Checklist When Buying A Commercial Property

It is important when buying a commercial building that you have every area covered. Our checklist will provide a simple guideline.

1) Waterproofing. Showers and wet areas are one of the biggest failures in buildings. If renovations have been carried out by a licensed tradesperson there will be a warranty. This can be determined by obtaining a waterproofing certificate.

2) Falling from heights. If you are buying a commercial property to rent out be aware that legislation requires compliance for bedroom windows with a floor height over 2 MT to have a safety restriction device put in place to stop children falling out. Latches can be installed to stop windows opening past a certain point.

3) Asbestos is a health hazard. Most commercial buildings that are built up to the 80s or 90s can contain asbestos. Asbestos comes in two forms. Friable and non friable. Nonfriable such as wall sheeting or ceiling sheets won’t pose a threat if left painted and untouched. Friable means loose and can come (very rarely) in the form of insulation and so forth. Asbestos needs to be tested to be confirmed. Removal by a licensed contractor is advised. Check with the Strata or Vendor to ensure an asbestos register and management plan is in place.

4) Electrical. Some older buildings may not have an electrical safety switch. It is important to ensure a safety switch is installed to prevent any risk associated with an electrical fault. Safety switches are designed to trip the power to prevent injury or death. An electrician should be engaged to test all power and electrical safety with the building.

5) Swimming Pools. When buying a commercial property you should ensure you are provided with a pre-purchase pool safety certificate. This report does not constitute a pool inspection, Contact the local council or vendor.

6) Renovations, Certification, Not certified and so forth. Ensure any renovations and additions are approved by council. Contact numbers can be obtained via our website Ensure with the local health department that any commercial Kitchen areas are approved.

7) Plumbing and septic tanks. Some shires and local councils have certain sewerage waste requirements. Ensure the commercial property you buy meets these requirements. It is advised to engage a licensed plumber to inspect the sewerage system prior to purchase.

8) How much will it cost to fix? A building and pest inspection will only identify the issues associated with the scope of the inspection. We recommend you obtain 3 quotations from local tradespersons if works are recommended to be carried out.

9) Fire Safety. Dividing walls in multi-lot or duplex buildings should have adequate fire separation wall to the underside of the roof. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers save lives. Ensure the property you purchase has adequate operating smoke alarms and a fire safety plan in place. This inspection does not test or certify smoke detectors or fire safety. Please contact Douse Fire Safety 1300 669 406.

10) Gas. Commercial buildings such as restaurants may have gas supply. It is important to ensure that a gas certificate is provided by a licensed gas fitter or plumber to ensure adequacy and safety.

11) Strata title management. Ensure that if you are purchasing a property that involves strata the strata has a adequate funding to carry out future repairs or maintenance to the building. Please contact your legal aide or conveyancer for further advice.

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