Commercial Case Studies
Case Study: Leasehold Appartments
Stephen Hiscocks was initially instructed by Cadogan House Associates Limited in 2015, and has represented them since that time in a range of commercial and residential sales, both by auction and through the more traditional estate agent route. A member of a group of companies located in Weston-Super-Mare, Cadogan hold a significant property portfolio in the south west of England.
Stephen has recently concluded acting for Cadogan in relation to their sale of 13 leaseholds flats in their converted former Church at Locking Road in Weston Super Mare.
Having acquired the Building in 2005, it was subsequently converted by Cadogan into residential one, two and three bedroom flats, which were initially rented as short term lets. The decision was subsequently taken by the company in 2015 to dispose of all of the flats by way of long term leases.
Stephen’s initial involvement with the company involved the drafting and approval of Land Registry and lender compliant leases, the establishment of a management company to administer the day to day management of the Building as required by the leases, as well as assisting with marketing the properties in the locality. With a commercial mortgage secured against the Building, Stephen also assisted the company in negotiations with their commercial lender regarding the proposed repayment vehicle from the intended sales.
During the course of the next 20 months, all 13 flats within the Building were successfully sold for a figure close to £1.5m, and the commercial lending was redeemed on terms satisfactory to the company. Thereafter, Stephen oversaw the management company transfer into the ownership of the 13 tenants of the Building, prior to Stephen’s final involvement, which involved the transfer of the freehold of the Building to the management company.
Sharon Routledge, a Director of Cadogan: “It has been a pleasure dealing with a solicitor who seems to be on the same wave length as us. Stephen is extremely ‘user friendly’, proactive in his dealings with third parties and financial institutions, and provided complex but clear and concise legal documentation to allow the sale of the leasehold and freehold interests without any difficulties or delays”.
Since joining Howells in late 2015, Stephen has acted for a number of small to medium sized companies on similar ventures in the south west of England, Oxfordshire and South Wales, which have included dealing with commercial lending and bridging finance for building conversions and BTL projects.
Case Study: New Premises Acquisition
Rhidian Hobbs, Head of Commercial Property, acted on behalf of the multi-award winning Concrete Canvas in connection with their acquisition of their new manufacturing headquarters at the former Crabtree and Evelyn premises in Pontyclun.
The 6.5 acres (2.63 ha) site comprises a detached warehousing production building with ancillary office accommodation.
As a consequence of the introduction of the Wales Land Transaction Tax, the client had a strict deadline for completion and the transaction was completed in under 28 days from inception to completion.
Concrete Canvas design and produce a new class of construction material called Geosynthetic Cementitious Composite Mats (GCCMs) which hardens on hydration. Their product is used for erosion control, containment and shelter and is shipped to over 80 countries across the world. The company has won multiple awards since start-up in 2004 and in 2014 was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Innovation in Enterprise.
Case Study: Purchasing a Business
Andrew Davies - Chiropractor
Howells Solicitors were instructed by Andrew in connection with his start up business as a chiropractor.
Having found suitable premises Andrew asked Howells to advise him on the proposed lease and to investigate the landlord’s title to the Property.
Howells quickly established that the property did not have the requisite planning permission consent for his proposed use contrary to the advice that Andrew was receiving from the letting agent and the landlord. To help expedite matters Andrew submitted a planning application whilst the terms of the lease were being negotiated and agreed between Howells and the landlord’s solicitors.
‘If Howells hadn’t identified the need for planning then I could have been prevented from trading shortly after opening which would have put me and the business under considerable financial pressure.’
The case highlights the importance of seeking legal advice when taking on a lease of commercial premises. There are factors to consider beyond the terms of the lease. Leases will often contain a disclaimer from the landlord that they give no warranty that the property can be used for the purpose which the tenant is intending to use the property for. Once the lease has been signed there is usually no way for the tenant to bring the lease to an end early so the tenant could find themselves being unable to run their business but still responsible for the rent.
15 King's Road,
Cardiff CF11 9BZ
Tel: 029 2115 9435
Steve & Kim Dyer – Coffee Shop Owners
Having decided to retire from their job of more than 20 years both Steve and Kim had the dream of opening up their own coffee shop. They had found a business that they wished to take over but shortly after commencing the due diligence process, Howells established that the information that had been supplied by the sellers did not accord with the premises or the business when it was viewed.
The sellers did not have the consent of their landlord or the Council to place tables and chairs outside the premises on the adopted pavement.
‘If Howells hadn’t been so diligent in their investigations then matters could have gone horribly wrong for us. The outside covers contributed a significant amount to the turnover of the business and without them the business would not have been profitable.’
47 Cardiff Road,
Caerphilly CF83 1FP
Tel: 029 2088 8595
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