Office Property Investment

Fit for Purpose
When choosing an office building as an investment property, the investor should have a clear idea of how the property is to be used. This is because a lender will not grant a mortgage unless they are confident that sufficient income can be generated from the lets to cover the mortgage repayments. An investor, therefore, needs to work out the basis on which the office property will be let.

The Lease
The details specified in the lease must make clear the responsibilities of both owner and tenant. The lease should include information regarding:

  • The length of the lease and conditions for termination or renewal of the lease
  • The parts of the building that are included in the lease
  • The fixtures and fittings included as part of the lease
  • Whether the tenant is responsible for repairs and maintenance
  • Whether the tenant is responsible for payment of business rates
  • Whether the tenant is responsible for payment of buildings insurance premiums

Detailed Costings
When purchasing an office property, it is essential that the costs of making the property usable are calculated carefully and included in the business plan submitted with the mortgage application.

Multiple Tenants
If an office building is let to multiple tenants, the property owner may remain responsible for the public areas of the property such as the main entrance, toilets, lifts, car park, etc. The split of responsibilities between landlord and tenants should be carefully defined in the lease contracts.

Serviced Offices
Serviced office accommodation is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for start-up businesses. The office property owner offers service contracts (often short- term) to interested parties instead of leases on office space. The contract may be just for office space but will often include desks, chairs, computers, telecommunications infrastructure and other office equipment and furnishings. Part-time use of common meeting rooms is also often included. The property owner retains overall responsibility for repairs, maintenance, buildings insurance, business rates and security and allowance for these costs is normally included as part of the service contract.

Summary

  • When purchasing an office property, careful consideration must be given to choosing an office building that is fit for purpose
  • Most mortgage lenders will only grant an office mortgage on the basis of a sound business plan and detailed financial projections
  • Costings of the future use and viability of the office premises must be included in the business plan that is submitted with the mortgage application

Access Commercial Ltd can help with all types of office based mortgages.

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