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06 DIFFERENCE OF OPINION What effect will the UK government’s recent white paper have on the current housing crisis? We hear two points of view 07-09 NEWS IN BRIEF Industry news, advice and information for RICS members 08 THINKING: TIM MARSHALL To truly understand the impact of globalisation, we need to study a map, says the author and journalist 11 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN New guidance to tackle conflicts of interest will be vital in upholding the profession’s reputation, says Amanda Clack FRICS







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14 COVER STORY How dispute boards can keep your construction project running smoothly

36-37 CAREERS How to turn your role into a job share; Taylor Wessing’s Erwin Hanslik MRICS

18 BEST BEFORE 2047 Can Japanese housebuilders kick their buildthem-cheap, knock-them-down habit?

38 BUSINESS Conducting a consultation process

22 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN The explosion of peer-to-peer lending has created a headache for regulators 26 LET’S BE CIVIL ABOUT THIS We talk to three surveyors who swapped a private life to work in the public sector 32 THE HIT FACTORY Why Europe’s factory outlet centres are the latest investment fashion trend 34 BATTERIES INCLUDED Affordable housing and pioneering power packs at Nottingham’s Trent Basin

39 LEGAL 101 Financial reporting of service charges 41 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Cracking the UK’s revised telecoms code 43 SURVEYED The latest products for professionals 58 MIND MAP Deloitte’s Will Matthews on the vulnerability of smart buildings PLUS 42 Benefits 44 Events

45 Obituaries 46 Recruitment

Views expressed in Modus are those of the named author and are not necessarily those of RICS or the publisher. The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of the publisher. All information correct at time of going to press. All rights reserved. The publisher cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. RICS does not accept responsibility for loss, injury or damage or costs that result from, or are connected in any way to, the use of products or services advertised. All editions of Modus are printed on paper sourced from sustainable, properly managed forests. This magazine can be recycled for use in newspapers and packaging. Please dispose of it at your local collection point. The polywrap is made from biodegradable material and can be recycled.



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Do you have a comment about this issue of Modus? Email, or tweet us using #RICSmodus CAUSING A ZOOPLA Sir, Almost all the adverts in Modus are for chartered building surveyors who can carry out residential surveys and valuations. This precludes chartered building surveyors from any panel or mortgage work if they are not a Registered Valuer. How can this be when RICS is, I understand, an estate agency regulator, but allows estate agency staff to go and value a property after looking it up on Zoopla? These people are not Registered Valuers. Do the panel members and mortgage companies also realise a duty of care is not being carried out by these companies when they do not, or forget to, advise the purchaser to have a building survey carried out? Name and address supplied Thank you for your letter. All RICS-regulated professionals and firms, including those undertaking estate agency, are required to carry out their work with due care, skill and diligence and to act with integrity. Our regulatory assurance and enforcement holds the profession to account. Pricing advice in the course of marketing and agency is sometimes referred to as a “valuation”, however it falls within the published list of exceptions to full Red Book reporting and, as such, the VR scheme. Where a written valuation is provided (other than these exceptions) this falls squarely within the requirements of the Red Book and the Valuer must be registered under RICS Valuer Registration in order to undertake this work. A building surveyor who is competent and qualified to do valuations is able to apply to become a Registered Valuer. There is also a top-up assessment option for those RICSqualified professionals who were not assessed on valuation upon entry to the profession.

@RICSnews // #RICSmodus @HIWIC_ Interesting article in #RICSmodus on gender quotas. All for the UK Cabinet Office taking steps to reach out to the female population #wic @AmieWalsh1 @RICSnews no to quotas!

need to ensure the culture is right, not forced #RICSmodus #buildingsurveyor @JonTivey @CChrissi excellent piece from

you in @RICS Modus focusing on how we should be encouraging women into the industry rather than quotas SUMMING UP Sir, Being a hopeless mathematician and a surveyor, I read the Secret Surveyor (p13, March) with interest. I begrudge the fact that property seems destined to become an offshoot of accounting. Real estate programmes need to adapt. My course gave me a grounding in law, planning, construction and valuation. A grounding in maths wouldn’t go amiss. Ashley Glover MRICS, London TIED UP IN KNOTS Sir, I fully endorse Garrett O’Hanlon’s comments about Japanese knotweed (feedback, p5, March). Given the media seems to think it is akin to the Triffids, you’d think, after 200 years, we’d have been overrun by now! Stuart Ladds FRICS, Coventry

TUMBLER ACCOUNT Sir, My wife was recently walking in the woods with our dog when she was forced to contact me to convey some urgent information. As I was in a meeting, she resorted to sending me a text message. Unfortunately she tripped and hurt herself rather badly. Her accident was witnessed by a passing gentleman who, rather than helping her and asking if she was OK, laughed uproariously before continuing on his way. On being passed a copy of your magazine by a surveyor friend of mine, I saw the letter from Nigel Price (feedback, p5, March). The similarities of the story bore a striking resemblance. So, judging by the article, surveyors like to obstruct people by means of common assault and laugh at them when they hurt themselves. What a caring, tolerant profession! The Secret Businessman CONSCIENTIOUS REFLECTION Sir, The article “False Friends” (Cover story, p14, March) was interesting but failed to identify the key reason for the failures that lead apparently decent people to do terrible things. The root of the problem is spiritual. Every human being is capable of doing terrible things, whether in business or elsewhere. “There, but for the grace of God go I”, is a truth that could easily be written over all our lives when observing other people’s failures. Today, society has few, if any, moral absolutes. Even our own consciences can become dulled to the reality of what is right or wrong. Until there is a spiritual change in our individual, corporate and national lives, such incidents will continue to occur with increasing frequency. Ernest Bayton FRICS 83,151 average net circulation 1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016

FOR SUNDAY Editor Oliver Parsons / Art Director Christie Ferdinando / Deputy Editor Andy Plowman / Contributing Editor Brendon Hooper / Junior Designer Katie Wilkinson / Creative Director Matt Beaven / Account Director Karen Jenner / Advertising Sales Director Emma Kennedy / Senior Account Manager James Cannon / Recruitment Sales Manager Milos Maguire / Recruitment Sales Executive Albert Dunsire / Production Manager Michael Wood / Managing Director Toby Smeeton / Repro F1 Colour / Printer Wyndeham Group / Cover Image Aleksandar Savic / Published by Sunday, 207 Union Street, London SE1 0LN / For RICS James Murphy and Kate Symons, RICS, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD




News / Reviews / Opinions / Reactions


Fixing a broken housing market: was the UK government’s white paper worth the wait? Discuss.

minisTers had painTed a picTure of a landmark documenT, The silVer bullet that would fix the UK’s “broken” housing market. But although there is important recognition of the contribution of the rental sector in lieu of home ownership, the big planning themes leaked as possible game-changers on affordable housing, build-to-rent and the slackening of green-belt policies were either mischievous headlinegrabbing rumours or were left discarded in the political expediency editing suite. Housing minister Gavin Barwell’s mantra that you can’t “live in a planning permission” holds true, but unless the DANIEL WARD MRICS RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT government is expecting our entire future housing provision PARTNER, KNIGHT FRANK, LONDON, UK to be made up of permitted development conversions from office, retail and other space – laundrette conversions, The WhiTe paper is a posiTiVe sTep by The goVernmenT To anyone? – then the central “plan-led” approach, along with address housing levels and inspire the creation of muchall its legal precedence, predicaments and challenges, needed new homes. However, it’s often forgotten that white papers are only remains a key threat to future housing growth. Furthermore, a consultation, and therefore unfairly criticised for not going far enough. castigating cash-strapped councils to produce quicker, more The issues raised, such as the possibility of building on green-belt land up-to-date housing plans and assessments is simply a kick and releasing more public sector land for development are all political hot in the teeth to authorities that are already struggling with potatoes. And the white paper does indicate that the government is willing skeleton planning teams. The government has continually to tackle these head on, sensible of the fact that the supply of development threatened it will step in, but it hasn’t yet. land is currently a critical barrier for the future housing market. What’s needed is a more radical approach, with a greater It also shows that the government is now prepared to take on board pooling of resources across administrative areas to produce criticism from the property industry. For example, Knight Frank has been better, more strategic housing market reviews and agile calling for local plans to account for housing need by age, and the white paper allocations that would provide faster delivery of new homes. has responded to this by showing support for those of all ages in all tenures, If we remain wedded to a plan-led approach, then it’s time be it downsizers, first-time buyers or rental tenants. Another example is the to think outside the box, or risk another decade of inertia. change in focus from starter homes, which failed to gather widespread support, to a wider range of affordable housing. With much speculation in the industry around the paper’s effectiveness, Is the UK government’s white paper too it remains to be seen how the consultation develops over the coming months. optimistic? Join the debate at The proposed steps to address the UK’s severe supply-demand imbalance linkedin, or tweet using #RICSmodus are welcomed, but there is still much to be done before genuine progress is made.“Fixing our broken housing market”won’t be achieved with this paper alone, but a collaborative approach from both the private and public sectors will stimulate housing supply and begin the process. 06




Intelligence Americas

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RICS in industry plea to help end homelessness

SKY HIGH Construction costs in the Big Apple are up to 50% more than the US average

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The closing date for entries for the third RICS BIM4SME Awards is 26 May, and the ceremony will take place on 6 July in London. RICS is collaborating with BIM4SME to host the event because BIM has been identified as the critical development affecting industries across the entire membership. SMEs are vital to the success of BIM Level 2 in the UK and both organisations believe that SMEs deserve more recognition for their efforts in adopting and implementing BIM in their projects.




