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Buying & Selling

Commercial Property

Meet Jeremy Burke

We have worked with many of our clients for years (and some for generations) advising them on buying and selling commercial properties and land for development purposes.

Our team has extensive experience of dealing with a wide range of assets such as bare land for agricultural use or for development, vacant premises, the purchase of business assets in which the bulk of the value is in the commercial property or even change of use transactions for example, converting offices into flats.

Every property transaction will have its own unique considerations and our commercial property experts have the experience to identify the issues and offer you advice. Common concerns over buying and selling property could include:

  • Does the property have a sufficient right of access or right to receive or lay services over neighbouring property?
  • Are there restrictive covenants preventing the buyer’s desired use of the property?
  • Has the property got the necessary planning permission for the use of the property?
  • Do search results identify any breaches of planning, any enforcement notices, any contamination, any risk of flooding?

There are several types of sale and purchase agreements.

Land and property development agreements

At its simplest a sale and purchase agreement can be an unconditional agreement setting out all the terms such as the price, the parties and the property.

However, if the property does not have the desired planning permission the agreement will most likely be one of the following:

  • A conditional contract, whereby within a set period of time following the grant of permission the developer is contractually obliged to complete the purchase of the property.
  • An option agreement, whereby in consideration of a premium, the seller agrees not to sell the property to anyone other than the developer for an agreed period of time. Often the developer is obliged to make a planning application but the developer is not obliged to purchase the property, even if planning permission has been obtained.
  • A promotion agreement, whereby the promoter will prepare and submit a planning application on behalf of the owner and will find a purchaser for the property after planning permission has been granted . In return, the promoter receives a share of the sale price.

Conditional contracts and option agreements can also be used in other situations where the parties are waiting on a future event, such as taking premises back from a tenant or acquiring an adjoining property.

Transfer deeds

Transfer deeds create rights and obligations that bind a property beyond the life of a contract and are often complex and detailed documents. Where a seller retains some neighbouring property the transfer deed can:

  • Create new positive covenants or obligations to undertake future tasks such as surfacing a road, erecting a fence or contributing towards the cost of maintaining such items of this nature.
  • Create new negative covenants or restrictions against doing certain things in the future such as limiting what a property can be used for or preventing a nuisance or not obstructing a road, etc.
  • Grant or retain easements ( rights over land e.g. rights of way, rights of drainage).
Overage agreements

An overage, also known as a claw-back or uplift, is a positive covenant that entitles a former owner to share in the uplift in value of property when certain events such as gaining planning permission happen.

For further advice on buying and selling commercial property or purchasing land for development purposes, contact a member of our Commercial Property team based in Canterbury, Ashford and Herne Bay.

Our Experts

Jeremy Burke

Head of Department
Commercial Property

David Redgate

Commercial Property

Sophie Robins

Commercial Property

Simon Stempien

Commercial Property

Usman Miah

Associate Solicitor
Commercial Property

Beth Norman

Associate (FCILEx)
Commercial Property

Thomas Picknell

Assistant Solicitor
Commercial Property

Hannah Taggart

Commercial Property

Clare Taylor

Trainee Solicitor
Commercial Property

Lauren Jones

Assistant Solicitor
Commercial Property

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