Selling a commercial property? Do your homework first

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Retail shops, strata titled commercial offices, standalone office buildings, industrial sheds, industrial land – these are some of the different kinds of commercial property. Each type has its own features which need to be considered when making the decision to sell.

Not doing your homework can end up costing a seller dearly where a buyer wants to walk away or wants to try a bit of post-contract price negotiation.

Here’s a few examples:-

  1. Always check the lease carefully before going to contract. If the lease gives the tenant the first right of refusal to buy the property and misses out because the seller ignores it and sells anyway, then the disappointed tenant could have a claim against the seller for damages, or even try to prevent the sale from going ahead, depending on the circumstances.
  2. Unregistered easements are surprisingly common, ranging from overhead powerlines to rights of way and customary access rights. These need to be identified and disclosed.
  3. If the property is on the contaminated land register and the buyer doesn’t specifically accept this in the contract, the buyer can usually terminate.
  4. In the standard terms of contracts (aka the fine print), sellers give warranties relating to things such as body corporate matters, outstanding notices to comply with regulations, and other features of the property. 
  5. Telecommunications tower leases protect the rights of telecom companies for infrastructure on a property and provide for rent to be paid to the owner. However, I have seen this rent revenue not being treated clearly in the contract, causing disagreement between buyer and seller.

Are you selling or buying a commercial property?

Sellers and buyers should always plan ahead by getting legal advice before signing a contract. 

At FC Lawyers, our commercial and property team have handled thousands of contracts and can give you peace of mind and sound advice.

Contact our team today to discuss your commercial property needs.

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