The property, construction and land sectors must collaborate better to help end rising levels of homelessness and deliver more affordable homes, says RICS. The Institution is calling on the wider property sector – as well as policy-makers and advocates for change, to pledge its support for the “A Home For Cathy” campaign, which aims to find solutions to alleviate the country’s affordable housing crisis. RICS launched the campaign to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s seminal film Cathy Come Home, which ignited a debate about homelessness on its release in 1966. Those that pledge are invited to provide feedback that will help form RICS’ recommendations for the UK’s governments on how the sector can better collaborate to end rising levels of homelessness. Find out more and pledge your support for the campaign at


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New York continues to be the world’s most expensive city in which to build, while the devaluation of sterling following the UK’s vote to leave the EU has lowered construction costs in London, according to Arcadis. The firm’s report, International Construction Costs 2017, also found that Shanghai, in 35th place, and Manila, 38th, have been subject to the biggest falls in construction costs overall, both dropping eight places in the index. “High-density cities, such as New York and Hong Kong, are particularly high-cost to build due to constraints on land availability, accessibility and land values,” commented Edel Christie, head of programme

LINKING Are property prices in the UK headed for a 2017 crash?

STARTED BY Russell Dyer, owner, VFM Property Management and VFM Procurement

We need a reversion to sanity and for prices to collapse! Just don’t ask me how we’ll cope with all the negative equity! I’m just a builder, not a banker, economist or politician. Stuart H It’s not going to happen long term. I’ve owned

management at Arcadis. “Despite this, they continue to see significant development thanks to their attractiveness as global cities. “The cost of constructing new buildings and critical infrastructure over a long build phase is notoriously difficult to predict, making the challenge of providing as much cost and commercial certainty as possible a vital one.” In the US, construction output growth is expected to increase by around 3% a year, driven by the housing market and continuing investment in manufacturing, following the Trump administration’s proposals. While in Europe, Arcadis highlights several risks in forecasting market performance, including Brexit and forthcoming elections in several EU countries. For example, development activity in London infrastructure remains strong, but key sectors such as offices and prime residential are already seeing a Brexit-related slowdown. DOWNLOAD the report at

REVIEWING THE LATEST DISCUSSION POINTS AT RICS.ORG/LINKEDIN property in the UK since 1981 and the trend has always been upward well beyond inflation except for a few glitches. I would be pretty certain it will stay that way. Gavin Edwards That’s kind of papering over the cracks, Gavin. Whilst I agree prices have gone up, the term “a few glitches” is an understatement.

Properties crashed in the late 80s to below what they were in the mid 80s, then rose 50% higher, then dropped back, but not as far as the first time. Never have interest rates been so low. One way or the other, something dramatic is likely to happen - a crash or inflation as in the late 70s. I’m hoping the latter! Jeff Scott M AY 2017_MODUS


“If their lives take an economic turn for the worse, many people will seek comfort behind their rivers, mountains and white cliffs”


hatever your view of the acceleration of globalisation in the last few decades, it was inevitable that it would hit a bump. The upsurge in nationalism, coupled with the refugee crisis, has reminded us that barriers are still with us. Many people had stopped thinking in terms of the nation state, but national borders, and the geographical features that define them, never went away. So if we want to understand this new world, we need to understand the nature of borders, how they are shaped, and how the geography that dictates borders also influences the national consciousness. Doing this without a map, and an explanation of geography, is almost impossible. That is why I wrote Prisoners of Geography. Words can tell you the “what”; the map helps you to understand the “why”. This is not a new theory, but it’s one that’s rarely explained in the detail it deserves. I first began to think about this when covering the Bosnian war in the 1990s. On one occasion I was on a hillside looking down onto a burning village.“Why burn the village?” I asked the perpetrators. The gunmen explained that if they burned the village, the villagers would flee to the next village, then the residents of both would flee, allowing the gunmen to advance through the valley and towards the road they wanted access to for strategic reasons. From then on I tried not to use the term “mindless violence”. In these terrible situations there is often a cold, hard, brutal logic to violence. Another example is Syria. History tells us that President Assad’s minority Alawite tribe came from the hilly region above the Syrian coast. But look at a map, and



at the pattern of some of the fighting, and it becomes clear that Assad’s side secured the route from Damascus to the coast in case they had to retreat to their historical roots. The Ottomans divided what is currently the nation state of Iraq into three administrative areas: Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. The British then made three into one, a logical impossibility that Christians can resolve through the Holy Trinity, but which in Iraq has resulted in an unholy mess as the Kurds, and Sunni and Shia Muslims fight for control of the different regions. Russia provides two clear examples of the effect of topography. It has been invaded many times from the flat ground of the North European Plain, so its rulers seek to dominate that space as a buffer zone against further incursions. Most Russian ports freeze in the winter. Therefore, Sevastopol on the Black Sea is of vital importance. When Ukraine “flipped” into the Nato sphere of influence, Putin felt geography had given him no choice but to invade. Prior to his action, if you only factored in the injustice of crossing a border in force and seizing territory, then you might have arrived at the view that he wouldn’t do it. However, if you leave morality out of trying to understand an event, it often becomes easier to understand. This is not an argument for leaving morality out of human affairs – simply a view of how to make them more explicable. The past two decades have seen a concentration, especially in Europe, on trying to make the borders go away for the better of us all. With so much focus on this aim, many people ignored the fact that – although the nation state may be an imagined concept – enough people believe in the concept to make it very real in their lives. If their lives take an economic turn for the worse, many will seek comfort behind their rivers, mountains and white cliffs. So, to properly understand the “why” of a situation we need to read the politics, glance at the statistics, and take a look at the map. Sometimes the obvious is not apparent. As George Orwell said: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” WATCH A VIDEO of Tim Marshall’s recent talk at RICS HQ:







Second public consultation on IPMS for industrial buildings The IPMS Coalition has opened the second public consultation for the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS): Industrial Buildings Exposure Draft. Developed by more than 84 professional organisations, including RICS, IPMS for Industrial Buildings Exposure Draft aims to establish a consistent and transparent method for measuring industrial property. RICS is encouraging all firms, practitioners, clients, consumers and public sector organisations involved in industrial property to provide feedback. FM profession needs to “raise the bar” to attract new talent Facilities management is facing a critical shortage of professionals and urgently needs to attract new talent. This is the conclusion of a new research report from RICS and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). The report, called Raising the Bar: From Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM, was launched in Shanghai during the Annual Summit of the World Built Environment Forum. More than 2,500 facilities managers were surveyed for the report, which calls for the FM profession to transform its image to attract diverse, new talent. The report also identified the need for an increased focus on the strategic impact of FM. RICS UK Commercial Property Director Paul Bagust explained that, as working practices evolve, facilities managers will need new skills based on collaboration and relationship management. “Our work with IFMA will encourage and nurture these skills. By standardising working practices across the globe, we will unite the FM community and ensure it is well placed to attract new talent.” Download the full report at

SEE WEED? Sugar kelp may not look appetising in raw form, but it is high in protein and is easy to grow

3D ocean farming What’s that? Agriculture will need to become more productive as the world population grows, but what if we could supplement our demand for food by using the depths of the sea? Bren Smith, owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm in Connecticut, US, is one of a new breed of “3D” ocean farmers. After warming waters stunted his yields of oysters, Smith adapted his operation to grow vertical columns of sugar kelp, as well as baskets of clams, oysters and scallops, from horizontal lines stretched out in the sea. How is it useful? In an area of 90,000 ft2 (8,360 m2), Smith says his vertical columns can grow 26 tonnes of kelp in five months. Scaled up, it could be a vast source of nutrition for the planet. “Our seaweed has more protein and iron than red meat, and more calcium than milk,” he claims. Kelp also contains sugars that can be used to make biofuel. What’s next? The biggest challenge is not the growing process, but convincing more people to eat the product. However, it can be made palatable with the right preparation and branding – for example, many countries in Asia consume seaweed products in their daily diet. As the climate changes, Smith envisions more fishermen similarly adapting their operations. “I don’t want a farm with 1,000 acres,” he says. “What I want is thousands of fishermen with their own 20 acres and a boat, who can share infrastructure to create kelp noodle and biofuel.”



Augmented reality heralds the complete abolition of architectural practice as we know it OWEN HOPKINS writer and historian Hopkins argues the consequences of AR for architecture could be quite troubling. Why spend money on an elegant facade or an expensive material, when it can be created far more cheaply as a digital overlay.

