Schedule of Dilapidations – Dorking, Surrey

We have received instructions from Property Managers to prepare a Schedule of Dilapidations on behalf of their Client, the Landlord of the property.

The property is a retail unit in the centre of Dorking and the lease is due to expire in 2 weeks therefore the Tenant is keen to understand their lease liabilities.  The Tenant proposes to undertake some of the works included in the Schedule of Dilapidation’s if possible prior to the lease end at which point they are required to yield up the property to the Landlord.  In the event any items included in the Schedule of Dilapdiations are not completed by the Tenant prior to the lease end then a agreement with the Landlord will need to be negotiated and a financial settlement reached to cover the cost of those outstanding items.

To prepare the Schedule of Dilapidations we reviewed the lease and have arranged to undertake an inspection to ascertain the condition of the property and take necessary measurements and details to allow us to schedule out the reinstatement, repairs, redecorations and statutory obligations in accordance with the lease requirements.  These items of claim are then costed and included in the Schedule of dilapidations which forms the Landlords Claim against the Tenant.

We advise both Landlords and Tenants on Schedule of Dilapidations and would always recommend that dilapidations advice is sought in good time prior to the end of a lease to allow all parties to plan for, and reach a settlement on, a dilapidation’s claim.

 

 

Party Wall Award for Loft Conversion Sutton

We are pleased to have been appointed to by the owner of a residential property to agree a party wall award on their behalf.  Our appointing owner,(the adjoining owner under the terms of the Party Wall etc Act 1996) had received a party wall notice from their neighbour (the building owner) setting out the building owners intention to undertake a loft conversion which had implications on the shared party wall between the two semi-detached houses.

The proposed loft conversion works included enclosing on a raised section of party wall which our appointing owner had built and paid for when they undertook a similar loft conversion 10 years ago.  There were discussions held with the building owners surveyor over the cost of the wall and it was agreed the the party wall award would include a payment by the building owner to the adjoining owner for enclosing on the raised section of wall that the adjoining owner had previously paid for.

The party wall award is being prepared and will include a schedule of condition of the adjoining owners property, which clearly records the condition of the adjoining owners house before the works commence so in the event any damage is caused during the works, the damage is clearly identifiable.  The schedule of condition was undertaken jointly by ourselves and the building owners’ surveyor.  The draft party wall award is currently awaited and upon its agreement the party wall award will be published to the building and adjoining owners.  In this instance, as is typically the case where the adjoining owner is gaining no benefit from the proposed works, our fees acting for the adjoining owner will be met by the building owner who is undertaking the works and who instigated the party wall process.

Once the party wall award is published each owner will have 14 days to raise any objections to the party wall award and once this period has expired the building owner will be at liberty to commence the works in line with the condition set out in the party wall award.

 

 

 

 

 

Reinstatement Cost Assessment – London

We recently undertook a building survey for a Client who was purchasing a high value house in St Johns Wood, London.  Following the successful exchange of contracts our Client has instructed us to prepare a reinstatement cost assessment of the property for insurance purposes.  The reinstatement cost assessment is required in preparation of our Client completing on the purchase from which point he will be liable for the insurance of the building.

Following receipt of the instruction we have arranged to revisit the property to take accurate measurements of the house for use in calculating the rebuild cost of the property.  The reinstatement cost assessment will then be prepared taking into account the size and construction of the property which is Grade 2 listed and a report setting out the values and what is included in the assessment will be issued to our Client.

It is important to ensure that reinstatement cost assessments are accurate and they should be checked every few years to make sure that any building is correctly insured.  Insurance companies typically index link reinstatement costs year on year however over time those figures can become distorted and inaccurate.  Reinstatement cost assessments should be reviewed annually and whilst index linking values is accepted for a couple of years, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) advise that reinstatement cost assessments are carried out at least every three years or whenever there are any material changes made to the building.

Commercial Building Survey – Coulsdon, Surrey

Our Client, an investor, is looking to buy the freehold interest of a commercial property in Coulsdon, Surrey.  In contemplation of the purchase our Client has confirmed instructions for us to undertake a commercial building survey of the property and prepare a commercial building survey report.

The property comprises a detached building housing 3 commercial units to the ground floor, one of which is a restaurant with the other 2 being retail units.  There is a residential flat on the first floor.

The purchase of the freehold is being progressed quickly and we have received confirmation to undertake the commercial building survey within a few days of the receipt of the instruction.  We are please to have been able to accommodate our Clients requirements for a commercial building survey to be undertaken at short notice to ensure that the timescales on our Clients’ deal are achieved.

The commercial building survey will cover all the commercial and residential units within the property to include the internal and external areas of the building. We will inspect, review and comment upon the nature of the building and the condition of the elemental parts so that our Client has a good understanding of the potential defects and liabilities they will be acquiring.  The commercial building survey report will also include commentary on statutory requirements that the our Client needs to be aware of should they acquire the freehold interest.

 

 

Dilapidations – Brighton

We are pleased to have just received an instruction to review and advise upon a Schedule of Dilapidations served on our Client who is the Tenant of a retail unit in Brighton.

Our Clients’ lease is due to expire at the end of September and our Client has recently received a Schedule of Dilapidations from their landlord which was prepared by their landlords surveyors referencing our Clients’ lease obligations.  The dilapidations claim set out in the Schedule of Dilapidations is extensive and includes items of reinstatement, repair, redecoration and statutory requirements along with professional fees incurred by the landlord and other costs.  Our Client is concerned at the level of the sum being claimed from them for the commercial unit.

