Acquisition of a building suitable for letting by an association

30.11.2021

For this latest acquisition, BuyerSide assisted an association that was looking for a building suitable for letting in Brussels. The association wanted to buy a patrimonial property in order to rent housing units to an Agence Immobilière Sociale (AIS - Social Housing Agency). The social and societal aspect was very important for them.

Mixed building to be renovated located in Etterbeek

We started to look for a property that corresponded to the criteria laid down by the association while remaining within their budget. After several unsuccessful visits, BuyerSide identified a mixed building in Avenue de la Chasse, Etterbeek, comprising a commercial unit on the ground floor and three housing units on the upper floors. This corresponded to what they wanted and, in addition, was not subject to a lease.

Several visits proved necessary: the first with the client wishing to make the purchase and the second with a technician to analyse the technical aspects, which involved some mildly hazardous acrobatics to reach the roof. Finally, the third visit took place with the AIS, which was to examine whether the premises were suitable for their needs in terms of occupation.

Another important aspect of this acquisition was to determine what proportion of the necessary renovation work was to be borne by the AIS.

Reduction in purchase price further to a humidity issue

The work included resolving a major humidity issue in the basement. One of the walls was in fact waterlogged and pools of water were forming on the ground. The seller immediately offered to take the necessary steps at his expense for the deed, if an agreement was reached between the parties. An offer and a little negotiation therefore resulted in an agreement between the parties.

However, it turned out that the seller’s undertaking as regards the humidity problem could not be dealt with for the deed. In fact, the humidity originated in the neighbouring building. The two inspection chambers in the next-door neighbour’s garage were completely blocked. So much so that none of the water discharged from the building, whether waste water or water from the gutters, reached the municipal sewers! In addition, the retention inspection chamber was cracked in several places. As a result, the overflow seeped into the ground under the garage of the neighbouring building and crossed the party wall heading to the cellar of the building purchased by the association. The inspection chamber therefore had to be repaired by means of a waterproof system. 

In the meantime, the soil behind the wall had soaked up so much water that it was impossible for the wall to be dried out and the problem resolved for the deed. As our client was to take care of following up this repair work, BuyerSide held the seller to account, reaching a financial agreement in the form of a reduction in the purchase price.

The sales deed was finally concluded at the end of October and the association will shortly begin the development work needed to welcome its new occupants as quickly as possible.

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