You’re not going to regulate tourism by limiting the number of beds MANEL CASALS director general, Barcelona Hoteliers Association The city of Barcelona has passed a law to curb tourism as visitors overwhelm the city. The law seeks to limit the number of beds on offer from hotels and apartments. But of the 32 million people who visited in 2016, 23 million were day-trippers. M AY 2017_MODUS


SOMETHING IN THE AIR What’s harder: making people fly, or building a theatre in a Unesco World Heritage Site? Both are tricky, but the brief to design the Shaolin Flying Monks Theatre, complete with a gigantic wind tunnel that allows the monks to fly high while practising their scenic arts, was clearly too good to miss for Latvian architect Mailitis. The theatre is located near Mount Song in Henan Province, China, which is considered to be the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, so a site-sensitive design that respects the historical and natural heritage of the area was critical. The theatre’s contourfollowing form and use of local materials go some way to meeting that brief, even if the anticipated influx of tourists might not.












Solar now employs more people in the US than the entire fossil fuel and nuclear industries









Source: US Dept of Energy, 2016







Fewer construction workers migrating to the UK from EU countries, tied to the rapidly increasing costs of importing materials, could cost the UK’s construction sector millions, the Scape Group has warned. The group notes the cost of EU building material imports was at its highest level in seven years in March – up 15.3% annually – while the £5.7bn of raw materials currently imported from the EU could increase by 10%, equating to a “Brexit cost” of £570m to UK construction. “Firms are already reporting considerable increases in the cost of raw materials,” said Matt Carrington-Moore, chief marketing officer at Scape Group. “Key indicators show that this situation is likely to continue, and that these heavy costs will be passed on to clients, further disrupting the sector.” The news comes as RICS also warns the UK construction industry could lose almost 200,000 EU workers post-Brexit, should the UK lose access to the single market. With EU migrants making up more than 7% of the UK’s construction workforce (about 175,000 people), this could put some of the country’s biggest projects under threat. Furthermore, Brexit uncertainty is also affecting the rural land market in the UK. Demand has fallen for the 18 months from March 2016 with concerns about future subsidies and low commodity prices weighing on the sector, according to RICS and the Royal Agricultural University. IS BREXIT AFFECTING your project costs? Email

OFF THE RAILS Should the UK lose access to the single market, up to 200,000 construction jobs could be lost, warns Scape

“What are the main risks to the reputation of professionals?” AMANDA CLACK FRICS  RICS PRESIDENT TAKING AN INTEREST You spoke, we listened. New guidance on conflicts of interest will help shore up confidence in the profession’s capability to self-regulate

“The price of greatness is responsibility,” Sir Winston Churchill once said. Sigmund Freud, meanwhile, asserted: “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” As surveyors, we are free to operate without statutory regulation because we consistently demonstrate responsible professionalism, and we are equipped to deal with the dilemmas that can bring. With this in mind, we began last year to take a fresh look at what professionalism means to RICS. We ran consultations in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and across continental Europe. We also issued a quantitative survey and hosted telephone interviews with professionals in the Middle East and Americas. Our discussions centred on a critical question: what are the main risks to the reputation of RICS professionals? We’ve been asking this because, ultimately, that is why our organisation exists: to ensure that the professionals we accredit work to the highest possible standards. We all know that it takes only a few bad examples to tarnish all our reputations. The ongoing issue of conflicts of interest in real estate valuation was one of the key risks highlighted. There is a perception that some operators are more interested in making money for themselves than meeting their clients’needs. Competence – when under-pressure professionals assign work to lessqualified junior staff – and the lack of a“compliance culture”more commonly found in law and accountancy were also among the issues raised. We also heard that diversity and innovation must be part of professionalism of the future. So I therefore welcome steps taken by RICS to tighten up requirements for professionals and regulated firms with the publication in March of a new global professional statement on conflicts of interest. This was followed in April with an additional statement for the commercial property investment market that bans the controversial practice of dual agency – or doubledipping in the UK. Both standards will be effective from 1 January 2018. I believe these steps will go a long way to preserving our freedom to selfregulate. They will also demonstrate that surveyors’ responsible practices help keep our profession great. Follow Amanda on Twitter @amanda_clack

M AY 2017_MODUS 11

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“I was sick of being judged by my ability to answer ridiculous questions from interview panels”

CHINA $150bn

One Belt, One Road


y first APC attempt went very badly wrong. I’d been working full time as a graduate surveyor, studying for a master’s in real estate and working towards my APC for three years. The intense pressure led to burnout. My referral report suggested I wasn’t confident or knowledgeable enough. But I knew deep down this wasn’t true – I’d just lost myself somewhere along the line, getting caught up in other people’s ideas of how to negotiate the challenge. So, I went back to the drawing board, hatched my own plan and passed six months later. Once chartered, and with a few more years’ experience under my belt, I decided it was time to further my career with new challenges in a new company. I had six years’ experience and knew I was a good surveyor, but was absolutely dismayed at the outcome of interviews. One firm suggested that I was too young and would have to start at graduate level. Another said I would have to re-do my training to conform to their standards. Another said I wasn’t specialised enough, after questioning me on how I would inspect their boardroom. I was sick of being judged by my ability to answer ridiculous questions from bored-looking interview panels. So I took a leap of faith and started my own firm. Since starting, I’ve heard it all: not old enough; not got the managerial skills to run a team; not got a reputation to get clients; not got the experience to handle clients’ demands. But I haven’t let any of that stop me from building my business. It’s taken me outside my comfort zone and, yes, I’ve made mistakes. But it’s been my best achievement, and there’s nothing like “failure” to drive success. ARE YOU INTERESTED in writing a future Secret Surveyor column? Send your musings on the profession to

INDIA $90bn Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor

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New York City

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CHINA $11bn

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Words David Blackman Illustration Aleksandar Savic

Why are projects becoming embroiled in ever longer and more costly construction disputes? Far better to avoid the conflict in the first place








onstruction has justifiably earned a reputation as one of the most conflict and dispute ridden of all industries. And despite the efforts to promote a less adversarial culture on our building sites, evidence suggests that disputes are becoming more protracted. An annual survey conducted by Arcadis shows that such disputes are taking longer to resolve: up to an average of 13 months in 2016, compared with nine in 2010. There has to be a better option than the constant rows that end up poisoning relationships across the industry. In an effort to head off such disputes, the industry is starting to focus on a more grown-up approach: seeking to avoid such conflicts in the first place. On international construction projects, arbitration has become the de rigueur mechanism for sidestepping expensive and protracted litigation over the past 50 years. “Nobody in the international arena wants to throw themselves on the mercy of foreign courts,” says one leading dispute resolution expert, speaking off the record. Furthermore, most countries have adopted the 1958 New York convention, under which the decisions of arbitration panels must be enforced. However, arbitration can be slow and unwieldy, concedes Cyril Chern, a barrister who has been handling construction disputes across the globe for nearly 50 years. “It’s one step better than court but it takes time,” he says, pointing out that it can take well over a year to achieve an outcome via arbitration, during which time relationships on a project can thoroughly sour.



Abdul Jinadu, a London-based barrister who works extensively on African construction projects, agrees: “It used to be thought that arbitration was always cheaper and quicker than litigation. That’s not the case any more.” “You can have extra costs such as arbitrator fees and hiring a room, which you don’t have with litigation because the court is free,” says Kevin Owen, managing partner in the Singapore office of global commercial law practice Meyer Brown. Chern says that the “biggest trend” in construction disputes is to take one step back from arbitration and seek to avoid the conflicts in the first place. The principal mechanisms for doing this are dispute boards and conflict avoidance panels, much like those recently introduced by public agency Transport for London (box, overleaf). Most dispute boards typically consist of one or three members. If the board just contains one individual their appointment will have to be agreed by all parties. The alternative is three members, two of whom will be nominated by each of the parties, plus an independent chair. Each party’s board member must be acceptable to the other. Mark Entwistle FRICS, a lawyer and dispute resolution expert, says: “Although two of the members have been nominated by the parties, they are independent of the parties and will be completely impartial.”