Our instructions from our Client are to review the lease and licence documentation, undertake a site inspection, review and report on the Schedule of Dilapidations served on them.  In considering the dilapidations claim we will comment upon the validity of the elements of the claim and also the costs being claimed for those element.  In addition to commentary on the elements of claim and their costs, we will provide strategic advice on the claim, setting out our Clients options and how to achieve the most cost effective resolution for our Client.  There is still 2 months of the lease left to run and we will therefore advise our Client on their position and what action we would recommend they take.  The options available to a tenant are to undertake the works prior to the lease expiry, agree a financial settlement with the landlord or a combination of the two.

 

Party Wall Notice

Property owners are often unfamiliar with party wall issues and the procedures that they should follow if they receive a notice from a neighbour.  The following are typical questions raised when a party wall notice is received:

Q. If you receive a party wall notice for works your neighbour is looking to do what should you do?

A. You should respond. The Party Wall etc ACT 1996 sets out timescales for the service of the party wall notices and the required response times from adjoining owners.  Once a party wall notice is served by a building owner doing the works the the adjoining owner has 14 days in which to respond.  Failure to do so and you as the adjoining owner will have deemed to have dissented to the works and will be requested to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf or concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor who will prepare a Party Wall Award.

Q. The party wall notice says do you consent or dissent to the works, what are the implications of each?

A.  If you consent to the works, the building owner has the right to commence the works without the need to prepare a Party Wall Award.  If you dissent to the works that means that you will need to concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor or appoint your own surveyor to act for you.  Dissenting to a party wall notice does not give you any rights to object to the works, that is a planning issue, but sets out that you require a Party Wall Award.  The Party Wall Award sets out the works being undertaken in relation to the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and also include a schedule of condition of your property before the works commence.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is intended to protect both the adjoining owners and building owners when works in accordance with the Act are undertaken and should you require further advice on this matter please contact us.

 

 

 

Building Survey

We are pleased to announce we are undertaking a commercial building survey of an office building in Manor Royal near Crawley, West Sussex today.

Our Client is looking to acquire the lease of the ground floor of the property and in accordance with his solicitors recommendations has instructed us to undertake an inspection and prepare a building survey report. The instruction was confirmed by our Client yesterday and due to our Clients’ tight timescales we have been requested to prioritise the instruction.  We are therefore delighted that we have been able to respond to those requirements and we have arranged to undertake the inspection of the office today to carry out the building survey with the building survey report to be issued next week.

Our building survey will include the elements within the demised office areas together with those in the landlords’ and common parts, for which our Client will have a liability via the service charge. The inspection will cover, and the building survey report include commentary on, the condition of the building along with the statutory requirements which have implications on our Clients’ occupation both practically and financially.

We understand that instructions to undertake an inspection and prepare a building survey report are often time critical during the acquisition of a lease or freehold interest of a property. We pride ourselves on being responsive to our Clients requirements and deliver our instructions to accommodate our Clients needs and meet their timescales.

Schedule of Dilapidations – Landlords

Recent cases have once again highlighted the need for Landlords to consider how a dilapidations claim is valued and raised the question of Landlords intentions.  A dilapidations claim can be valued one of two ways firstly by preparing a Schedule of Dilapidations and secondly by valuing the diminution of value to the reversionary interest, known as a Section 18 valuation.  A Landlords claim can then only be the lower of the two valuations.  The Landlords intentions and actions can also impact the claim and final settlement figure.

Preparing for the the end of a lease is something Landlords should consider in good time.  The timing of the preparation and service of a Schedule of Dilapidations can impact on the claim so early action in appointing a surveyor to advise and guide you through the process and prepare a Schedule of Dilapidations is recommended to ensure the you understand your position and achieve a successful outcome.   We are able to provide guidance throughout the claim to ensure Landlords understand the issues and make informed decisions during the claim.

Schedule of Condition

We are often contacted by Clients who are taking a lease but are unsure whether they need a schedule of condition or building survey and what the difference is between them.  In some cases they may need both.

A schedule of condition is a document which simply records the visible condition of the property.  It will note and make reference to defects however will not offer any commentary on either the cause of the defect nor make recommendations on the remedy required to put defects into good repair.  A schedule of condition is typically required when a tenant is taking a lease on a building where there are issues and they wish to limit their future lease liabilities.  In the event that the tenant wants a more detailed understanding of the building then a building survey would be required which would analyse defects offering information on the cause and recommended remedial works to address those issues.

In some instances Clients require both a schedule of condition to limit their lease liabilities and a building survey to fully understand the structure and condition and potential issues of the property that they will be responsible for.

We are always happy to discuss your requirements to ensure you have the most appropriate information to allow you make informed decisions to progress your lease negotiations.

 

Party Wall Instruction

We are pleased that we have recently been appointed by a developer to deal with the party wall issues for their new residential development near Guildford under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.  In accordance with the party wall legislation we will be reviewing the development proposals, preparing and serving the party wall notices on the adjoining owners which are required in relation to the foundations for the new houses.  Once responses to those notices are received we will agree the party wall awards that are necessary prior to the works relevant to the notices being undertaken.