Conveyancing is a legal process crucial to the completion of any property or land purchase or sale, and while many have previously attempted to take on such a responsibility themselves, it is almost always strongly advisable to get in touch with a capable solicitor that can handle the process.
Commercial conveyancing, as the term suggests, involves the sale or purchase of commercial property, with many of the ground rules for this type of conveyancing being the same as for residential property.
In the following brief guide, we consider the conveyancing process that applies for commercial properties in the UK, whether for a shop, restaurant, pub, office, retail unit or other business.
Those purchasing commercial premises can expect their solicitor to first investigate the title to the property and commission any necessary pre-contract searches. On the buyer’s solicitor receiving the draft contract from the seller’s solicitor, they should approve it and raise any further enquiries that may be necessary given the search results and/or answers to standard commercial property enquiry forms known as ‘CPSE Enquiries’. It is also at this early stage that as a buyer, your solicitor may address such ancillary matters as mortgage finance and Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The initial conveyancing process for those selling a commercial property, meanwhile, entails the solicitor investigating the legal title to their property, followed by the preparation of the Contract for Sale. Depending on the given transaction type, the seller can also expect to be asked by their solicitor to complete one or more CPSE enquiry forms.
Also necessary on the seller’s side may be details of the property’s fixtures and fittings, after which, the buyer and seller may finally exchange contracts, with the buyer paying over any agreed deposit. This is the stage at which the transaction becomes legally binding on each party.
Even after this, there remains work for the solicitors involved to do. The buyer’s solicitor, for instance, will need to raise the necessary pre-completion searches, in addition to preparing the Transfer Deed for the approval of the seller’s solicitor. At this point, the buyer will also be asked to prepare the balance of the purchase monies ready for completion.
Meanwhile, the seller’s solicitor will need to approve the Transfer Deed that they receive from the solicitor of the buyer. It will also fall to them to give the necessary undertakings to discharge any mortgage to the property, after which, the transaction can finally be completed.
This completion stage involves the buyer forwarding the balance of the purchase price to the seller, so that both parties can complete the transaction. As part of this process, the buyer’s solicitor will pay any applicable Stamp Duty Land Tax, in addition to – if necessary – registering the transaction with the Land Registry.
This simply leaves the seller’s solicitor with the responsibility of settling any charges on the property and transferring any remaining funds to their client.