RICS maintains an international panel, which parties can draw on when putting together a dispute board. Establishing a standing board at the beginning of the project is the best option, argues Jonathan Cope FRICS, vice-chairman of the Society of Construction Law. “Standing board members should be appointed at the beginning of the project and go to meetings even before the dispute has arisen,” he says. Jinadu agrees:“When a dispute arises you are not starting from scratch and you will have an idea of what’s going on.” For Chern, speed is the main benefit of dispute boards, which must reach their decisions within 28 days. This makes them particularly well suited to dealing with problems that crop up during projects, he explains.“With arbitration it will take a year or two: even mediation is at least a year. Dispute boards are faster, and prevent the problem becoming a problem,” says Chern, who also likes the inquisitorial nature of the dispute board system. “They are not sitting passively like an arbitrator does. The dispute resolution »







board can start ferreting out information that it feels is necessary.” Whether it is worth setting up a standing board partly depends on the scale of the project. A conflict avoidance panel has been set up to oversee the Queensferry Crossing over the River Forth in Scotland, which has a budget of £1.35bn. “If a value of a project is less than £500,000, it would be difficult to justify paying for a board,” says Entwistle. Preserving relationships is one of the principal reasons for setting up conflict avoidance mechanisms. This factor will be particularly important with a client that has a dominant position in a marketplace, argues Cope, pointing to a UK example. “If you are carrying out a motorway contract, most of your turnover will be for one client: the Highways Agency. You can’t afford to fall out of bed with them unless you have to.” Entwistle agrees:“[The contractors] want to maintain harmonious relationships with their client and have a fruitful partnership. I suspect that will be less of an issue at the smaller end of the scale.” The biggest drawback to dispute boards, however, is their cost. Parties often fail to see the point of paying to prevent disputes that might never crystallise. Jinadu acknowledges that cost can be a bugbear, particularly when setting up a three-person board. “Dispute boards are generally expensive because you are employing three people for the duration of the project.” The counter argument, says Cope, is that the costs generated by conflicts outweigh those involved in running dispute boards. And the bigger the contract, the greater the likelihood that costs will be hefty. One



dispute avoidance expert estimates that on major projects, parties are unlikely to get “much change out of a million dollars”when they become embroiled in a dispute. Chern adds that, on large projects, dispute boards can deliver economies of scale. “You have a pretty good idea what [a panel is] going to cost, as opposed to arbitration. With dispute boards you can have 10 or 100 issues and the fee will be the same,” he says. “The larger and more complicated a project, the better it works.” One way of economising is to keep the board updated about the project by reports, rather than via site visits. Another is to appoint a board on an ad hoc basis when a conflict has arisen. Going down this route can be a false economy though, warns Jinadu. As well as the time it takes to set up a panel, “you lose the advantage of being involved from the get-go”. Cost is not the only factor holding back the adoption of dispute boards, either. All parties involved in a contract need to be willing participants before one can even be set up. Securing agreement on who sits on the panels can also cause delays, says Cope, who also acknowledges that conflict avoidance will not be to everybody’s taste. “Some people will want their day in court because they can’t agree.” But, he adds, the anecdotal evidence from board members is that they have helped to




stop disputes arising. And their take-up is spreading. RICS has teamed up with several professional bodies to form a joint working party on conflict avoidance, which is developing a pledge to embed dispute avoidance procedures into a range of construction and engineering contracts. Cecily Davis, a partner at law firm Fieldfisher in London, predicts that the government’s decision to give the green light to schemes of national importance, such as Hinkley C nuclear power station and the High Speed 2 rail line, will provide a fillip to the use of the boards in the UK. “There is likely to be significant investment in infrastructure that will merit the use of dispute boards,” she says, noting that their use has been enthusiastically adopted on transport projects. It may be too early to declare peace in our time for the construction industry, but many professionals will be hoping that wider take-up of conflict avoidance will make it a better tempered place to work. n FOR MORE INFORMATION about the RICS Dispute Resolution Service, visit

$ $



Dispute boards


Never a cross word spoken






Underneath the streets of London, Crossrail, the £14.8bn project to create a new east-west rail link, is entering its final stages. When services start running at the end of 2018, it will not just be central London’s rail capacity that has increased. The number of passengers using existing Underground stations that interchange with Crossrail will also rise. Public agency Transport for London is redeveloping several of these interchanges, such as Bond Street station, which is being given a £300m upgrade to cope with the 40,000 additional daily passengers it will be catering for when the new line opens in 2018. Given the scale and complexity of these projects, which will have to be carried out cheek by jowl with functioning Tube lines, TfL realised there would be plenty of scope for disputes. Jonathan Cope FRICS says that TfL saw the case for nipping disputes in the bud, and collaborated with RICS to set up a conflict avoidance panel. Rather than a standing board that is embedded in the project from the beginning, the panel is a more ad hoc arrangement that can be set up at short notice when issues arise. Any party involved in a TfL contract can refer a dispute to the panel. If the parties to the contract cannot agree on the composition of the panel, RICS will select an appropriately qualified person. Cope argues that the panels are less adversarial than adjudication, which has become the most common mechanism for resolving disputes in the UK. Within 21 days of its appointment, the panel will issue a non-binding recommendation. Overall, Cope says that the panels have been perceived as a success by parties. “I know other employers are looking at it as an alternative to avoid going to arbitration or adjudication.”

M AY 2017_MODUS 17


From construction to demolition in just 30 years, Japanese houses have a shelf life scarcely conceivable in other markets. What’s behind this unique culture … and is it sustainable? Words Alex Frew McMillan


ew would disagree that we live in a disposable culture. But the idea that a home is something that is bought, used up, and then destroyed, just like a car or a can of soda, is foreign to most. Not in Japan. Japanese homes are typically expected to last only 30 years before they must be replaced – some estimates even suggest 15 years. Government policy has encouraged this process, in a bid to boost the economy by creating jobs in the construction industry. Structures are written off for tax purposes after 30 years if they are timber framed, the most common building method for homes in Japan, and 45 years for reinforced concrete, typical for commercial property. As a result, the purchase of secondhand homes becomes risky. Housing structures do not store any of the wealth that they generally do in the West. “The Asian mentality is, the newer, the better,” comments Hashimoto Mitsuo, president of real estate broker Housing Japan. Homes in Japan therefore lose their value at a far higher rate than in the US, for example. Research by Jiro Yoshida, an associate professor of business at Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business, found that a residential structure depreciates at 7% per year in Japan, while the figure is only 1% in the US. Homes in newer and more densely built neighbourhoods far from central business districts lose value the fastest. Commercial properties in Japan are even worse off, losing their value at a rate of 10% every 12 months. There are various factors at play that lead people to think of housing as a deteriorating asset. Key among them is that Japan was hit hard by bombing in the Second World War. “There was a need to build very fast,” says Mitsuo. Cheap buildings that could be deployed quickly were the order of the day. 18 RICS.ORG/MODUS

They did not last. They also failed to keep pace with escalating safety requirements in a country that experiences around 20% of the planet’s strongest earthquakes. Japan overhauled its earthquake-resistance standards in 1950 after the Fukui earthquake, 1971 (Tokachi earthquake), 1981 (Miyagi earthquake) and 2000 (Hanshin-Awaji earthquake). The proportion of homes destroyed in each instance was a small part of the national stock, but the safety changes rendered existing homes obsolete as technology advanced, Yoshida notes. A high depreciation rate causes households to spend more of their income on housing, arguably perpetuating Japan’s two-decadelong economic slump. It also has an adverse effect on the environment, ultimately leading to more and more demolitions and increased carbon dioxide emissions. In the biggest cities, the bulk of any homebuyer’s budget goes towards the plot they are buying. That, in turn, leaves little in the kitty for frills when it comes to the construction of the building itself. “Because land is so expensive, people do not invest enough in their homes,” says Seth Sulkin, president and CEO of Tokyobased commercial real estate developer Pacifica Capital. »

BEF SHOOTS AND LEAVES Japan’s population has been declining for a decade. This, coupled with a tendency for younger people to leave rural areas for cities, means the countryside is emptying out


M AY 2017_MODUS 19


Most ‘Japan Inc’ salarymen will sign up for one of these home schemes, so it’s easy to sell subdivisions out



CHRIS LANE Majime Capital


o cater for the demand for new homes, Daiwa House and other housebuilders specialise in “kit houses” and off-plan schemes that allow prospective homebuyers to pick from a range of standardised floor plans. The pieces used in construction are all pre-ordered from the factory, meaning there is zero waste on site, and build time is kept to a minimum. “Most ‘Japan Inc’ salarymen will sign up for one of these home schemes, so it’s easy to sell subdivisions out. You just sign on the dotted line and get a house,”comments Chris Lane, chief operating officer of Majime Capital, a Hong Kong-based real estate investment firm specialising in Japan. The country’s preference for new homes does, however, create a market for leased homes, among students and others who cannot afford to buy a property. Lane’s company and others like it buy older homes in good locations and renovate them for student housing, Airbnb-style short-let accommodation or long-term rentals. The price of the home is sometimes less than the value of the land itself. Lane claims rental yields of 10%-25% a year: an amazing rate of return for those who are able to manage the property successfully. Majime Capital also banks the land for future use. The stress on new houses also creates strong demand for prefabricated homes. Purehabu homes, as they are known in Japan, comprise around 15% of the overall number


of new houses completed nationwide in any given year. In 2016, that resulted in the construction of 148,528 prefab homes, out of a total 967,237 domestic structures built, according to figures from the Japan Prefabricated Construction Suppliers and Manufacturers Association. Tokyo is naturally the centre of attention, accounting for 14% of all prefab homes last year – similar to its 15% share of the market for all new homes. Meanwhile, the neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba account for another 22% of total prefabs built in 2016. Purehabu used to be synonymous with low quality. But the technology has evolved, just as it has in other manufacturing industries. “The quality of prefabricated houses is very high,” Yoshida says. This has been proved in some high-profile incidents. A prefabricated home built by Asahi Kasei was the only structure to survive the flooding of the Kinugawa river in 2015. Pictures of the house standing strong amid the mud and rubble of the aftermath were broadcast nationwide. Meanwhile, Japanese housebuilder Sekisui Heim – which constructs 70% of its homes in factories – envisions that its homes will last for three generations. But generational transition and inheritance has created problems of its own in Japan. There are around 8 million akiya, or abandoned houses, across Japan, according to the Financial Times. They are empty for a variety of reasons – the home was abandoned as younger members of a family gravitated toward the city centre, an elderly owner died and left no heir, the bank repossessed the home after Japan’s bubble burst and has been unable to sell it on, or the owner is simply too hard to track down.


