Acquisition of a commercial property portfolio (buyer)—before exchange
Acquisition of a commercial property portfolio (buyer)—before exchange

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Acquisition of a commercial property portfolio (buyer)—before exchange
  • Carry out all essential pre-contract searches and appropriate additional pre-contract searches
  • Raise pre-contract enquiries
  • Ask the seller to deduce title
  • Leasehold properties—is the Landlord’s consent required to the assignment?
  • Has the seller applied for landlord’s consent?
  • Energy performance certificate (EPC)
  • If the buyer is using finance to acquire the portfolio
  • Due diligence
  • Discharge of the seller’s mortgage
  • more

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The requirements to obtain an EPC before a property is sold or let can be difficult to satisfy when social distancing measures apply. EPC assessments should only be conducted in accordance with government advice on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak and where the EPC assessment can be conducted safely—see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property — EPCs and social distancing.

Before exchange of contracts:

Carry out all essential pre-contract searches and appropriate additional pre-contract searches

See: Which searches to undertake—checklist, Practice Notes: Standard pre-contract searches, Additional pre-contract searches, Environmental issues in property transactions—acting for a buyer and Overview Planning issues in property transactions

Flood Searches—previously large property portfolios may have benefitted from preferential insurance rates. However, as the insurance market becomes more risk averse and the insurance market becomes more risk reflective, insurance on all properties within a portfolio is no longer guaranteed. High risk properties within a portfolio are becoming increasingly likely to be highlighted by insurers and attract higher premiums, more stringent conditions or be refused insurance altogether. Acquiring a property at a high risk of flooding, which suffers frequent business interruption, can have an adverse effect on portfolio return, see Practice Note Flooding—flood searches

Raise pre-contract enquiries

On the purchase of commercial property, it is common practice to use the Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSE), eg: