Estates + Development Management
We make life easier and financially better for our clients by offering a full asset portfolio service, providing high quality professional guidance and advice in the management, valuation, buying, selling and development of land and property.
Our team of highly qualified General Practice Chartered Surveyors possess a broad range of expertise covering both the public and private sectors having a strong track record in all aspects of estate management. We are innovative in our approach to maximising your portfolio and are skilled at protecting our clients’ financial position with property by comprehensive strategies.
The breadth of services are wide and varied from early development or investment appraisals to purchasing or selling premises or land, in acting for tenant or landlord, or reducing taxation burden by ratings appeals.
We can also engage the range of other professional services we offer and can provide a multi- disciplinary integrated team or a single professional service to achieve improvements, in the use and maximization of single or multiple, new or existing properties in a variety of uses and locations.
Our Estates team services include:
PURCHASE OF LAND AND PROPERTY
We regularly carry out property searches to meet clients’ criteria using our market knowledge and professional contacts. Once a property is identified, we will work through due diligence checks such as planning,condition and legal liabilities and assist our client to take an informed view on the proposed purchase. After this we are pleased to negotiate purchase of the property keeping clients fully informed at all stages.
NEGOTIATION OF LEASE TERMS AND RENT
We have a wide range of experience of lease negotiations across all main property types. The team can protect a client’s interest in commercial leases, from either the landlord or tenants position and also progress divestment and other non-commercial leases with sensitivity towards our clients’objectives, including the political context and the need to protect expenditure.
LANDLORD AND TENANT ADVICE
Whether an issue arises mid-way through an existing lease term, or a client is contemplating entering a lease, the estates team can review a client’s options and explain the risks and rewards of alternative choices. Our advice can also encompass whether a lease is the correct property document and assist with alternatives such as a licence or easement.
PROPERTY INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
We can support you to define your investment goals, for example if a client wishes to explore capital or revenue gains, the timescale for returns, geographical preferences and approach to risk. Once the goals are established, we will seek out suitable investment options ranging from, buying land to developing a new property asset and establishing suitable tenants, to securing an existing occupied property. Successful investment requires ongoing attention, for example managing tenants’ aspirations, repairs, and services charges. We have the estates and building surveyor skills to provide a total service.
RATING APPEALS AND ADVICE
A successful appeal against an existing rateable value will currently reap revenue savings over the seven-year life of the rating list. We can submit and negotiate an appeal on your behalf, on a no-win no-fee basis. At the outset of an instruction, we will let you know if, in our professional judgement, the appeal is worth pursuing.
ESTATES MANAGEMENT AND EXPERT ADVICE
We can analyse the existing legal and physical characteristics of your property or portfolio and discuss the options for meeting a client’s present and future needs. This may involve the sale of existing properties, development or refurbishment of buildings, or the purchase of new assets. Equally important is guidance on property issues that arise from time to time, such as boundary disputes, clarifying such matters as rights of way and permissions to use, or restricting the use of property.
The many financial variables linked to a proposed development can be analysed by our estates team, to enable a client to take an informed decision. We can undertake research to define the financial inputs and provide sensitivity analysis to articulate risk factors.
BOUNDARY DISPUTES AND SUPPORT
We understand the tensions that can arise around boundary disputes and will seek to resolve them in a responsible manner. Our approach will be to check the Deeds and Land Registry records, take accurate measurements on site and to meet with the other landowner or user. Subject to client approval, our negotiations will seek to provide a long term solution,which involves looking at the real aspirations of the various parties. This can encompass the sale of disputed land, or the granting of a licence to use it in a prescribed way, a realignment of boundary features, or a negotiated settlement regarding the cost of boundary works, both at the present time and in the future.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANCY
The grant of the best planning permission will significantly enhance the value of land or buildings. Initially, we will consult the planning authority to capture the existing planning policy. After this we will consider the potential demand for the site and look for strong reasons to satisfy that demand via securing a planning permission. This will involve looking at the wider merits of a client’s scheme, considering modifications which could entice the planning authority to grant the desired consent, presenting an attractive design solution and on occasion considering an appeal against a refusal of planning consent.
PROPERTY SALE, MARKETING AND PROMOTION
For all surplus properties, we will strive to obtain the best price in the current market. This will involve selecting an appropriate marketing approach, identifying and resolving any negative factors of the property, so as to minimise their drag on the sale price and ensuring the assets potential is marketed to all potential purchasers. We can guide clients on marketing strategies and discuss the anticipated timescale for completion of the sale. We will work the sale through the legal process and represent the client’s interest at this critical stage.
Owners of buildings should hold buildings insurance to protect their interests in the event that a property is damaged by a range of risks such as fire or subsidence. Our estates surveyors, working alongside our quantity surveyors, can provide advice on the level of insurance required under a buildings insurance policy. Looking at a worst case event, the sum insured needs to cover the cost of demolishing a damaged property which may be beyond repair, plus the rebuild of a new asset of the same size.
FIXED ASSET VALUATION
Every business which owns property should have a current fixed asset valuation within its accounts. We can provide a valuation which meets the requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standards, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor’s Red Book, a client’s accountants and subsequent audit of the accounts. We can provide valuations of large portfolio of assets, or report on individual properties. We can also value finance leases and work with a client’s accountants to identify finance leases.
RICS RED BOOK VALUATIONS
We employ RICS Registered Valuers and are equipped to provide valuations to the necessary Red Book standard. Valuations to support a business case, or a sale off-market which has potential to be challenged and several other purposes, need to be able to withstand scrutiny. The ethical and professional requirements of the Red Book give the required integrity and clarity of purpose to support a client’s aspirations.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS
These are global accounting standards which apply to all businesses. We can provide advice on the property aspects of requirements. We can support the identification of finance leases, prepare asset held for sale lists to meet the standards and all aspects of property impairment and fixed asset valuations.
SERVICE CHARGE CREATION, ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORT
Multi-occupied buildings present shared accommodation and facilities such as reception, facilities management services, roofs, boilers and car parks. A well-managed service charge establishes a fair way to share the costs of maintenance and services. We will seek to implement the RICS Service Charge protocol and work to support our client as landlord, as well as respect the interests of tenants. Good professional communication, as part of the administration of a service charge, can build a rapport with tenants which will help to mitigate other management issues.
DILAPIDATIONS AND CONDITION SURVEYS
Successful service or defence of a dilapidation’s schedule requires a number of professional judgements to be made. Our building surveyors and estates surveyors will work together to cover the particular parameters of a project. We work within the RICS protocol for dilapidation’s. Our objective is to ensure that dilapidation’s payments are only made when the condition of the property at the end of a lease represents a true loss to the landlord and also the tenant has defaulted on a lease term.
DISPOSAL AND REVENUE SAVING PROGRAMMES
We understand the costs of holding surplus property and the resulting strain on revenue budgets. Also, we know that clients may not wish to expend funds to support a sale, for example to work up a planning application. In such cases, we can modify our approach to the sale. For example, we can sell an asset via a conditional contract which places the costs of the planning application on the purchaser, or we can impose an overage covenant on future development. We are also experienced in divestment sales, which can run in parallel with a service contract and result in former local authority services being undertaken by another group.
ESTATE STRATEGY AND PORTFOLIO RATIONALISATION OR REUSE
We can analyse the existing legal and physical characteristics of your property or portfolio and discuss the options for meeting a client’s present and future needs. Our multi-disciplined team can assess the tenure, use and value of assets and also capture the costs of current and future repairs and revenue responsibilities. This provides a sound foundation on which to base a strategic review of a property holding. We will support any quest to reuse buildings by an assessment of the planning requirements and remodelling costs. We are also skilled in green technology,which can reduce utility consumption and enhance your brand.