EMPTINESS INSIDE Japan builds nearly 1 million new homes a year, despite having a backlog of 8 million abandoned houses

Mostly, though, Japan’s population is simply shrinking: by close to 275,000 people per year. The number of births will likely drop below 1 million this year, for the first time since anyone started counting, back in 1899. This year will also mark a full decade of annual population declines. Akiya homes become a blight on their neighbourhoods, with people dumping rubbish in the garden and the house gradually falling apart, sometimes even rendering the homes next door impossible to sell. Older buildings are also more likely to collapse in earthquakes, and fire-fighting access for the neighbourhood can become a problem in cases of real decay. Real estate broker Katitas has bought, remodelled and then sold on more than 40,000 secondary-market homes, via its 100 branches around the country. Whereas most brokers act as intermediaries, the company takes on the risk of owning the home with an eye to locking in greater profits on the sale. It currently turns over around 3,000 homes a year. Akiya houses are a prime target – vacant properties account for around 40% of sales – because the company is seeking “latent value” for housing that is difficult to sell, or is located in under-used areas. Katitas has no competitors at a national level, and local players tend to come and go in a niche business that requires specific expertise. It has stepped up the pace this decade, doubling its portfolio of properties. Ultimately it aims to transform not just individual neighbourhoods but the mindset of homeowners, and the entire Japanese housing market. It is positively evangelical about that prospect.“We believe the housing market in Japan will shift from centring on new houses

to focusing on used houses that can be lived in for a long time,” CEO Katsutoshi Arai explains in the company’s mission statement. He enthuses, in an email to Modus: “We have a vision to ‘bring as much joy as possible to towns and cities’, and advocate a way of living that cherishes the community.” The process of overhauling homes fills a hole in the market. Buyers tend to be families that are renting – the mortgage on a Katitas home is often less than the monthly rent on a comparable property. The head of the household is typically between 30 and 40 years old but has not yet managed to get on the property ladder, in a country where even opening a bank account is a chore.


ecause of the mindset that housing is, by nature, temporary, home improvement is not quite the force that it is in many other countries. Money spent on remodelling accounts for around 3% of total household spending, but the market is weak. Home improvement outlay was down 8% in December 2016 compared with a year ago, and positive only in four months last year, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications show. Although 2017 may report a slight gain since 2016 was so subdued, analysts at the investment bank Nomura note that overall consumer spending has fallen for 24 straight months in Japan. The household spend on repairs and maintenance has remained low

since the rate of consumption tax was increased in the spring of 2014. The government hopes to stimulate interest in high-quality secondary-market homes through tax breaks, and it is also offering subsidies for energy-efficiency upgrades and repairs. As a result, housing equipment and building materials suppliers are beefing up their business in that area. As for the materials already tied up in first-generation homes due for demolition, most of the wood, plastic, metal and glass gets reused, but the rest is discarded. Renovating houses and pumping them back into the secondary market therefore presents a huge opportunity to benefit both the environment and the economy. It will take a shift in mindset, something that often takes a generation to pull off, but there is plenty of motive to make use of the existing housing stock. Will Arai and his kin be successful in producing that sea change? They are fighting against a post-war cultural norm that has become ingrained. But if Japan can make the transition away from the new to the used, it could be to the benefit of all. n M AY 2017_MODUS



Peer-to-peer lending is disrupting the real estate industry and lawmakers are struggling to keep up. But in the rush to regulate, do we risk stifling the most exciting innovators? Words Mark Wilding Illustration Francesco Bongiorni



n the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, a new generation of lenders emerged. At a time when the flow of credit from the banks had slowed to a trickle, and rock-bottom interest rates were prompting investors to seek out new opportunities, “alternative finance” provided a solution. The term referred to a wide range of peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding platforms. Borrowers struggling to access credit by traditional means could for the first time be connected with individual investors prepared to place their money where the banks would not. From the outset, the real estate market was a significant beneficiary of this rapidly growing industry. In China, the largest alternative finance market in the world, property represents one of its most active submarkets. Research by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance revealed that more than $5.5bn was lent in China against real estate assets through alternative finance platforms in 2015. That same year, a study by the University of Oxford found that almost

£700m had been invested in UK property through peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms, making real estate the country’s most popular alternative finance sector. For many years, both countries have allowed an innovative source of real estate financing to develop and innovate, unencumbered by the yoke of legislation. The UK has promised tighter rules in a bid to protect investors. In China, meanwhile, the authorities recently announced a series of measures aimed at reigning in the industry after a series of high-profile platform failures. Both governments have signalled a need for more stringent regulation, but neither wants to halt the growth of an increasingly important industry. The dilemma leaves regulators attempting to walk a tightrope – protecting consumers while encouraging financial innovation. In Britain, the authorities have sought to play the role of a supportive, but critical, friend. The government has encouraged peer-to-peer lending, investing £85m in small businesses via the sector. However, regulators have, at times, been less positive. In February 2016, former Financial Services Authority chair Lord Adair Turner raised concerns about the checks being conducted on borrowers, telling the BBC: “The losses that will emerge from peer-to-peer lending over the next five to 10 years will make the bankers look like lending geniuses.” In December 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) questioned whether investors were being exposed to risks that “may not be sufficiently understood”. China’s more laissez faire approach to the regulation of alternative finance was as much

by accident as it was design, suggests Wei Hou, a senior analyst at Sanford C Bernstein in Hong Kong. “Among regulators, they did not know who should be responsible,” he says. One of the issues was around how these new firms should be identified. “Peer-topeer lenders were classified as technology companies in China, so basically there was no one regulating them.” Alongside a ready supply of borrowers who had long been denied credit by the traditional banking sector, this lax regulatory environment allowed the industry to balloon in size. The Chinese alternative finance market now dwarfs all others in the AsiaPacific region. Take Hong Kong, a centre of international finance which has nevertheless seen peer-to-peer lenders and crowdfunding platforms struggle to gain a foothold. Leo Lo MRICS, director at Crowe Horwath, says both peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding “are still governed by old sets of licences as both traditional banking and securities activities”in Hong Kong, a situation that has made “the growth and innovation of these sectors sluggish”.


ut, if a lack of regulation has helped China’s alternative finance sector to grow, it has also had catastrophic consequences. In February 2016, the police arrested 21 executives at Ezubao, the country’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, when evidence emerged that the company was in fact a giant Ponzi scheme. More than 900,000 investors, who had collectively committed more than £5bn based on promised returns of up to 14% a year, look likely to be left with nothing. And Ezubao was not the only one. In less than 10 years, close to 4,000 peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms had emerged in China as the alternative finance market ballooned. Most were legitimate businesses. However, Hou says: “Some of them were just pure fraud.” Following Ezubao’s collapse, the Chinese authorities introduced a series of rules aimed at cleaning up the alternative finance sector. Peer-to-peer platforms are now required to use third-party banks as a custodian for customers’ funds. Caps have been placed on the amount that can be lent »

M AY 2017_MODUS 23


to a single customer and the number of platforms from which customers can borrow. “The intention is to protect customers,”says Hou. “It’s not that peer-to-peer is a bad business model. The general tone is that [the government wants the industry] to be complementary to the pure banking sector.” Hou believes this process will kickstart a process of consolidation. “The total outstanding credit is still growing but the number of platforms is shrinking because they don’t comply with the new regulation,” he says. “We will see volume start to accrue with the top 20 or 30 platforms.” Although a smaller and less diverse market may suggest less innovation, Hou is not so sure. “Right now, everyone is so focused on recruiting investors and borrowers. In my view, most of the peer-to-peer companies are currently spending most of their energy and attention on marketing. The remaining players may be able to think about better business models.”


nlike China, the regulatory environment for alternative finance in Britain has evolved gradually. Originally overseen by the Office of Fair Trading, responsibility for the sector transferred to the FCA in April 2014. Firms already trading at that time were allowed to continue under interim permissions, pending full authorisation from the FCA. So far, the move towards becoming a fully regulated industry appears to have had little impact on the sector’s growth prospects, as new lenders continue to enter the market. Gillian Roche-Saunders, London-based head of compliance at law firm BWB, believes FCA authorisation could help the sector grow.“You’re seen as safer if you’re regulated by the FCA,” she says. There are also more concrete benefits. Lenders authorised by the

