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Autumn 2008 thinking

purple The newsletter from Gradient Consultants

Inside‌ Dilapidations Q&A Gradient Team Grows Success with London Fire Brigade


Gradient team continues to grow The last 12 months have been a busy time and Gradient continues to grow and develop further professional partnerships to meet the changing needs of clients. The appointment of Kevin Feakins MRICS as Associate Building Surveyor in January has allowed Gradient to expand its professional services offering from the Eastbourne head office. Kevin came to Gradient with considerable expertise in technical defect analysis and historic buildings and has spent a considerable part of his professional career working on high value residential properties and prestigious buildings. Since joining Gradient Kevin has led refurbishment projects in central London, dilapidations claims and is currently working on the reinstatement of the bell tower at the seventeenth century Sheffield Park House.

At the end of 2007 Gradient also welcomed Graeme Dewar MRICS, an experienced Chartered Surveyor who specializes in project and contract management as well as acting as CDM coordinator under the new CDM regulations. We are always looking for the right people to join us, if you think this may be you please get in touch by email: clare@gradientconsultants.com.

London Office 1 year on Gradient’s client base from our London office continues to grow making use of our central location in Mayfair. The Bolton Street location allows us to work more closely with our existing London clients and build new relationships in the W1area. Building on our experience of working within Mayfair and Belgravia on the Grosvenor Estate, we are working with a growing number of residential and commercial clients to carry out surveys, planned maintenance programmes and major refurbishment projects. www.gradientconsultants.com


Changes in the economic climate have led to many organisations looking to rationalise their property portfolios, often involving leasehold premises. Here director Richard Garland answers some frequently asked questions on Dilapidations

Q

Dilapidations Q&A What is a ‘Schedule of Dilapidations’?

A Schedule of Dilapidations is a written document often prepared by a chartered surveyor acting for a Landlord. It will identify where a Tenant must comply with or has breached the covenants of their lease. One of the most common examples is where a Tenant is required to redecorate the property at the end of the lease term.

Q How much can a dilapidations claim cost? This will vary from property to property but even on the smallest of buildings, the cost of repairs can be a significant lump sum, and disrupt a businesses cash flow. Whether you lease or own your premises, you need to consider your property as an integral part of your businesses strategy. No one may profit from dilapidations and the claim must reflect the loss.

Q

When would a dilapidations claim be made?

A claim is usually triggered when a Landlord serves a schedule of repairs on the Tenant. This can either be an ‘interim’ or ‘terminal’ schedule. An ‘interim’ schedule is drawn up when a Landlord wants a Tenant to carry out essential repairs, or as part of negotiations to terminate a lease early. A ‘terminal’ schedule is prepared within the last year of a lease, in order for the Tenant to complete the repairs before the termination date, or at or after the end of the lease to substantiate a Landlord’s claim for monetary damages.

Q How can I limit my liability as a tenant?

One of the most common problems is not being fully aware of your liabilities and obligations, including the impact of any building alterations you may be planning or have already made. Before taking on a lease, which is a binding contract, obtain advice from your solicitor or a chartered surveyor. Instruct a building survey and identify potential disrepairs and future maintenance problems. Ensure a full written photographic or even videoed Schedule of Condition is attached to the lease, as this will ensure that any pre-existing disrepair does not become your liability. This survey could also assist in re-negotiating the level of rent.

Q

What about during the tenancy?

During the tenancy, look after your building(s), through a planned programme of repairs and maintenance. As well as saving you money in the longer term it can assist with cash flow. Leaving a blocked gutter to cause an overflow can result in a very expensive water damage repair at a later date.

Q What should I do when a Schedule is served on me? When a schedule is served seek professional advice and hold proactive negotiations early on with your Landlord. You may need time to agree and complete repairs, and remember once the lease has ended you no longer have the right to do the works, and may have to settle by paying the agreed cost of the repairs, plus ‘consequentials’ which may include, professional fees, Vat, loss of rent, service charges and rates.

Gradient Consultants can act on behalf of either landlord or tenant in dilapidations claims as well as preparing schedules of condition and offering advice and guidance on all aspects of leasehold property. Contact richard@gradientconsultants.com

www.gradientconsultants.com


Success with London Fire Brigade Gradient Consultants have been awarded a 5 year contract to provide Asbestos Management Consultancy to The London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority that runs London Fire Brigade. London Fire Brigade is the third largest fire fighting organisation in the world, operating within the 1587 square kilometres of Greater London. Gradient will work closely with the Property Services Department to manage the risk of asbestos across the Authority’s portfolio of over 130 fire stations and support buildings. Working out of offices in Eastbourne and London, Gradient’s role will include the project management of surveys and removal work to operational fire stations, feasibility studies, the implementation and development of the Corporate Asbestos Management Plan and delivering training to in-house staff and consultants

. Gradient are delighted to continue and develop their working relationship with LFEPA and are welcoming the opportunity to build upon the authority’s strategy for asbestos management.

