- Get advice early! It is important to get legal advice early in a transaction to put yourself in the best possible position both for getting matters completed within your desired time frame and ensuring you understand the implications of what you are agreeing in heads of terms (this is especially relevant when agreeing the terms of a lease).
- Make certain that you have all the necessary consents, such as from NHS England and/or NHS Property Services Limited, for the transaction, as well as your CCG to ensure that you are entitled to rent reimbursement.
- Remember other expenses. It is important to include all the costs which will be incurred when dealing with your property transaction, and budget accordingly. These include Stamp Duty Land Tax, the cost of property searches and fees for registering the transaction at the Land Registry. These expenses are relevant both to freehold and leasehold transactions.
- Think about any works you want to do and any change of use (e.g. having a pharmacy) before and after purchasing the practice (including a sale and leaseback). Obtain professional advice about what consents from the Landlord will be required to carry out the intended works or for a change of use and whether planning permission and building regulations consents are required. You may find that there are restrictions which prohibit certain works and uses. Failure to comply with such restrictions can prove costly.
- Keep papers together and remember to change the registered owners when a partner leaves (and, if appropriate, joins). Do keep all documents (e.g. deeds, guarantees and planning permissions) relating to the property safely so they can be easily found. Carter Lemon Camerons offer a facility to store deeds for its clients.
Sabrina Umrani (Property Solicitor) Healthcare team