Peer-to-peer lenders were classified as technology companies in China, so no one was regulating them



WEI HOU Sanford C Bernstein

FCA will be allowed to offer an Innovative Finance ISA, providing tax-free interest on peer-to-peer loans, increasing the attractiveness of the sector to investors. Property lending platform Landbay was one of the first to receive FCA authorisation, a process that took 15 months. CEO John Goodall says securing ISA manager status was a big milestone, but he also points to other upsides.“A lot of our partners are FCA regulated and I think they get comfort from that.” Likewise, authorisation could open avenues to a new source of clients. “To my knowledge, independent financial advisers have not really looked at peer-to-peer in any serious depth,” he says. “Now that it is an authorised product, it makes it a little easier.” Despite providing some obvious benefits, there have already been suggestions that the move towards greater regulation has disproportionately affected some of the more innovative platforms. While a handful of firms have received authorisation, many are still waiting. Roche-Saunders says: “The FCA wants a firm to stay still while it’s judging whether the business plan is stable. That’s quite difficult in a market such as this. Everyone’s trying to innovate and grab the consumer’s imagination.”In her view, among

those still waiting, “a good chunk are the firms that have done more innovation”. Some of the more innovative solutions have also found themselves the subject of FCA scrutiny. To date, investments made via peer-to-peer platforms have not been covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects customers of other financial services firms. The industry’s response was to create provision funds, whereby platforms set aside a portion of their fees to compensate lenders in the event that borrowers default. The FCA has since raised concerns that these funds could “introduce risks to investors that are not adequately disclosed and may not be sufficiently understood”.


espite this tension, at least some established peer-to-peer lenders are actively calling for regulatory measures to go further. The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association, a group of nine lenders that includes property-based platforms Landbay and LendInvest, believes more rules should be put in place to protect consumers. Goodall says: “We’ve always taken the view that two basic things are very important in peer-to-peer: people need to understand the risk, and be able to be compensated for that risk.” The FCA will consult this year on rule changes designed to provide “adequate investor protection while allowing for innovation and growth in the market”. For some lenders, these changes will provide the industry with validation. But it seems likely that something might also be lost. “I always think there is a cost to regulation,” says Roche-Saunders. “There’s no doubt you won’t be able to innovate and grow in an unfettered manner.” n


How Airbnb became an unwelcome guest

Proptech firms have a history of running up against regulators – who frequently find themselves on the back foot as they struggle to cope with the pace of innovation. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that one of the most successful proptech firms has also proved one of the most troublesome to regulators. Airbnb, the online platform that allows individuals to rent 24


out their homes to tourists, has transformed the holiday lettings market since launching in 2008. In the process, it has found itself at loggerheads with city authorities around the world. One of Airbnb’s greatest battles took place over hotel taxes. In many cities, tourist accommodation is supposed to be subject to tax which, at least at the outset, many Airbnb hosts neglected to pay.

After arguing for many years that it had no responsibility to ensure such taxes were paid, the company eventually backed down and now collects these on behalf of hosts in numerous cities. Such disputes have done nothing to dent the popularity of the service, despite its legality still frequently being called into question. In New York, the company’s largest

market, short-term lets are officially banned but enforcement action was rarely taken. That is, until February this year, when the city issued its first fines to illegal Airbnb hosts and promised a crackdown on illegal listings. For many companies, the threat would seem existential, but Airbnb has displayed a tendency to overcome such obstacles.

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The most important consideration for us and our apprentices is that LSBU’s scheme is RICS accredited



BRENDAN ROBINSON Transport for London

BROADEN YOUR HORIZON Take the practical route to hiring the next generation of chartered surveyors through a degree apprenticeship


he UK government’s higher and degree apprenticeships scheme aims to deliver practical skills alongside the advanced knowledge required to work in specialist areas. The programme has been running since 2015 but, for the initiative to be truly successful, close cooperation between employers and education providers is vital. “Young people are increasingly finding out about apprenticeships and agreeing that they are a reasonable alternative to just studying at university,” says Brendan Robinson, Lead Sponsor of the Quantity Surveying Apprenticeship at Transport for London (TfL). “If they are to attract the best people, organisations need to get on board. They need to make sure they are offering effective apprenticeship schemes in conjunction with excellent universities that are going to deliver what young people are looking for as they start their career.” CHARTERED SURVEYING DEGREE APPRENTICESHIP There are a number of apprenticeship standards that meet the skills requirements of the surveying sector, one of which is the Chartered Surveying Degree Apprenticeship. This course is aimed at surveyors who will be acting on behalf of clients or employers. These include quantity surveyors,

building surveyors, commercial property surveyors and residential property surveyors. It provides a degree in either quantity surveying or building surveying, as well as qualification as a chartered member of RICS. At London South Bank University (LSBU), the apprenticeship takes four to five years to complete with one day a week on campus (plus around six months to take the end-point assessment). Employers are actively involved in apprenticeships to ensure that they meet their needs. For the surveying standards, employers are responsible for ensuring that apprentices: have a supervisor who undertakes assessments of competence every three months; complete an appropriate range of work activities; and work with a counsellor who is a member of RICS who will support them through their application and assessment for chartered status. LSBU can provide support for this. “We’ve been working with LSBU for a number of years now, and in the last couple of years, we have used the university for our quantity surveying apprenticeships,” says Robinson. “It needs to be a symbiotic relationship with the university because we need the staff here four days a week and we know that works very well with LSBU.” Apprenticeships are more than just a degree course. The end-point for apprentices is the final assessment for the APC, which leads to qualification as a chartered surveyor and member of RICS. “The most important consideration for us and our apprentices – is the fact that the LSBU scheme is RICS accredited,” says Robinson. “Our goal is to take all of our team through to chartered status, which is what makes LSBU such a good match for our ambitions.” n TO FIND OUT how apprenticeships could benefit your organisation, call the LSBU apprenticeships team on +44 (0)20 7815 7324, or email M AY 2017_MODUS



Public sector

A wave of impending retirements is due to sweep the federal workforce, and new talent is greatly needed PIERRE WELCH MRICS (LEFT) DIVISION DIRECTOR FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT, US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON DC


he US State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations provides the platform for US diplomacy. Arguably, it has one of the most geographically diverse real estate portfolios in the world. Pierre Welch’s division is responsible for all real estate purchases – excluding sites for new embassies – sales, joint ventures, redevelopments, decommissioning and long-term sublets of the department’s real estate assets. Typically, the division invests between $30m and $50m annually, but this has sometimes exceeded $100m. “Our programme funding is generated by real estate sale proceeds that we reinvest in an effort to lessen our leasehold funding requirements and achieve financially attractive returns,” says Welch. His team are real estate transaction specialists, most with private sector experience in brokerage and some who have practised real estate law. Before joining the State Department in Washington DC more than 15 years ago, Welch worked in the private sector in valuation and real estate consultancy. “The primary difference is the need to be keenly aware of the fiduciary responsibility to the US taxpayer, something we take very seriously,” he says. “The public sector is also multi-layered with many equities to be considered.”

For Welch, the biggest challenge his division faces is having to work in virtually every market in the world. “While markets are transparent in some regions, many have varying degrees of opaqueness, with some of the least transparent markets having few, if any, practising real estate professionals, such as brokers, attorneys, architects and engineers,” he explains. “We rely on those professionals to set up our apparatus to facilitate a transaction. The challenges we face in these markets include currency fluctuation, volatile pricing, vague zoning ordinances, and building and development regulations.” That said, Welch would still encourage young professionals who are entering the workforce to consider the public sector very seriously.“Like many large corporations, there are many layers of bureaucracy that you need to work within, but there are often very good reasons why these are in place. Provided you have the right temperament to deal with that, it’s definitely worth the effort in my opinion.” He admits that a certain amount of patience is also required to get the proverbial “foot in the door” to start a career in the public sector, but that persistence will pay off. “There’s no doubt that an impending wave of retirements is due to sweep the federal workforce, and new talent is greatly needed,” he adds. “The advantage of working for the State Department is the pride of having a role in making a difference for your country. Our mission is security driven, so there is also the element of placing those people serving the US government abroad in safer facilities – and having a role in that process is very gratifying. For me, there is a very professional and personally fulfilling aspect to working in this bureau that cannot be matched by the private sector.” »

LET’S BE CIVIL ABOUT THIS In the battle for the profession’s best talent, what’s the more attractive proposition: working for the benefit of shareholders or society? Cherry Maslen meets three surveyors who swapped a private life for public service and haven’t looked back Photography Stephen Voss and Alun Callender