Clare Armstrong, Gradient’s director responsible for delivering the services to the Brigade says, “we are thrilled to be reappointed to work with LFEPA on their unique portfolio of buildings and to use our expertise in this field to ensure safe working environments for all users of the fire stations”. For advice on managing asbestos in your buildings contact clare@gradientconsultants.com

Gradient’s client base from our London office continues to grow making use of our central location in Mayfair. The Bolton Street location allows us to work more closely with our existing London clients and build new As part of the RICS and CIC ‘Property Advice relationships provide answers to often Building complex in the W1area. onproperty our for London’ scheme, Gradient have been questions. Following the initial experience of working within Mayfair and free working with a number of charities to offer free Belgravia consultation, Gradient Estate, has we recently on the Grosvenor are consultancy and advice. The scheme which completed a feasibility study working with a growing numberfor of a pairs charitable organisations with property residential community hub in E1 for the lateral extension and commercial client s to carry professionals allows charity clients to be of theirout office accommodation to allow for surveys, planned maintenance matched with companies with the right expansion and growth. programmes and major refurbishment experience, expertise and resources to projects.

Free Feasibility Consultancy

www.gradientconsultants.com


Timber Frames, Bell Towers & Georgian Elegance To work on a heritage building is a real pleasure for us. With a growing number of commissions for surveys, insurance rebuild valuations and project management, our knowledge and experience is adding value to many new and existing client’s heritage assets. Prominent recent projects include the preparation of a maintenance programme for a stunning Grade II Listed residence in Kensington Square, SW1, a full building survey of a Grade II Listed church and 17th Century timber framed house in Suffolk and most recently a rebuild valuation for one of Sussex’s most prestigious Grade 1 Stately homes.

One of Gradient’s most exciting ongoing projects is managing the repairs and reinstatement of a timber framed bell tower structure back onto the roof of Sheffield Park House, Nr Uckfield. An integral part of this Grade I Listed building the tower, dating back to the mid/late 19th Century, is 8 metres high, weighs 3 tonnes and is made of solid oak. Project Manager, Kevin Feakins, knows this magnificent house well, having been involved in its upkeep for 8 years, and this commission will see the culmination of many years’ work. We look forward to bringing some of these commissions to you as case studies in future editions of ‘Purple’.

Programme Management Support for Carillion FM Gradient Consultants are pleased to be working with Carillion PLC facilities management division, managing a programme of masonry repair works for an international client. Following an initial tranche of surveys, a programme was drawn up for specialist masonry repair works to 33 branches of the banking institution’s portfolio across the UK. Gradient’s role involves managing a team of 5 remote building surveyors, specialist stonemasons and conservation specialists as well as CDM coordinators. Gradient have undertaken budget appraisals to the £2 million programme, identifying and obtaining cost savings across all areas. Weekly programme and progress updates mean the client is fully aware of status of works and project spend at each stage of the project. www.gradientconsultants.com


thinking….. We are always on the look out for interesting and innovative places to visit and books and websites to read. We believe that there is loads to be learnt from people that are doing things a bit differently and we try our best to incorporate the great things we see into our work. Here are some of our favourites from the last few months…

doing The Dana Centre in Kensington is an offshoot of the Science Museum and is a place for adults to take place in innovative and exciting experiments and debates about all things science. We visited in October and took part in the ‘to be in a better place’ evening, debating the links between our surroundings and our emotions. Speakers included architects, environmental psychologists and the curator of the Serpentine Museum, discussing how buildings and spaces we are designing can affect happiness, productivity and even crime levels…really interesting stuff.

www.danacentre.org.uk

reading

Over 1 million copies of Blue Ocean Strategy have been sold worldwide and it is easy to see why this lingo-free management book has such widespread appeal. Based on the concept of finding a new ‘blue ocean’ to target rather than fighting it out with your competitors in existing ‘red oceans’, the book uses loads of familiar case studies to illustrate where this strategy has led to success. When circuses with traditional working class appeal were losing popularity, Cirque du Soleil innovated into a new ‘blue ocean’ by creating a circus that appealed to the affluent middle class theatre-going market and haven’t looked back. Perfect for anyone who is interested in a new slant on their marketplace and making competitors irrelevant….

eating Dans le Noir’s London restaurant in Clerkenwell is certainly a dining experience. After enjoying a pre dinner drink you are then led by your blind waiter into a completely pitch black dining room to enjoy a 3 course meal – which could be anything! We were expecting the room to be dark but had no idea how dark or how bizarre it would be to eat only relying on your senses of taste, smell and touch. It’s amazing how much you end up talking to the other diners too when you can’t see, particularly after accidently drinking their drink or eating their bread roll. Recommended for a very unusual but www.danslenoir.com/london memorable night. www.gradientconsultants.com


Š Gradient Consultants Ltd 2008

Gradient Consultants Ltd Chartered Surveyors and Property Consultants

Head Office Archer House, Northbourne Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 8PW London Office 15 Bolton Street, London, W1J 8BG 01323 738761 mail@gradientconsultants.com www.gradientconsultants.com


Thinking Purple Autumn 2008