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As Chartered Surveyors we receive many general enquiries about property.

We specialise in specific disciplines within the property sector but outline below a selection of frequently asked questions.

Please note that our responses are of a general nature and should not be relied upon without taking specific advice and no liability shall arise based on any reliance placed on these general guidance notes.

Property and planning legislation and case law is constantly changing so if in doubt please call our office and we will be happy to see if we can provide the specific advice you need or can refer you on to an appropriate professional if the matter is outside of our area of expertise - please feel free to call and discuss your needs on a no obligation basis:

Q1 - I am interested in a commercial property but it is being advertised as being “Outside the Act”, what does this mean?

A – Typically tenants of business premises are afforded the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 which means that on expiry (with a few exceptions) they have a statutory entitlement to a new tenancy. If “contracted out” then the tenant does not automatically have the right of renewal.

Q2 – Please can you explain the difference between sole agency, joint agency and multi agency?

A – if an agent is appointed on a sole agency arrangement then they are entitled to commission on completion of a sale or letting to a party that they have introduced to your property.

If you appoint joint sole agents then the total commission is likely to be slightly higher and the fee is typically split between the agents in agreed proportions. 

In the event that you appoint more than one agent on a multi-agency basis then the commission is likely to be higher still, but only the introducing agent gets a fee – ie “winner takes all”

Q3 – Please can you explain the difference between “sole agency” and “sole selling rights”?

A – a “sole agent” will be entitled to a commission if a party they introduce to your property buys or leases from you (during or after their term of engagement) whereas an agent with sole selling rights will be entitled to commission in the event that any party, whether or not introduced by the agent, buys or leases during the period of appointment (and sometimes afterwards).

Q4 – Why should I be concerned about using a firm of Chartered Surveyors?

A – THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS (RICS) is the pre-eminent organisation for professionals working in the land property and construction sectors in the UK and around the world. RICS regulation imposes strict professional, business and ethical standards on all of its members.

Q5 – My accountants/solicitors have asked me to obtain a Red Book Valuation of my property assets, can RMW Knight Chartered Surveyors help?

A - Yes, we are able to provide valuations that comply with the current RICS Valuation guidelines although before accepting an instruction we will need to know the purpose of the valuation and the location of the subject property.  

Q6 – I am planning to take on commercial premises that appear to meet my needs, and at a rent my business can afford, why should I take professional advice?

A – although the premises you have identified may meet your physical criteria it may be that you will have outgrown them in a couple of years and you will need to be satisfied that the lease terms are appropriate so that you can assign or underlet,  and are at a rental that is in line with current market levels.

 Q7 – My business occupies a property that is owned by my SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) and I need a valuation – can RMW Knight help?

A – Yes, we are capable of providing capital and rental valuations in accordance with RICS Guidelines for SIPP purposes of most types of commercial property.

Q8 – I need a mortgage valuation for a commercial property, can you help?

A – Sorry we do not carry out valuations for secured lending purposes and we recommend that you speak to your proposed lender who are likely to require the borrower to use one of their approved “panel”

Q9 – Can RMW Knight provide me with a survey of a business property?

A – Yes, we are able to provide a variety of reports including Building Surveys, Schedules of Condition and Schedules of Dilapidations.

Q10 – If I instruct your firm to sell/let premises on our behalf how long will I be tied in for and what will I owe you?

A – We do not have a minimum period of appointment so if you are unhappy with the service we provide you are at liberty to instruct an alternative, or an additional, agent. We work on a No Sale/No Fee basis – so in we are unable to find you a buyer/tenant then you will owe us nothing.

A commission will typically be due on completion of a letting (at 10% of the annual rental) or a sale (at 1.5% of the sale price).

Q11 – If I instruct your firm to sell/let premises on our behalf how would it be marketed?

We use a wide range of marketing media which will typically include occasional advertising in Mid Somerset Series Commercial Property supplement, Western Gazette, Dorset Echo and Mendip Times together with promotion our own website www.rmwknight.com, Focus, EGi Propertylink, EACH, and Intosomerset.

We also prepare A4 property particulars which are regularly mailed out to our existing applicant databases (from Yeovil and Wells offices) as well as all local and regional commercial agents.   

We are able to organise additional bespoke advertising on behalf of our clients in other publications such as Property News South West, Property Week, Estates Gazette or other relevant trade publications although these costs will be typically recharged to the client at cost.

We will recommend "saleboards" when appropriate.

Q12 – I have been unable to reach a negotiated settlement with my landlord/tenant in connection with a rent review – what are my options?

A – Most commercial leases have a disputes resolution mechanism which will involve referring the matter to a third party for determination in the event of an impasse. The merits of referral will depend on the stage of the market cycle and as to whether the third party is to act as expert or arbitrator. We are able to provide tactical advice as well as prepare submissions if necessary. In some circumstances the costs of referral might be recoverable from the losing party.

Q13 – I am starting up a business and will be intending to rent premises – is there anything I need to consider in advance?

A - Most landlords will expect any commercial tenant to provide evidence of a track record (last 3 years accounts) as well as two trade references, a landlord reference and a bank reference. A start up business will be expected to provide a business plan as well as some other form of security (rent deposit and/or personal or bank guarantee).




Q14- I am purchasing a residential property- should I get a survey?

A- In order to protect your financial investment in the property you should commission a professional survey. We can provide you with a Building Survey or an RICS HomeBuyers report, depending on the nature of the property and your own requirements.