Date: 20 October 2017

Move on up – Commercial Property Tips

commercial property
The UK’s commercial property market is booming. Ready to invest in Sheffield? Here’s what you need to know.

Whether it’s a massive space for your thriving business or somewhere to launch your start-up or an investment, the commercial property scene is booming.

According to the British Property Federation, (BPF) commercial property accounts for 13 per cent of UK built stock and is valued at £871bn – that’s the equivalent of 40 per cent of the value of the UK stock market.
But while you might be familiar with what to look for when buying a residential property, investing in a commercial unit throws up a whole new raft of questions.

From the right location to the ‘must have’ features to suit your particular business requirements, getting a mortgage, to staying on the right side of planning rules, hunting for the right commercial base is never completely straight forward.
Ready to move on? Here’s our ‘must know’ guide to your new commercial property.

Start your search
It sounds obvious, but unlike the residential property market where it’s easy to find homes for sale, tracking down available business premises takes a little more research.
A good place to start is Business Sheffield, Sheffield City Council’s business support arm. As well as offering a range of support for businesses, its website lists commercial properties, from small spaces ideal for just a handful of employees, up to 100,000 sq ft plus. Also, research your local commercial agents, who will have specialist local knowledge to assist with moving to Sheffield, relocating or expanding your business property holding.

Know your needs
If you’re a business owner starting your search for your first commercial property, or you have outgrown your present premises, take time to list all your needs – location and size are just part of the equation.
Consider how much car parking space you’ll need for visitors and staff.
Do you need extra security for high value items, or space for delivery vans? Is noise from your business likely to affect neighbouring properties? What are the planning restrictions in the area? Will you need to apply for planning permission for your proposed use of your chosen property?
Be aware of how shifts in technology might affect your business too – will the rise in homeworking mean you need less space for staff? And does the property have the facilities to cope with your IT and any infrastructure requirements?

Fund your purchase
If you have a SIPP – a self-invested personal pension – you could use it to borrow funds to buy your commercial property. That comes with a range of tax incentives, making it a popular choice for many commercial investors.
Commercial mortgages typically start from £25,000 – right up to six figure sums. You need to make sure you fully explore the financial options available, to ensure you get the deal that best suits your needs. Consider a commercial mortgage broker if necessary, and make sure the broker is fully aware of your requirements.

Be aware
Many investors see the potential in investing in a commercial property to lease as investment property, however property fraud is a rising problem – so be on your guard.
Fraudsters may offer a ‘get rich quick’ investment, suggesting placing your cash in a property could lead to massive returns. Or you might be offered huge discounts on properties which are still to be built, only to find they don’t go ahead.
Buy-to-let fraud is another problem area, when businesses offer to source and manage properties on investors’ behalf, only for them to take massive payments for non-existent properties.
As with most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Whether you’re looking to purchase or lease a new commercial base for your business to occupy, or seeking commercial investment property to lease out, it is vital to speak to experts who understand the local market.

For all your Commercial property needs, our expert Liz Harris can help. Contact: elizabethharris@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk

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