M AY 2017_MODUS 27

Public sector

You can drive past a special educational needs school and be proud that you helped get it built ALEX CHINN MRICS (RIGHT) SENIOR MANAGER – COST MANAGEMENT, HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL, WINCHESTER, UK


t Hampshire County Council, Alex Chinn leads a cost management team that delivers property projects with a value of up to £100m. “In my experience, working in the public sector is as interesting and challenging as the private sector, if not more so,” she says, having worked as a quantity surveyor and contracts team leader for private firms before joining the council in 2004. “Whatever the project, it’s incredibly rewarding to develop facilities to meet the needs of an entire county,” says Chinn. She cites as an example an ambitious £2.5m beachside visitor centre at Lepe Country Park, currently under construction and scheduled to open in spring 2018. “We had to make a strong business case for it as a community benefit project, and it has to pay its way once built,” she explains. “But it’s gratifying to see construction now beginning on site.” Although working in a political environment and dealing with financial cutbacks is undoubtedly challenging, being part of a large, multi-disciplinary organisation offers the chance to work with legal and financial teams, as well as property professionals. “We have a 350-strong property team, with opportunities to work in sectors including education, historic buildings and highways infrastructure,” Chinn explains. “But also, involvement in areas such as procurement, finance or training is much greater in the public sector due to the diversity of the organisations, which gives staff new skills and opportunities.” The requirement to work on wider capital and revenue budgets is also more acute in the public sector, while dealing with frequent budget cuts means public sector staff are forced to come up with creative ideas to ensure that projects are delivered. “It makes us sharper,” says Chinn. “We’re skilled in rising to financial challenges and perhaps more resilient than those in private practices.”Added to this is the satisfaction of seeing projects through to completion, rather than being assigned to a pre-contract or post-contract team, which is common in private firms. As someone who is actively involved in the training and career progression of graduates and newly qualified surveyors, Chinn believes in empowering staff: “Whenever possible, I’ll give people their own projects, which really helps with their APC,” she says. In a fee-driven, risk-averse private firm, it is likely they would remain as an assistant for much longer. Chinn also challenges the perception that public sector staff are less well remunerated. “It’s true that private firms offer young surveyors perks that we can’t, but I’ve found there is little difference in starting salaries, and we can offer staff flexible working patterns, which can be particularly beneficial for people who are raising families.” But the best part of a public sector career, according to Chinn, is the benefit you bring to your own community. “You can drive past a special educational needs school and be proud that you helped get it built.”


Public sector

I grew up in Adliswil and now I have the opportunity to transform parts of my home town DANIEL ZUEGER MRICS HEAD OF REAL ESTATE, CITY OF ADLISWIL, SWITZERLAND


ith a background in architecture and real estate management, Daniel Zueger worked for more than 10 years for private companies, including running his own architectural practice, before joining the public sector in 2014. He now leads a 10-employee local government department in his home town, Adliswil, on the banks of the River Sihl near Zurich, which is responsible for the town’s publicly owned buildings, as well as its pension fund property portfolio. “Our main responsibilities are project development, and portfolio and property management,” he explains. “It’s very different to working in the private sector because the focus is on politics and the public. In my case, it’s quite satisfying because I grew up in Adliswil, and now I have the opportunity to transform parts of my home town. Public sector work gives you a chance to get feedback and appreciation from outside your organisation, and you’re working for very different, non-professional stakeholders.” Adliswil is a growing town, with a rising birth rate and population increase of 21% between 2005 and 2015. This is the main driver for Zueger’s team, which will be overseeing a five-year programme to build new schools and kindergartens, as well as renovate existing schools. “Our property portfolio is already 50% school buildings, but this will need to increase further. It’s both exciting and challenging to be part of this level of development,” he says. In a drive to improve services for Adliswil’s growing population, the town council aims to increase its efficiency. “In the next three years, we’ll extend our main office building to accommodate all our staff and stop paying rent,” says Zueger. “This is part of the modernisation process and professionalisation of our property management.” However, on the downside he highlights that financial competence is lower in the public sector. “We have to deal with a different and usually longer approval process. As part of our direct democracy, the investments we make are also connected to people’s decisions through their votes.” Zueger believes that young professionals entering the civil service are likely to have more opportunity to manage projects earlier in their careers than in the private sector, as well as the chance to be involved in a wide variety of areas, such as education, culture, health and sports. Also, as in the UK, the advantages of working in the Swiss public sector include more flexibility regarding working hours.“It’s better to look at the whole picture, rather than just the salary,” says Zueger.“In the long term, it’s possible to be in a management position while working part-time, which provides more opportunity to combine a career with raising a family.” He adds: “Along with increased professionalism, over the last 15 years it has become more common for people to change jobs between the public and private sectors – which I think is a very encouraging trend.” n

M AY 2017_MODUS 29


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THE HIT FACTORY ARMS RACE Up-and-coming brands such as Under Armour, which opened a store at Wertheim Village in Germany last year (1), regard factory outlets as an extra distribution channel VILLAGE OF DEMAND Bicester Village (2) has repositioned itself as a highend fashion destination and it is now one of the UK’s top tourist attractions, with an annual footfall of 6 million


Retailers and investors are finally recognising the growth potential of Europe’s outlet centre market. Brendon Hooper reports

Factory outlet centres are shedding their old image as cheap, out-of-town stores where a few bargains can be picked up, and are going increasingly upmarket. What is more, they are becoming serious players in a crowded retail market, as investors eye the lucrative returns of a strongly growing sector. Between 2003 and 2014, average investment volumes in European factory outlet centres amounted to only €4.5bn, reports CBRE. But in 2015 alone, a massive €1.1bn was invested in the sector, and transaction volumes were more than three times the number recorded three years prior. Furthermore, while in 2014 all purchases were made by investors and managers already active in the sector, in 2015, 70% of transactions were carried out by new entrants, including institutional investors. “With rental growth forecasts in most sectors being generally muted, stronger growth in outlet centres presents opportunities for investors to improve their overall returns,” says Daniel Hayden MRICS, director in international valuation at CBRE.“Well-managed outlet centres around the world exhibit strong cashflow growth to investors, through the shared risk-reward mechanisms of the leasing structures.” Cushman & Wakefield’s research also notes outlet floor space in Europe has grown by 6.4% a year over the past five years – almost double the rate of traditional shopping centres – as investors and retailers raise their interest in this once-niche market. In addition, European outlet rents have increased by more than 10% in the past 12 months. Richard Ching MRICS, partner in Cushman’s outlet valuation team, explains that investors have traditionally not been so keen on the sector, because the performance of outlet centres is so heavily tied to turnover. This is changing – the market has proved to be highly resilient since the Global Financial Crisis, and investor interest is rapidly


MULTI OFFER Last year, a portfolio of 10 factory outlet centres was sold by the Irus European Retail Property Fund for a total of €1.28bn. Among them were (from top) the Style Outlets’ La Rozas in Madrid and Castel Guelfo in Bologna, and the Original Factory in Poznan

BIG SPENDERS Portugal has more factory outlet floorspace per 1,000 inhabitants than any other European country. In contrast, Germany – one of the largest retail markets in Europe with sales volumes of €408bn in 2014 – has huge growth potential


Source: CBRE, Eurostat 2016

= 1,000


the past three years, given the floorspace of outlet centres is still tiny compared with the shopping centre market. “Generally, planning regulations are constraining growth, because of the concern from town councils about their effect on town centres,” says Ching. “Arguably, this is why it is better for outlets to market themselves as destinations in their own right, [so they] are not seen as competition. Councils are gradually accepting this, and are now seeing outlet centres as a way of putting their area on the map.” In Germany, even stricter planning constraints can all but halt plans for large-scale retail schemes outside town and city centres. Despite a subdued level of development, Jan Linsin, head of research at CBRE Germany, says outlet centres are developing into an indispensable part of the retail mix: “For brand manufacturers and retailers, outlet centres have become an important sales channel complementing brick-and-mortar stores and online shops.” For example, in 2016, American sportswear brand Under Armour opened its first store in the country at Wertheim Village outlet centre, near Frankfurt. Linsin believes this underpins the increasing importance of factory outlets as an additional distribution channel for brands. According to his

