How Do I Sell a Church – School – Day Nursery 3



How do I go about finding out if there is any demand for our D1 building, School, Day Nursery, Church, Medical Centre etc. and the price/rent we can sell or let the property for?

The factors that can affect a sale or letting are far too numerous to be detailed within this sector of FAQ’s. The market for D1 properties is very particular to the relevant area where the building is located and is very much affected by such issues as the property’s condition, its location and arrangement of accommodation, accessibility and parking availability. If leasehold, all of the terms of the lease including the rent payable will of course be relevant. Planning issues as outlined above will also be relevant.

Even additional factors such as local demographics and whether your building is on a red route or that there are double yellow lines are relevant.

Given the many variable factors initial advice can only be given following an initial inspection.

Bernard Gordon & Co will provide you with a verbal opinion as to the marketability and recommended asking price/rent. Where there is a known high demand for a particular geographic area, use, or building Bernard Gordon or Ben Wallis will advise on the best method of achieving maximum results. If you are in any doubt you can always consider instructing a suitable firm of Chartered Surveyors to provide you with an independent written opinion as to the current market value. We can give you names of companies experienced in this sector of the market.

If a full survey is required we can recommend suitable Chartered Surveyors to undertake this on your behalf.

As a word of caution be careful to instruct valuers who are experienced in dealing with D1/D2 properties. The same should apply to selling/letting agents who may not have experience in dealing with D1/D2 accommodation.

Ask for advice before instructing other professionals.


How long will it take to sell/let our D1 building, Church, Day Nursery, School, Medical/Dental Premises?

Again much will depend upon many of the factors listed above. Even if the property is in high demand, once a deal has been agreed and placed in solicitors hands it is likely to take in the region of two months or longer. Depending on the circumstances however it is possible for a transaction to be dealt with in a very short time frame. As an example we have concluded a transaction in three weeks from the date that solicitors were instructed. In this instance the vendors had all the necessary documentation readily available, the property was vacant and the purchasers had readily available funds, knew what they were buying, had undertaken their due diligence and were in a position to exchange contracts and complete within three weeks.

Full preparation by you, ensuring you have together all the necessary paperwork and having instructed the solicitor in advance of marketing will assist in speeding up the transaction.

If you need to raise money, undertake a survey, carry out detailed inspections on all the services, prepare plans, obtain estimates for any remedial works or works of improvement, please allow plenty of time and ensure that your vendor is prepared to wait for you to obtain all the information that you need.


How do we sell/let a D1 building, Church, School, Day nursery etc. if we do not have another building to move into?

You are always free to arrange a sale or letting even if you do not have a building to move into. However, if you start marketing with the aim of not completing until you have secured a new building, it may take some considerable time. If you should secure a buyer / new tenant for your existing building you will need to arrange with your purchaser/tenant that they will wait whist you secure your alternative property.

In certain circumstances you can exchange contracts with a delayed completion date. This however, does require you to fulfil your obligations and even if the contract has a delayed completion date there is a danger that you could be forced to vacate even if you have not secured other accommodation or alternatively risk being sued for breach of your contract to your buyer.

If you need to continue your activity it is far better to have secured other accommodation before you commit to a sale or letting.


We want to sell/let premises currently D1 or D2, used as a day nursery, school, gym, sports hall, etc. What issues should we consider?

Many of the points set out above will also apply to many other D1 uses.

Gyms and sports halls fall within D2.

For day nurseries and schools, in addition to D1 planning permission you will also need OFSTED approval to operate. Not all D1 premises can be used, or are suitable for use, as a day nursery or a school. This could be because the existing D1 use contains restrictions limiting / preventing what on the face of it would be normally permitted alternative D1 uses.

Additionally if the property is leased to you the landlord may not want to let it for these alternative purposes (the terms of the lease should of course be checked).

Additionally the property may not have any adjoining play/garden areas. There are other relevant factors e.g. security, overlooking etc.

The first step may be to ask for advice from the duty planning officer at the Local Council or seek advice from OFSTED ( or alternatively call Bernard Gordon or Ben Wallis for an informal and confidential chat.




Our congregation/organisation is expanding, what size building will we need?

Our advice is always, if possible, purchase a building larger than you think you may require. As you can imagine, it is extremely inconvenient moving into a property only to find out in a year or so that it is already getting too small for your congregation. Moving costs are very expensive so think very carefully about your requirements especially if you are expanding. You may also find your congregation grows once you have your own premises.


Our congregation/organisation is shrinking and our existing building is now much too large, what size building do we need?

You must think about the numbers of people within your congregation both for the present, medium term and long terms. If you have an ageing congregation and are not attracting new members you should think about buying a smaller property that would suit your present/future needs. Circumstances do change and if you have a new influx you would not be able to accommodate them finding the building is too small then you may have to move again.

This consideration is especially important if you are renting a property as you will be tied into the terms of the lease. If you are able to negotiate it, consider committing to taking a short to mid-term lease e.g. for 5 years and if possible include tenant’s only break rights at say 2-3 year intervals.

As a general point it is highly worthwhile having your solicitor liaise with your valuer / surveyor when considering the terms of any sale, purchase or lease and before the terms are finalised.


What are your fees and what is it going to cost?

Bernard Gordon & Company applies a standard range of fees for selling or letting a property. Please call for further information. All fees are exclusive of VAT.

The advice given above is not exhaustive or complete but is only given as a snap shot of what may be required. Circumstance will vary very considerably and therefore every property must be considered on a case by case basis. No two properties or circumstances are the same.

The comments in these FAQs are very general in nature and not a substitute for taking professional advice at the appropriate time.

We have written this to assist you, but given the scope of this matter, we cannot address every issue. Accordingly, please note that the answers given only provide you with general information and should not be regarded as a substitute for undertaking all due diligence including valuation, surveying, legal and other appropriate advice.

Bernard Gordon & Company will in most circumstances be very pleased to give advice and assistance on all matters, specifically with regard to properties having current D1 and D2 planning uses or potential to obtain D1 or D2 uses.

In all cases, do call us to discuss your particular requirements and concerns.


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