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If you own a commercial property or are thinking of investing in a commercial property with a view to letting the property out you should consider investing by way of a SIPP or a SSAS.


A SIPP stands for Self Invested Personal pension and a SSAS is small self administered scheme.


My clients who have invested through such pension schemes already either own the property and let it to their company or are buying it with a view to letting it to their company. What happens then is that the rent from their company is invested into their pension scheme.


The benefits of investing through a SIPP or SSAS include:-


– contributions into the scheme receive tax relief

– the rent received by the pension scheme is not subject to income tax

– the property when sold has not capital gains tax liability

– in most circumstances there will be no Inheritance tax liability on death

– the ownership of the property prevents the pension being an asset that could be claimed in bankruptcy


If you are thinking of investing in a commercial property by way of a SIPP or a SSAS I would be happy to handle the legal part of the transaction for you at a fixed fee price. please feel free to call me on 01623 663244

Christie Limb






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Commercial, commercial property, Conveyancing, Uncategorized    No Comments

imagesCAX34LB7Investing by SIPP and SSAS

 What are they?

A SIPP is a self invested personal pension and a SSAS is small self administered scheme.

Why are they of interest?

They provide for some a tax efficent way of investing.

Why look at investing by way of a SIPP or a SSAS

– growth is free from CGT

– tax relief at the individual or company’s highest rate

– rental income received by a pension scheme attracts no UK income tax

– on retirement 25% of the pension fund can be paid as a tax free lump sum

– on death before retirement the whole payment under the pension fund could be paid as a tax free lump sum i.e. no inheritance tax

The difference between a SIPP and a SSAS


small occupational pension scheme set up by the directors

– members are usually employees or directors of the employer

– each member has a a notional share of the SSAS funds

– more flexible on investment

– can lend to the company


SIPP is a personal pensions set up by an insurance company or specialist SIPP operator.

– open to anyone

– usually a minimum fund size

-There are usually higher running cost


Christie Limb

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Commercial, commercial property, Landlord, Lease, Uncategorized    No Comments

I often get asked about VAT on commercial properties. Commercial properties are exempt from VAT however this exemption can be waived.

It is important for a tenant to check at the early stages of the lease negotiations as to whether or not VAT  is payable. If it is then VAT at the appropriate rate will be payable on top of the rent. If the tenant is registered for VAT this is not much of an issue it will just effect cash flow in that the tenant will have to pay the VAT out and then reclaim the VAT payment back. The problem is when the tenant is not VAT registered as they will pay VAT on the rent and will not be able to claim it back.

There is then the additional problem in that even if VAT is not payable when you initially tkae on the lease it could become payable during the term of the lease as the landlord can opt to charge VAT on the property at any time.

Is there anything the tenant can do?

Yes. In the initial negotiations if VAT is payable and the tenant is not VAT registered he can try and negotiate a lower rent

If the VAT  is not payable at the start of the lease and the tenant wants to ensure that this remains the same throughout the term of the lease, then the tenant can a negotiate that a clause be included in the lease to state that during the term the landlord will not opt to charge VAT.

Any landlord realistically will wish to avoid both of the options above this is why it is important for a tenant at the early stages of negotiations to instruct a solicitor so that the tenant is aware of all the options available to them and  to ensure that they negotiate the best rental terms.

If you are a tenant and are thinking of taking on a lease please feel free to call me on 01623 663244 and I would be happy to assist with any enquires.


Christie Limb

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commercial property, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches    No Comments

Caveat emptor. An old Latin phrase well known to us property lawyers!  Roughly translated it means ‘Buyer beware!’.

In the modern world when everyday purchases of goods are heavily protected by wide ranging consumer laws, it is easy to overlook this long standing principle, but it is still very much in force when buying  land or property as demonstrated in the recent high profile case of Hardy vs Griffiths.



The case involved the purchase of a property for £3.6 million.  The buyers proceeded to exchange of contracts (the point in the transaction when they legally committed to buy the property) without the benefit of reading the results of a building survey.

