Commercial Building Surveying Services: Hospitality
Our building surveyors and structural engineers are experienced in surveying pubs, restaurants and takeaways, small guest houses and large hotels.
As well as having an in-depth knowledge of the fabric and structure of these buildings, we understand how the features of the building need to run in a successful hospitality business.
Hospitality Surveys and Engineering Services from Allcott Commercial
Of course, our reports contain comprehensive insight into condition and structure, along with costed recommendations for repairs and maintenance and advice from our in-house structural engineers. But they also include tailored advice on refurbishment schemes, cellars and damp, balcony condition, fire safety, suitability of heating and electrical services and disabled access.
Across our service types, there are several things that we commonly see in hospitality buildings:
Large cellars are common in pubs but are also often found in hotels and restaurants. They are frequently damp, but how this is managed depends on the extent of the problem and the intended use of the cellar. Often, a certain level of damp in a cellar or basement is acceptable and can be managed through a regular redecoration programme. Expensive tanking is often not needed if the cellar is simply used for storage; however, if the space is needed for other uses, tanking is often needed. Our surveyors will discuss the options with you so that you can accurately plan and budget.
Fire safety is important in any property, and even more so in a building with commercial kitchens and residential/guest room spaces. Because many of the buildings we survey have not been refurbished for many years, we frequently find that fire detection and fireproofing falls below current standards.
Similarly, disability and access are key considerations for any building being accessed by the public, and again we often find that facilities and access need improvement, whether that’s by increasing door widths or providing ramps. Fortunately, many new owners plan on refurbishment after taking on a building, which provides a great opportunity for improving fire safety and disabled access cost-effectively.
The hotels we survey typically have a significant amount of mechanical and electrical equipment needed to provide sufficient heating and hot water. We will advise on the age and condition of the services, and whether modernisation should be considered to reduce running costs. We will also assess whether power distribution and switching meet your requirements, and we can arrange full M&E inspections alongside the building survey if required.
Lastly, many of the pubs and hotels we survey are in very old buildings, often dating back several centuries. Our surveyors are trained in heritage assessments and can advise on the appropriate methods and materials to use in repairs to both maintain the character of the building and remedy issues in the most effective way. We can also advise on listed building consents and regulations if you are planning to carry out any significant works.
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Our building surveying and structural engineering services
Commercial building surveys for hospitality properties are often carried out when someone is planning to buy a property or take on a lease (pre-acquisition).
We are often also asked to carry out surveys across a series of properties; these stock condition surveys are done for clients with portfolios of pubs, restaurants or hotels, who want to understand the repair and maintenance needs across their entire group of properties. We can also provide planned preventative maintenance schedules, to help you budget over the coming decade.
Whatever the reason for the building survey, Allcott Commercial’s chartered surveyors will ensure that you get a thorough inspection, conducted in line with RICS, BCIS and the current version of the NRM guidance. The state of the entire building is covered, from the cellars and balconies to the roof and chimneys. Loft spaces, internal and external aspects, car parks, gardens and outbuildings are all assessed.
Our reports are detailed, comprehensive and tailored to your needs. As well as including in-depth information on the condition and structure of the building, along with supporting photographs, our surveyors will also comment on harmful materials that might be present, any potential legal or environmental issues and whether specialist assessments need to take place.
Leases are common in hospitality, especially with public houses. Dilapidations claims at the end of a lease are equally common. Allcott Commercial supports landlords with interim and terminal schedules of dilapidations, so that they can claim against the tenant for any breaches of contract.
We are experienced in the Dilapidations Protocol legislation, and we provide advice on the value that can legally be claimed at the end of a pub or restaurant lease, and when a claim is valid or invalid. If a dispute does arise, we carry out negotiations on behalf of landlords and support them through the process.
When taking on the lease of a restaurant, pub or hotel, we would always recommend a schedule of condition. These are photographic reports that record the state of repair of each element of the property at the very start of the lease. Any major issues can be used to negotiate the terms of the lease, to limit the tenant’s liability for those parts of the building. Perhaps most importantly, a schedule of condition can be used to defect against a landlord’s dilapidations claims at lease-end.
If you have been served a dilapidations claim by your landlord, our surveyors can help by putting together a Scott schedule. This is a schedule of dilapidations carried out on behalf of the tenant, to support the dispute of any unreasonable claims. Our surveyors also support tenants with dilapidations negotiations, agreeing on a monetary settlement in place of tenants carrying out remedial works themselves. If available, we use schedules of condition to support tenants’ cases; we also look closely at the lease terms and the dilapidations that have been served, to see what can be defended to reduce the tenant’s costs.
Our surveyors will advise on the suitability of any proposed structural works, but if you want a more detailed assessment of load-bearing structures, along with structural designs and calculations, our structural engineers can help. Experienced in producing calculations for hospitality refurbishment schemes, they will walk you through the process, making sure that your alterations are safe and structurally sound. We also produce designs for mezzanines and can assess existing structures if you are planning to change their use.
If you are planning significant works, we can support you with project management and contract administration. We cover all stages of the process, from feasibility and SOW preparation to tendering and monitoring the progress and standard of the works. We do everything we can to ensure that the works stay on time and on budget, and pride ourselves on making the process as smooth as possible for our clients.
Hospitality Surveys: Case studies
Brief: Conduct a building survey ahead of our client signing the lease.
Property: Traditionally-constructed pub in an urban setting.
Instructed by: Prospective tenant.
Brief: Carry out a pre-acquisition survey of a large hotel and spa near Bath.
Property: Heritage hotel building and spa facility.
Instructed by: Director of the company purchasing the hotel.