Acquisition of a multi-let commercial property (buyer)—before exchange
Acquisition of a multi-let commercial property (buyer)—before exchange

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

  • Acquisition of a multi-let commercial property (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 the landlord’s consent?
  • Energy performance certificate (EPC)
  • If the buyer is using finance to acquire the property?
  • 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.

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

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

Raise pre-contract enquiries

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

  1. CPSE 1—general pre-contract enquiries for all commercial property transactions

  2. (where relevant) CPSE 2—supplemental pre-contract enquiries for property subject to tenancies for commercial use

  3. (where relevant) CPSE 4—supplemental pre-contract enquiries for commercial leasehold property on the assignment of the lease, and

  4. STER—solicitor's title and exchange requirements

See Practice Note: Commercial Property Standard Enquiries—CPSEs.

When registering the transfer, the buyer must notify HM Land Registry of all overriding interests which affect the property—see Form DI. It is good practice to ask the seller to provide the information necessary to meet the buyer’s obligation. See precedent: Disclosable overriding interests