conveyancing solicitors can help you pull all the legal paperwork together ahead of time. We’ll advise you on any issues that may prevent a sale going ahead or which may cast doubt on the property’s valuation.
- Negotiating contracts
Once you have accepted an offer, our solicitors will take over the negotiation process, working diligently to agree the contract terms and answer the buyer’s questions. We’ll advise you on the best way to structure a complex deal for tax optimisation and will protect you against legal liabilities throughout.
- Completion of the sale
We’ll guide you through the process of settling any mortgages on the property and ensuring both legal ownership and your landlord obligations are transferred with no legal repercussions.
The same due diligence is required when you take a new business lease as when you buy commercial property. However, in addition to the usual title and planning investigations, there will be additional work to draft and negotiate the lease.
The starting point to work from is the heads of terms that have been agreed between the landlord and tenant (or their agents). But there may be other clauses that you have not discussed, such as service charge liabilities, signage restrictions and what happens at the end of the lease.
Whatever the situation, our team is here to make sure your lease is fair and reasonable. We have years of experience acting for both landlords and tenants and can help you with:
- Drafting new commercial leases
- Lease and heads of terms reviews
- Commercial lease renewals
- Assignment, surrender and termination of leases
- Complex lease structures
- Security of tenure issues
Why choose our commercial conveyancing solicitors?
- We offer a wealth of expertise spanning more than 40 years in this area.
- We are recommended by top independent guides to the legal profession, including Chambers and the Legal 500.
- Our dedicated specialists have experience across the full range of commercial property landscapes, including retail, office, leisure, industrial and mixed use.
- We are not just legal experts; we focus on providing practical advice that takes into account the commercial realities of the property market and the specific needs of your business.
- We are known for our client-centric approach.You’ll know where you stand with clear and honest advice as we work to eliminate risks to your business.
- You will always be matched with a partner or senior solicitor who specialises in your type of transaction and is best suited to your specific needs.
Commercial Conveyancing FAQs
How much does commercial conveyancing cost?
The cost of commercial conveyancing varies according to the complexity of the case. For example, the sale of a vacant freehold shop unit will cost less than the purchase of a multi-tenanted shopping centre or the negotiation of complex development rights.
The size and value of the commercial property will also impact the legal fee.
At Osbornes, we offer competitive rates and are wholly transparent about our fees. You’ll get a full breakdown of our costs so you know where you stand from the outset, and we usually are able to offer flexible fee structures to meet your requirements.
For information about our services and pricing, please get in touch with our commercial conveyancing team today.
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Professional and communicative throughout the process of becoming a Freehold Company and having a share of said freehold. Both Amber and Siroop spoke in plain English and were most efficient and pleasant to deal with.
Amber was fantastic from start to finish. Efficient, clear and professional. Will certainly be calling on her again.
Guy and his team assisted me with a new lease venture and were an absolute pleasure to work with. A professional & knowledgeable team who offered fast and excellent advice. Highly recommend their services
The Property Law Team View the whole team
William Ford Partner
Housing and Social Care
Shilpa Mathuradas Partner
Simon Nosworthy Partner
Guy Osborn Partner
Muna Adam Solicitor
Rachael Atkinson Senior Associate