Avoiding The Perils And Pitfalls Of Commercial Property.

James O’Donnell, joint Managing Director of Harold Stock & Co Solicitors outlines some of the key considerations for those dealing with commercial property.

Anybody who has dealt with commercial property will know there are lots of things to consider before purchasing or disposing of premises. Our brief guide outlines some of these and the importance of taking specialist legal advice from the offset.


You must be 100% confident that you understand the title to the property. For buyers, this means checking things like the size of the car park and ensuring that the seller is eligible to sell.


There are a wide range of searches that can be carried out and a good solicitor will advise buyers on the most appropriate.

For properties in and around Ashton it will be necessary to undertake an environmental search. Many local properties were built upon former mill sites, which should have been cleaned up as per conditions granted with planning consent. An environmental search will reveal whether such conditions apply, and allow an investigation as to whether they have been complied with.

Related transactions:

If the transaction involves a lender, understanding the terms of the mortgage and ensuring you can meet them is imperative. For this reason, it makes sense to instruct somebody who can clearly explain the details.

If the property is being purchased for a company SIPP and the business will trade from it, a formal lease must be created. This will contain the terms needed to govern the relationship between the SIPP and the business, including length of tenancy, rent payable and repair and maintenance responsibilities.

Stamp duty land tax:

As well as being payable on the purchase of properties, SDLT is also due on some leases. It’s sensible to take advice at the outset to avoid nasty surprises at a later date.


If you are taking or granting a lease, it’s important to have a formal document drawn up to protect your position; covering not only the basics, but also things like what will happen at the end of the term and if the property becomes uninhabitable.

Harold Stock and Co. Solicitors has a team of highly experienced commercial solicitors with many years’ experience in property and all related commercial matters. The team is led by partner James O’Donnell and works with SMEs, individuals, lenders, commercial landlords and tenants across Manchester and the north-west.

If you would like to arrange a free, informal chat about a commercial matter, please contact James on 01457 836174, email: jod@haroldstock.com or visit www.haroldstock.com

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