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Pre-Acquisition Surveys

Pre-acquisition surveys are most frequently carried out for property investors and purchasers, so that they can be sure that the property they are buying is sound and appropriate for their needs.

Our RICS chartered commercial building surveyors bring a breadth of experience and professional knowledge to every pre-acquisition survey.

This ensures that prospective owners and tenants have a thorough understanding of the property they wish to acquire, and that they are fully prepared for costs and other liabilities associated with the acquisition.

Do I need a pre-acquisition survey?

Pre-acquisition surveys (sometimes referred to as condition surveys) are most frequently carried out for property investors and purchasers, so that they can be sure that the property they are buying is sound and appropriate for their needs. Prospective tenants also instruct pre-acquisition surveys, particularly when entering into substantial leases. These surveys inform clients on the condition of the property, any structural deficiencies and the extent and costs of repairs and maintenance that are required. This allows buyers to anticipate any potential problems and plan accordingly.

Whether the property you are acquiring is a period retail premises, a small industrial unit or a large portal frame warehouse, a pre-acquisition survey will ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the building’s condition and suitability, and also the liabilities you are taking on.

What is a pre-acquisition survey?

Pre-acquisition surveys are comprehensive assessments of a commercial property’s condition and structure. They allow you to understand the current state and structural integrity of the property, whether it is suitable for the way you plan to use it and what future costs and other liabilities that you will be responsible for. This means that you can make an informed decision on how much the property is worth. A survey report also provides a level of protection if anything goes wrong.

Your survey report will include details of the building extent, construction and location, and detailed assessments of the internal and external condition and structure of the property, along with comprehensive photographs. It will also include information on any deleterious or harmful materials (e.g. asbestos and RAAC) that were identified, advice on legal compliance issues, consideration of environmental hazards and advice on whether specialist investigations. such as drainage surveys or land contamination assessments, need to be carried out.

The information in the survey report is frequently used to negotiate with the vendor or landlord. The information revealed can also be used to mitigate liability that may otherwise fall to a tenant when the lease comes to and end, or to the property owner when they want to sell-on the property in the future. In this way, pre-acquisition surveys often end up saving clients far more than the original outlay for the survey.

For these reasons, it is important to use a chartered surveyor to carry out the survey. The RICS and CIOB have strict codes of standards that surveyors must abide by, such as impartiality technical ability and indemnity, ensuring that all surveys are carried out to a gold standard. This means that reports from a chartered surveyor can be reliably used in price negotiations and can be trusted by all parties.

Allcott Commercial’s surveys

The building survey is only part of the data required when considering property acquisition. However its significance must not be underestimated as it assesses the risks associated with a building which may affect its suitability for future use.

We adopt a flexible and innovative approach to property acquisition because we understand that no two clients’ requirements are the same. Our services are offered on a bespoke basis to meet a client’s specific needs when acquiring both freehold and leasehold property.

Our acquisition surveys can be combined with schedules of condition for new leaseholders, or technical due diligence for those who will become responsible for maintaining the building’s structure. We can also review lease covenants if required, and advise accordingly.

We look to provide advice that will alert you to issues that will affect the building both as an investment or asset. We advise on issues such as:

  • suitability for fit-out
  • space utilisation
  • access
  • ease of sub-division
  • security
  • service charge levels
  • DDA issues
  • compliance with statute tenancy issues
  • planned maintenance.
Our surveyors also carry out commercial valuations, to help you ensure you are making the right investment.

Find out more about our commercial building surveying and valuation services

Example commercial building survey report
Example pre-acquisition survey report

Want to know more?

Like to discuss a potential project with our consultants or get advice on any aspect of building surveying or engineering?

Commercial building surveys: case studies

Office building inspection

Brief: Carry out a pre-acquisition building inspection.

Property: Standalone office building on a business park near Warrington.

Instructed by: The prospective purchaser.

office building survey merseyside

Pub survey

Brief: Full structural survey of a traditionally-constructed pub.

Property: Pub with cellar and two additional stories.

Instructed by: Client planning to become the pub tenant.

Bristol pub survey

Retail property

Brief: To understand the condition and structural integrity of a commercial retail property in Bristol.

Property: 19th century, 3-storey mid-terrace property in a poor state of repair.

Instructed by: Construction company director.

Bristol commercial survey

Industrial warehouse unit

Brief: Pre-acquisition survey to assess what works would be required to bring two industrial units up to the required standard. 

Property: Two warehouses totalling nearly 30,000 sq. feet on an industrial estate near Birmingham.

Instructed by: Stainless steel product distributer.

Pre-acquisition survey industrial unit

Victorian commercial retail premises

Brief: Pre-purchase survey of a 19th century building in Liverpool. 

Property: Victorian terrace with a ground floor used for retail, and two additional storeys in use as residential flats.

Instructed by: Merseyside client.

retail unit survey Liverpool

Office building

Brief: Pre-acquisition survey of a refurbished office unit in Manchester.

Property: Mid-terrace, three-storey office building.

Instructed by: Client purchasing the property.

Manchester office building that our surveyors inspected

Looking for residential / home survey services?

Looking for a RICS Level 2 or Level 3 Building Survey or Specific Defect Survey for a privately-owned residential property? Our team of residential surveyors and engineers can help. Visit or Get an Instant Quote.

Alternatively, Allcott Commercial provides surveying services for housing associations and other residential property owners.

We're here to help

If you would like to discuss a potential project with our consultants or get advice on any aspect of building surveying or engineering, please don’t hesitate to complete our contact form, call us on 0333 202 6386, or contact one of our regional offices.