Schedule of Condition on a
Public House near Tewkesbury,
Independent Building Surveyors
We are experienced independent building Surveyors who are knowledgeable in carrying out structural surveys on all types, styles and eras of buildings. As Surveyors we have carried out many, many surveys, Schedules of Condition and Property Reports on public houses over the years highlighting property issues to our clients and helping with Schedules of Condition to limit their liability at the end of the Lease/License.
Please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat on property issues.
Free phone 0800 298 5424
Schedule of Condition on a public house
We were recently asked to carry out a Schedule of Condition on a charming Public House in a village on the outskirts of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire for a husband and wife who had decided to turn their hands to running a Pub. The Pub is located in a delightful area set in stunning countryside with many Tudor buildings and coffee shops.
Our client is a stonemason and builder and his wife, who is going to be running the Public House is a housewife and has lived in the village forever and a day. The husband is a very keen sportsman in the local cricket club and other sporting activities.
The couple advised that they had recently attended a British Institute of Inn Keepers course, which is a great course to help them prepare for their new venture. The couple, who previously had no experience or knowledge of running a Pub, have subsequently gained knowledge successfully completing The British Institute of Inn Keepers course. The stonemason and builder is also a developer running his own business and the plan is for the wife to run the new Pub business.
Amendments to attract new customers to the Pub
Our client explained to us that they are very keen to change the Pub to attract a broader range of clientele and in order to attract new clients they chose the Pub as there is a section of the Pub that can be separated to be made into a coffee shop and other treats such as plans to offer breakfasts.
Our client advised us that their children are going to help them with the Pub running the coffee shop as well as helping with other areas of the business.
Other than the coffee shop scenario the Pub will be run very much along the lines of the old Licensee who has been running the Pub literally for decades. The old licensee is a very experienced publican and restaurant owner and manager with the Pub we were asked to survey having the restaurant sub-Let as a Chinese restaurant which amounts to approximately one third of the Pub with the remainder a traditional beer Pub with a very good, as far as we could see, volume of beer.
The new owners have all sorts of plans for the Pub for the future.
What does our survey of a Public House consist of?
Our surveys are tailor made to the client's requirements however they do look at the client's lease liabilities and consider these not only on the day of the survey but also in years to come as well as reporting and advising on problems and how to solve the problems indicating anticipated costs. Our survey helps our clients in many ways including rent negotiations to lower the rent and to lower the premium. Remember it is never too late to renegotiate your rent and rents should be considered as a negotiation where you really can negotiate any element including excluding parts of the Pub or the adjoining properties.
For example in this particular case the original very experienced landlord had excluded the outbuildings from the lease. This was mainly due to there being large visible cracks in the structure which we could literally put our hands into!
The landlord had not had a survey carried out on the Pub when they took on the lease as prior to this the landlord had been on a Tenancy Agreement with the Pub. As such as the landlord had taken on an earlier lease got one of the better lease deals. Over the years as the landlord, breweries and licensing companies have got more experienced with their leases they have amended the leases and fine tuned them to of course ensure that they get the full benefit from them.
Many photographs and surveying sketches
What do the circles and ovals mean in our building surveys and Schedules of Condition?
Good, Bad and Ugly Pub Surveys
Our Pub surveys as well as looking at all the traditional elements that structural surveys look at also offer a Schedule of Condition, which is a record of how the property was when you moved in. A Schedule of Condition is then attached legally to your lease to limit your liabilities and provides a good record of the condition of the Pub for you to refer to when you leave to compare the improvements you have made whilst at the property. In our experience a Schedule of Condition is essential to help to avoid large Dilapidations claims.
Dilapidations claims defined:
This is when the landlord charges you for work, which he believes should have been carried out to honour the requirements of the lease. There are, what are known as covenants (clauses, within the lease that make sure legally you have to carry out work. Generally the lease will have a put and keep clause, which means you have to put and keep the building in good order, which can be very onerous.
