Our professional services are designed to minimise costs and save money. We find effective ways to assist you in managing your property–related risks – protecting your interests in areas that can prove litigious – and we are always seeking to enhance the value of your property interests.
Whether you are an investor, owner-occupier, landlord, tenant or developer, we believe that we can make a difference to almost every aspect of your property portfolio. Our services include:
When a commercial lease comes to an end there are implications for both landlords and tenants around the issue of claims for compensation in respect of any damage or disrepair that has occurred or any physical changes made during the term of that lease. We act for landlords and tenants in providing strategic advice on how to deal with any claim.
We provide the following guidance:
- initial strategic advice
- inspection and preparation of interim and terminal schedules, repairs notices and Scott schedules and responses to the same
- assessment of and negotiating settlements and dealing with disrepair
- assessing dilapidations liabilities for portfolios, individual properties and all types of commercial property
Schedules of condition
An important aspect affecting the level of dilapidation claims is the existence of an appropriately detailed schedule of condition. Although we would normally only recommend the use of a schedule of condition with a short term lease where there are pre-existing elements of disrepair. This establishes a detailed record of the condition of the property at the commencement of the lease term and, if correctly referenced within the lease documentation, will prove invaluable when negotiating the level of any terminal dilapidations claim.
Prior to the start of the lease we will assist and safeguard your interests by preparing and agreeing an appropriately detailed schedule of condition of the leasehold property.
Reinstatement cost assessments (fire insurance valuations)
Most properties require some form of insurance to ensure that, in the event that the building is destroyed or damaged, sufficient funds are available through the insurance to repair or rebuild the property.
The value of the insured sum, and, importantly, what you will pay in terms of an insurance premium is based upon an assessment of the cost of reinstating the property which is sometimes referred to as a fire insurance valuation.
It is very important that any assessment is sufficiently detailed and accurate for the following reasons:
- to ensure that in the event of any damage or destruction there is sufficient funds available for reinstatement or repair
- to ensure that the building is not over-insured attaracting excessive premium payments
- to prevent the application of average by your insurer in the event of a claim (this is a percentage reduction due to under-insurance)
Assuming no changes have been made to the property it should be possible to update the assessment annually, as a desktop exercise. However, we normally recommend that a new assessment be prepared, if any changes are made, or otherwise, every 3 years to maintain accuracy of cover.
A key aspect of our maintenance advice is the importance we place on understanding your exact requirements, both long and short term, for your property assets. We combine our considerable construction knowledge with relevant data on material longevity and build quality and make informed decisions. Too often we see maintenance schedules which comprise a simple technical assessment of repairs against a time plan.
Our approach is slightly different - we look to our experience of specification and administration of repair and maintenance schemes and management of refurbishment and new-build projects to enable us to forecast and procure future maintenance in the most cost effective manner.
We also make a point of understanding the extent of your in-house property resource and data systems, maintenance budgets, accounting procedures etc to ensure that we can dovetail our advice accordingly. An important factor is to try to tailor the level of annual expenditure wherever possible to match your maintenance budget. This is not always possible where there is considerable backlog maintenance but our schedules are priorities to ensure any expenditure can be well targeted.
Importantly, sustainability, climate change, building regulations, access, health and safety and other issues are all subjects of constantly evolving legislation. We keep up to date with all of them because we believe strategic, well-planned maintenance can help protect property against future liabilities such as energy efficiency and carbon emissions taxation.