The survey actually highlighted that the property suffered from damp and rot.  On discovery of this the buyers attempted to pull out of the purchase on the basis that the state of repair of the house had been misrepresented to them in replies to enquiries  given by the seller.  The sellers issued court proceedings for breach of contract over the buyer’s refusal to continue with the purchase.


The court found that the sellers had not attempted to hide the damp and act fraudulently. The sellers simply answered the relevant question saying they were not aware of any damp or rot issues but that as it was an old property their reply could not be taken to be a warranty (a legal promise) as to the condition of the property.  The Court found in the sellers’ favour and ordered the buyers to pay the sellers the cost of the deposit agreed in the sum of £150,000 and damages for breach of contract of £210,000.


This high profile and rather expensive example serves to demonstrate that the rule of caveat emptor applies when purchasing property and land and that the buyer accepts the physical state of property at the time of exchanging contracts to buy it.  This not new law.   If you are purchasing property or land, the onus is very much on you to investigate, search and investigate some more so that it is clear exactly what you are buying!


For a fixed fee quote for acting on your behalf in any residential or commercial property or land transaction, call us on 01623 656200.






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Auctions, Commercial, commercial property, Property, Property Auctions, purchase    No Comments

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If you are planning to sell a commercial property at auction you need to think about the following:
1. CPSE replies (commercial property standard enquiries) these are a list of questions like the property information forms on a residential property that provides potential buyers with important information about the property such as boundaries and maintenance,  planning, environmental matters.  The issues that seem to cause the most difficulty for sellers is planning and evidence of planning permission for use along with VAT and capital allowances. It is important for the buyer to know whether VAT is payable on the purchase price, likewise a buyer may be wanting to claim capital allowances and needs information from the seller to assess such.It is better to get these answered as quickly as possible as the sooner the more information the prospective buyers have on the property.
2. Searches , in properties not sold at auction the buyer will arrange for searches such as local, drainage and environmental  to be completed. When a property is being placed into auction I would advise the seller to provide as much information as possible to prospective buyers. I would also suggest that the seller request that the buyer pays back to them the cost of the searches.
3. If the property is subject to tenancies/lease copies of the tenancies/leases will need to be provided and referred to in the contract so that any buyer knows that the property is not being sold with no one in it. Further details of the rents paid and whether there are any rent arrears will be required
It is important with an auction property to get as much information together as quickly as so that you are able to attract as many buyers as possible.
I have lots of experience in dealing with commercial properties being sold at auction and would be happy to provide you with a fixed fee quote for the work.
Please feel free to call me on 01623 448302 or email me on climb@fidler.co.uk



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commercial property    No Comments


The recent enforcement of section 144 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment Act 2012 on the 1st September 2012 has resulted in a decrease of squatters in residential properties.  However there has been an increase in squatters in commercial premises.

The above legislation does not currently cover this and this has led to calls for the law to be extended to cover commercial premises.

Presently if you discover a squatter in your premises you are unlikely to receive any assistance from the police without clear evidence that a criminal offence has been committed and the property owner will have no option but to seek to pursue court proceedings with the cost and delay that would follow on from this. Realistically, from start to finish several weeks could have elapsed after which damage could have occurred and the landowner losing income.  There are also considerations regarding insurance of the property and any obligations the landowner may have towards their Lender (if they have one).  

There does not seem to be any reason why residential property should get the protection and commercial property does not however the costs to carry out this change may mean that it is unlikely to occur any time soon.

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Today the Chancellor has launched the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS). This will be providing up to £20 billion of government guarantees on unsecured borrowing by banks to smaller businesses across the UK (with an annual turnover of up to £50 million). As the government are not guaranteeing the individual loans the banks retain the credit risk and therefore the usual credit assessments will apply.

A number of banks have signed up for the scheme and the businesses who take out a NLGS loan will receive a discount of 1 percentage point compared to the interest rate that they would otherwise have received outside of the NLGS.


Christie Limb

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