Take a look at some of our other surveying articles on:
Have you ever tried reading a Pub lease?
We would say that generally the only people whoever read Pub leases are solicitors that is until the lease comes to an end and a Dilapidations claim is served upon you. Many people then become very interested in the terms of the lease but at this point it really is too late to change anything and is more an understanding.
As the saying goes… You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.
It is an interesting one to discuss as to whether a Pub can be a mixture of things. Many Pubs quite successfully can be a Pub and an eatery but you do have to have both the room and the layout to move into being a Pub with a restaurant so that the restaurant diners do not get interrupted by the Pub activities and equally the Pub activities do not feel so out of place that they go elsewhere.
Whether a Pub can be a Pub and a coffee shop or even a breakfast café again it depends upon the layout of the Pub and the way you want to manage the business and of course your outlook.
Do not overlook potential
We have a Good section within all our surveys to ensure that we consider the potential of the properties and may be alerted to this potential when we talk and listen to our client who are buying the lease on the Pub and advise us about their proposals for the Pub. Or it could be something that we have seen in other Pubs elsewhere for example in this particular case, as it was a village Pub, we recommended that the client should find areas where they could put signs in place so that people will know that the Pub is nearby or just up the road. We once had a client who had signs up that said left, left and left again which was very visible from a main road which had bypassed the town that it once went through.
Other items that could be in the Good section are the potential to extend or develop a Pub or to add new things. We believe that we are realistic as we are well aware that it takes a lot of pints of beer to sell and coffee to be served and food to be cooked to build an extension. Equally we recommend redecoration and different lighting on the outside of the property to make the Pub more appealing during the winter/darker months of the year that we have.
The Bad part of the Pub building structural survey
We, of course, look and advise on matters that we term as Bad, which are generally problems that can be resolved and should be negotiated on as part of taking on the Lease. After all if you do not get the result before you take on the Lease you will then end up carrying the work out to someone else's building although it may have been of benefit to you from a trading point of view you do, of course, have a nagging feeling that you are repairing and improving someone else's property.
We also identify not only the problems but also advise you of the solutions and the costs. Our costings tend to be very good as we do deal with property maintenance and extensions and alterations on a very regular basis.
We will particularly look for high cost items and major problems that will affect how the business will operate, which can be anything from high level work to roofs and chimneys, which are expensive due to the scaffolding alone to flat roof repairs required over the top of toilet areas to Environmental Health Officer potential problems where they may be able to shut the premises or at the very least issue Enforcement Notices. Interestingly we are well aware that may surveys do not cover these types of matters.
Ugly Section of our surveys
The Ugly section of our surveys literally has problems that are show stoppers such as excluding an outbuilding from the Lease due to it being in such poor condition although we may also offer the thoughts that the building should be put on a License which is similar to a Lease but not as onerous and unfortunately you cannot sell it on.
The Ugly section can include such items as woodworm to the structure which will be a future problem within the timescale of your Lease of say five, ten or fifteen years or it could highlight the problems with the Sub Lease that perhaps the existing landlord has taken on without the knowledge of the Head Lease with the brewery or the pub company.
We highly recommend you always make sure when you have a survey, Schedule of Condition or Property Report your meet your Surveyor at the property.
We can email you examples of our Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition
If you are interested in having a Structural Survey and/or a Schedule of Condition we can email you examples of our structural surveys please call us on free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.
We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We can send you examples of Structural Surveys on, we believe, every type of property and era. Property eras are most typically Tudor and Elizabethan, Georgian and Regency, Victorian and Edwardian, War Years, Post War Years, Modern and New.
We have example surveys of every type of commercial property including shops, offices, industrial buildings, leisure buildings such as pubs, sports centres, places of worship and institutional buildings.
Commercial Property Surveyors
If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
The content of the website is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision. Free phone 1stAssociated.com on 0800 298 5424
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