Our team can provide professional services for all types of property and construction, such as new build projects, alterations or potential acquisitions, including:
- Defect Investigation and Advice
- Preparation and Negotiation of Schedules of Dilapidation and Condition
- Measured Surveys and Preparation of Scaled Plans
- Compulsory Purchase Orders
- Section 18 Valuations, Landlord and Tenant Act 1927
- Business Rates Assessments and Appeals
- Procurement of Energy Performance Certificates
Please click on a heading below to read more about our services:
Most business premises are subject to local taxation by the payment of business rates.
The amount payable is set every year by Central Government and charged under the Uniform Business Rate multiplier. Revenues are collected by your local authority.
There are several reasons why your rateable value may have changed:
- You’ve made significant changes to the size, layout or use of your business premises
- The premises are adversely affected by a change in circumstances. For example, a road closure or building works
- The assessment does not correspond to a hypothetical rental value
You can check your rating assessment here. If you believe your rateable value may be wrong, we can carry out an initial investigation to establish whether a Rating Appeal should be lodged. If we think your assessment is wrong, we’ll work on your behalf to reduce your liability, including:
- Submitting a formal appeal for an alteration to the rating list
- Negotiating with the appropriate body on your behalf
- If necessary, preparing and presenting your case to the Valuation Tribunal
- Appearing as Expert Witness before the Lands Tribunal
For further advice on how to reduce your rates liability, please call us on 01782 715725 or email email@example.com
Compulsory Purchase is defined as the Local Authority’s or Government’s legal right to buy or take rights over private property.
When acting for clients in cases of compulsory purchase, our prime duty is to ensure the Local Authority pays the market value for property, in addition to other claims and benefits, including Home Loss Payment, Basic Loss Payment and Disturbance Compensation.
We act for clients in the residential and commercial sectors. With commercial property, claims can’t only account for the market value of the property. They must also account for loss of profits, re-location to new premises, adaptation of new premises, redundancies, stationery changes, etc.
All our fees are paid by the acquiring authority, so there’ll be no cost to the client for using our services and receiving independent expert advice.
For more details please call us on 01782 715725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dilapidations is a phrase used to cover items of disrepair to a building. More particularly it’s used by landlords of business leases to put tenants on notice that a property has fallen into disrepair or neglect and the landlord places an onus on the tenant to comply with its lease terms.
Dilapidations can be used in two scenarios:
1. As an interim claim during the term of the lease
2. At the end of a lease when the tenant has vacated, or is due to vacate the property.
The law surrounding dilapidations can be very complex and landlords and tenants should seek expert advice at an early stage.
The Property Litigation Association (“PLA”) first released a draft Dilapidations Protocol in 2002, which focused on a way to prevent exaggerated claims and to promote early settlement. It’s been revised over the years following input from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Since approximately 2009, the PLA and RICS have been working with the Civil Justice Council in order to have a pre-action protocol formally adopted into the Court Rules. “The Pre-Action Protocol for claims for damages in relation to the physical state of commercial property at the termination of a tenancy (the Dilapidations Protocol)” came into force on 1 January 2012.
The Protocol establishes a framework by which claims for dilapidations at the end of a lease should be notified, responded to and for exchange of valuation evidence. The aim of the Protocol is to encourage the full exchange of early information; to enable parties to agree a settlement of the dispute without Court proceedings; and to support effective management of proceedings where litigation cannot be avoided.
A claim for damages in lieu of compensation for dilapidations and wants of repair is limited by the actual diminution in value which should reflect the loss to the landlord. An important element in assessing the diminution in value is a valuation of the property ‘in repair’ and ‘not in repair’ having regard to the terms of the lease. The valuation is generally recognized as a ‘Section 18 valuation’. The Section 18 valuation should be prepared by a chartered valuation surveyor to demonstrate the extent of the actual loss to the landlord’s property value as a result of non-compliance of the lease terms.
Schedule of Condition
A schedule of condition is a record of the condition of a property which should be attached to a lease from the outset. It can be commissioned by the landlord or tenant but in order to be effective must be agreed by both parties.
For landlords, the schedule of condition will ensure that the property is returned to the condition it was taken. For tenants, it can reduce liabilities and obligations to ‘put in repair’ at the end of a lease. In both cases, the record should limit the prospect of dispute during and at the end of the lease term.
We can act for landlords or tenants in the preparation of interim or terminal dilapidations schedules; defending a dilapidations claim and reducing a tenant’s liability; and, preparation of a schedule of condition which will limit a tenant’s liability from the outset of a lease.
Call us on 01782 715725 and a member of our team will be happy to help.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required for all buildings when they are built, sold, rented out or have a change of ownership. Landlords and sellers must provide an EPC free of charge to interested parties at the earliest opportunity. Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for sale or rent.
We work with several local companies and will submit a tender on behalf of our clients in order to obtain the best price from an independent supplier.
The EPC looks similar to the energy labels now provided with vehicles and many household appliances and is valid for 10 years. The EPC provides an A to G rating on the energy efficiency of a building. An A+ rating shows that it’s very energy efficient. A recommendation report accompanies the certificate and provides practical advice on measures which may be taken to reduce the amount of energy consumed.
Buildings that don’t need an EPC include:
- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
- Some buildings that are due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- Listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
- Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
If you’d like more information on the need for an EPC, please call us on 01782 715725 or email email@example.com
The complex world of Landlord and Tenant law can be confusing for most owners and occupiers. We focus on strategic business issues of lease renewals and rent reviews across the main office, industrial and retail sectors. Acting for both landlords and tenants, our experience and expertise allows us to maximise our clients’ objectives for the best possible outcome.
The end of a lease offers landlords and tenants the opportunity to consider whether they wish to agree a new lease. Often, the renewal process involves a formal procedure which is set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. We can provide sound, clear advice on the mechanics of the Act and undertake extensive research into current market activity to provide advice to our clients. Our involvement can ultimately include advice on an assessment of the market, appropriate lease terms, rental advice and negotiation of renewal terms for agreement.
A rent review presents an opportunity for the landlord to increase rental income at set increments of a lease. Conversely, tenants will seek to minimise the rental out-going at review stage. We act for landlords and tenants to provide rental advice on rent reviews, on an individual basis, according to the terms of your lease. For landlords we advise upon opportunities to maximise rental income and asset value.
Circumstances often change for both landlords and tenants and it may be mutually beneficial for both parties to re-structure the lease. There will be factors that can work both for and against a landlord or tenant in this process. Our expert market knowledge and negotiation skills can be used to ensure our clients objectives are met.
Due to the complex nature of a rent review, where disputes occur, rent review clauses are typically provided for referral to an Arbitrator or Independent Expert (referred to as the Third Party). We’re very experienced in preparing expert witness reports, setting out key issues and evidence to Arbitrators and Independent Experts, and advising clients on the best way to mitigate cost exposure at third party.