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Practical advice for Landlords and Tenants of commercial property

Guy Pattison

Guy Pattison

COVID 19 has left our city centres empty with office workers working from home and staying out of the office, shoppers shopping online with shops closed, restaurants and cafes closed or providing collection only services. As businesses have suffered a dramatic drop in revenue they have looked to reduce overheads in the short term to aid their survival.

One of the big overheads that they have been able to postpone is rent on commercial properties with emergency COVID 19 legislation ensuring that tenants cannot be evicted/leases forfeited for rent arrears.

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Bermans turns 50!

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Bermans marked 50 years in business on 4 February 2020 and partner Fergal O’Cleirigh explains how the firm has gone from strength to strength and how it has adapted to the changing legal landscape.

The firm, which has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, was set up in 1970 by Liverpool based litigation lawyer Keith Berman. In 1980 Keith left the UK for New York where he established a New York office for the firm. The New York and Liverpool offices split in the early 1980s to create two independent firms both bearing Keith’s name but continued to work closely together.

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Universities forced to address the issue of fire safety full on

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Stephen Chalcraft

Following the Grenfell tragedy and the recent student accommodation fire in Bolton, the pressure is on for Universities to ensure that their whole estate is “fully fire safe”.

This doesn’t just require an extensive review of University owned and managed premises, but also a review of accommodation, teaching space and research facilities owned or operated by private providers and partners.  

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Is Forfeiture the Answer?

michael_smeatonLocal high streets, town centres and out of town retail parks are all sporting empty units as retailers continue to find market conditions tough. In the last 12 months we have seen some big names disappear such as House of Fraser, HMV and Better Bathrooms and we have seen other retailers reduce their portfolio by closing stores such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis.

Commercial landlords will normally have an early warning when businesses are struggling as they will often default on rental payments. Depending on the terms of the lease, landlords may have the right to forfeit the lease for non-payment, bringing the lease to an end and giving the landlord an opportunity to re-let the property. But in these tough times is that the landlord’s best option?

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Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Changes Proposed for non-UK Residents

fergal_o_cleirighOn the 6 May 2019, a 12 week consultation by the Government on proposed changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates for non-UK residents will come to an end.

This is the Government’s latest scheme to assist people to get on the property ladder. Their main focus is on building more homes but, as this takes time, they are looking at solutions that will have a more immediate effect.

The changes were initially proposed by Theresa May back in Autumn 2018, citing evidence that the purchase of property in England and Northern Ireland by non-UK residents was pushing up house prices for UK residents. At that stage the Government mooted introducing an additional surcharge on properties bought by non-UK residents of either 1% or 3%.

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Residential Conveyancing: range of costs

Bermans property team offer a personal conveyancing service for the following types of residential property:

  • Freehold sale or purchase
  • Leasehold sale or purchase
  • Mortgages or re-mortgages

Our conveyancers are experts in guiding you through the legal process and you can be safe in the knowledge that they are supported by our larger commercial property team.

Whether you are buying or selling or refinancing we can provide you with cost certainty and confidence that you are in safe hands.

We provide a list of our headline rates below but we like to provide a specific quote to suit your needs so do get in touch and we will provide a fixed fee quotation.

Description Value/Amount of Property (£) Fees
Purchase or Sale 60,001 – 120,000 £650.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 120,001 – 250,000 £795.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 250,001 – 350,000 £895.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 350,001 – 500,000 £995.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 500,001 – 600,000 £1,195.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 600,001 – 800,000 £1,295.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 800,001 – 1,000,000 £1,495.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 1,000,001 – 2,000,000 £1,795.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 2,000,001 – £3,000,000 £1,995.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 3,000,001 – 4,000,000 £2,495.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 4,000,000 – 5,000,000 £3,500.00 + VAT

 

Description Value/Amount of Property (£) Fees
Re-mortgage 60,000 – 250,000 £250.00 + VAT
Re-mortgage 250,001 – 500,000 £350 + VAT
Re-mortgage 500,001 – 750,000 £550 + VAT
Re-mortgage 750,001 – 1,000,000 £750 + VAT
Re-mortgage 1,000,000 £1,000 + VAT

 

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Property News: Stamp Duty Land Tax update

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The rules regarding stamp duty land tax (‘SDLT’) have recently been updated, for the third time in two years. Bermans has previously looked at the impact of the introduction of SDLT higher rates, which came into force on 1 April 2016, in two articles which can be found here and here. These articles also provide clarification as to when a purchase may be exempt from higher rates.

This article, however, focuses on the recent changes arising under the 2017 autumn budget, as well as the newly introduced Land Transaction Tax (‘LTT’), payable on the purchase price of properties in Wales from 1 April 2018.

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Take control of your lease

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Many businesses will take on business premises for a fixed time period and then only consider important milestone dates once they arrive, sometimes using a reminder from their landlord as a trigger.

Bermans can help you take control of the process and put you in a better bargaining position with your landlord by considering all options.  We are offering a FREE lease review service and have created this simple step by step guide to help you.

 

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