Legal Tips To Speed Up The Sale Of Commercial Property
Significant Delays are common when selling commercial property. Having regard to the introduction of a pre-contract investigation of title system on the 1st of January 2019, it is becoming more important for vendors of commercial property to be prepared, and ensure that they have all the documentation required, to facilitate the timely issue of a contract to a purchaser.
Below is a list of items that should be considered to ensure the smooth running of a sale:-
- Title Deeds: Before placing a property on the market, you should ascertain the location of the title deeds to the property. If these are held with a financial institution, the bank will require a written request from you to release the deeds to your solicitor. It can take a number of weeks before deeds are released, which can impede the sale. The Law Society of Ireland have prepared a standard form of authority which, once completed, should be returned to your solicitor.
- Leases: In circumstances where tenants are not affected by the sale, all original leases, renunciations and rent review memorandums (if not held with the title deeds) will need to be gathered, and furnished to your solicitor.
- VAT: If VAT is chargeable on the property, VAT enquiries will need to be completed by a tax advisor. The Law Society standard form of VAT enquiries can be found here
- Land Registry Map: Once the title documents have been reviewed, it may become apparent that a Land Registry compliant map may need to be prepared by an architect, or surveyor.
- BER Certificate: Pursuant to S.I. 243 of 2012, the estate agent will need a Building Energy Rating Certificate to allow them advertise the property for sale. If this is not held with the title deeds, one will need to be procured. Estate agents will usually assist with this.
- Commercial Rates/Water Rates: Receipts for payment of both commercial rates, and water rates, should be produced even where the property is let, and rates and water rates are the responsibility of the tenant. So as to avoid liability of up to two years of any unpaid commercial rates, you should notify the local authority within 14 days of the sale with details of the new owner. This obligation was introduced by Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act, 2014.
- Architects Opinions: You should make certain that you have all original Architects Opinions on Compliance/Exemption with Planning Permission and Building Regulations for any development works carried out to the property.
- Disability Access Certificate and Fire Safety Certificate: A property built after the 1st January 2010 (or where significant development works carried out) may require a Disability Access Certificate (DAC). Similarly, since the 1st of August 1992, a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) is required for most commercial properties before development works can be carried out. Both DACs and FSCs issue from the Building Control Authority and it is an offence under the Building Control Act, 1990 (as amended) to occupy, or operate, a building without having both Certificates.
Collateral Warranties & Building Contracts: If you have carried out development, or refurbishment work to the property a Purchaser may request copies of the Building Contract, Professional Team Appointments (e.g. Architect and Structural Engineer) and Collateral Warranties with such Professional Team and sub-Contractors. These should also be furnished to your Solicitor in advance of a sale. You can learn more about the area of collateral warranties here.
Patrick F. O’Reilly & Co has years of experience working with Commercial Property Owners and can offer you sound legal advice on any aspect of your Commercial Property Sale. Please contact Jacinta O’Sullivan, Solicitor, Real Estate Department; call +353 1679 3565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more here about our Real Estate Legal Services and the clients we work with.