If you are planning to sell or let a property it is important to be able to produce all the necessary documents that your buyer or tenant will expect to see as part of their investigation process – delay at any stage of your transaction will have a knock-on effect on the deal and could even put interested parties off altogether.
So, what is it you might need? Employers, property owners and tenants, have a general obligation to ensure their premises are safe and, in particular, under current regulations a fire risk assessment must be carried out and appropriate precautions put in place. In addition, owners or occupiers of commercial premises or residential premises that include shared or common areas have a statutory obligation to ensure their property has been surveyed for the presence of asbestos and to demonstrate that, if the substance is found, a management plan is in place.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must usually be provided when selling residential or commercial premises – in addition, you should be checking your electrical and gas equipment regularly. Your buyer or tenant is entitled to have sight of the latest report on your equipment – they should satisfy themselves that adequate checks have been carried out, in accordance with current rules and to a proper standard.
New regulations have now been introduced, designed to ensure air conditioning systems installed in properties have been regularly inspected and their energy efficiency and effectiveness assessed. If air conditioning has been installed in your premises you will need to ensure you make the all the necessary reports available.
Finally, you have an obligation to keep a full and up-to-date health and safety file in your property. Such a dossier should contain health and safety reports and details of all relevant procedures relating to your premises – additional documents may be required, particularly if building works such as construction or structural alterations have been carried out on the property.
Time spent in thorough preparation for a property sale or letting can pay dividends in reducing delays further down the line – it may even save the deal, preventing unnecessary cost and the frustration of losing a buyer or tenant. Consider making early with a property solicitor who can assist you in pulling together all the necessary information to help you make that head start.
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