PORTUGAL €39.2bn


UK €397.2bn

ITALY €254.7bn

SPAIN €194.2bn

FRANCE €420.4bn







POLAND €84.1bn


DENMARK €45.3bn


SWEDEN €72.6bn

GERMANY €408bn







picking up. “There’s a lot of investor cash now coming into the sector, as they’ve seen how lucrative it can be,” he says. Illustrating how shopping outlet centres have come of age for investors were two enormous pan-European sales in 2016 by the Irus European Retail Property Fund, managed by Neinver Group. Comprising 10 centres across Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Germany, the deals were completed for a record €1.28bn, and represented the largest European retail transaction of 2016, according to Cushman. Not only have operators and developers invested far more in the quality and luxury aspect of their centres over the past decade, designer retailers are also no longer fearful of brand dilution, and look to outlets for distributing surplus stock, which has increased their consumer base. In addition, rapidly rising rents in popular locations have incentivised developers to consider outlets as new retail channels. “In the UK investors are particularly interested in the upper-end of the market – the ones that are moving away from being just a discount centre to offer premium brands,” says Ching. “This is where the decent returns are coming through. Many outlet centres are positioning themselves very much as a destination – not just a collection of discount stores – but as somewhere to even rival out-oftown shopping malls” CBRE notes that, at present, outlet centres represent less than 2% of Europe’s total retail landscape. It is little wonder that the sector is showing some of the strongest returns over

report on the outlet centre investment market, potential transaction volumes in Germany could be around €2.3bn. “Considering that Germany is one of the largest retail markets in Europe, with an annual retail sales volume of around €408bn, the number of outlet centres is remarkably low,” the report states. “In Germany, there is only 2.6 m2 [28 ft2] of outlet centre space per 1,000 residents, compared to 125.5 m2 [1,350 ft2] of shopping centre sales area per 1,000 residents.” By contrast, the UK has 8.3 m2 [90 ft2] of outlet centre space per 1,000 residents. However, there are risks for newcomers to the outlet centres market, Ching warns. He advises new entrants to form a partnership with an established outlet operator.“As supply continues to remain constricted alongside increased investor appetite, those armed with accurate market knowledge and a risk-mitigating operating plan will be best placed to take advantage of the exceptional returns witnessed.” n

REFERENCE POINT REPORTS AND RESOURCES A database of factory outlet centres across Europe, from CBRE’s Viewpoint A report on the outlet centre investment market (Q3 2016) Cushman & Wakefield’s snapshot of outlet malls deals since 2008

Bloomberg Gadfly reports that outlet malls in the US are fighting hard to attract shoppers Ecostra’s Outlet Centre Performance Report Europe 2016, based on a Europe-wide survey of international brand manufacturers

M AY 2017_MODUS 33

BATTERIES INCLUDED Residents of Trent Basin in Nottingham are trialling a solar-powered network that allows them to store and share their energy. Brendon Hooper reports

Client/developer Blueprint: a joint venture between Nottingham City Council and Aviva Investors’ Igloo Regeneration Fund Quantity surveyor Gleeds Lead contractor Willmott Dixon Architect Marsh Grochowski Masterplanning Urbed


FUTURE BLUEPRINT The developer hopes that housebuilders will replicate its model of building low-cost, lowenergy homes connected to local batterypower networks on other brownfield sites

Built around a former industrial dock on the River Trent in Nottingham, the £100m Trent Basin development presents a fine example of how brownfield sites can be returned to use by building low-energy, low-cost, but high-quality housing. One of the key strategies to help meet the UK’s housing targets will be to increase development on brownfield land. The Campaign to Protect Rural England estimated in 2016 that more than 1 million houses could be built on such sites. Developed by sustainable property specialist Blueprint – a joint venture between Igloo Regeneration and Nottingham City Council – the first phase of 45 homes was completed at the end of last year. By 2022, the developer expects to complete around 500 low-energy homes, priced between £225,000 to £400,000. What really marks the project out, however, is its approach to community energy usage. As well as ensuring all the houses have been built to a high energy-efficiency

Case file

MATERIAL FITNESS The “Fabric First” policy ensured that building components such as timber, windows and kitchen surfaces were of sufficient quality to contribute to the efficiency of the homes

standard, Blueprint has installed solar photovoltaic panels on the homes of residents who have opted into the scheme to feed their generated energy into a community battery store. The “pooled”, stored energy is then distributed directly to residents through a loop, which should provide them with cheaper, cleaner energy. “The community energy project is really exciting for us,”says Ashley Walters MRICS, development surveyor at Blueprint. “At 2MWh, it is the largest community battery store in Europe, sitting in a secure compound in the site. Right now, we’re in a trial period, so after all the software and metering is installed in the homes, the community will be drawing energy from it this summer.” Residents should initially enjoy an estimated 25% saving on the cost of their energy bill, says Walters. Blueprint eventually hopes to achieve more than that, but as the system is in more of a‘research and development’stage, they should know more precise figures after around a year’s use.

POWER SHARING Trent Basin’s residents can opt into a scheme that pools the energy generated by their solar panels into batteries that distribute the electricity to all the homes

In addition, all homes have been built to the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard, which is the maximum amount energy required for a zero-carbon home to maintain a comfortable internal temperture. Walters says the“Fabric First”approach ensures the homes maximise the performance of the building components, regardless of their energy consumption. As a result, residents should already benefit from lower electricity usage, even before the community battery array is factored in. “The homes are relatively airtight, and we’ve used high-quality materials without being ground-breaking,” he says. “For example, only FSC-certified timber is used throughout the development, as well as a variety of Ibstock bricks, kitchen surfaces from Koronia and energy-saving aluminium and wood windows from Velfac.” The community energy system was not quite the planning nightmare that Walters expected, either.“Gaining permission for the battery store meant an alteration to the existing outline consent, but the planners

were informed of the project from day one and have been supportive. We’ve also tried to conceal the store in an out-of-sight part of the site, to reduce the visual impact.” The energy services company created through the project will eventually be partowned by the residents of Trent Basin. Furthermore, the data on their renewable energy use collected from the project will be made publicly available online and at an on-site community facility developed by students at the University of Nottingham. The aim is to provide a showcase of the project’s data to further educate homeowners, stakeholders and the public on the benefits of community energy use. “We’d like to see the system trialled by other housebuilders. There are a few looking at similar schemes, but we are aware that this is currently an R&D project to prove the business case for the system,” says Walters. “If the case is proven, then I would expect to see the widespread adoption of similar systems in the coming years.” n

M AY 2017_MODUS 35

Careers / Business / Legal / Training

Foundations CAREERS  Want to scale back your hours but not your role? A job share could be the answer, but how should you go about setting one up?


As the concept of flexible working becomes more enshrined as standard practice for UK employers, it is perhaps no surprise that organisations are also embracing the benefits of job sharing. Research published earlier this year by Timewise revealed that 46% of HR managers would consider hiring candidates for a senior role as part of a job share, which suggests it is not just full-time employees who can progress to the top of an organisation. For those considering whether a job share might be right for them, the first thing to bear in mind is not to confuse it with part-time working. “Job sharing boils down to one job description and one role, shared between two employees,” explains Stuart Hearn, CEO of performance management platform Clear Review. “Part-time roles cover different work, clients and objectives.” If you are considering a job-share arrangement, you first need to broach the subject with your boss, says Hearn. “Do your research and put together a written proposal. Detail the benefits that such an arrangement would lend to your employer. Give an overview of your current role and explain how it could be split.” “Highlight the fact that splitting the role would give the organisation a wider range of skills, experience and ideas, and state that having two competent people in the post can give them more flexibility during peak periods,” suggests Clare Lassiter, HR consultant at Pure Human Resources. Next, it is vital that you and your job-sharing partner are compatible. “Research suggests the best job shares

Shared vision People with similar values, ambitions and capabilities often form the most successful partnerships. Double up Schedule some overlap in the job-share partners’ working hours to ensure business continuity. Keep in touch Assist in developing effective communication strategies from the start. Review the situation Carry out regular reviews and encourage open discussion – will performance and accountability be jointly shared? Be vigilant Check for warning signs that the partnership is not working; address the situation and offer help. 36 RICS.ORG/MODUS

are those that people have put together themselves, often with someone they already know, so think about people in your network who may be interested in sharing a role with you,” advises Mubeen Bhutta, head of campaigns and policy at Working Families. “You need to be in tune with each other’s working styles, and consistent in your approach,” adds Linda Baldwin, senior resourcing manager at flexible-working specialist Capability Jane Recruitment. Once the arrangement is in place, you need to decide how the work will be split – and this will depend on the nature of the role and what skills each of you bring to it. In the surveying profession, there are some roles that might not always suit job sharing because of the nature of the work, such as valuation. “A valuation is something that one professional usually takes responsibility for from the beginning to the end of the process,” remarks Fiona Haggett FRICS, UK Valuation Director at RICS. “A job-share valuer who came in at the end of the process would be unwise to sign off and accept liability for someone else’s work.” Valuation is just one branch of the profession, however, so it is still worth investigating whether a job share is feasible for your particular discipline. As you will be acting as one employee, communication is key in a job share. “You need to ensure you hand over to each other effectively so that nothing falls through the cracks,” comments Lassiter, who adds that job sharers often build some overlap into the week to ensure a smooth handover. Finally, you will have to share the spotlight, advises Hearn. “You’re working one role, so the successes of one individual will probably be attributed to both of you. In a job share, it all boils down to ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.”

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THE BEGINNING I come from a line of lawyers – both my grandfather and father were lawyers in Vienna and I’ve continued the family tradition. After finishing my legal studies at the University of Salzburg in 1994, I was offered an internship in Prague, followed by a full-time position. I fell in love with this beautiful city and I haven’t looked back. I never really intended to move to the Czech Republic permanently, but I simply prolonged my “internship” and stayed, which is true for a lot of expats here. I learned Czech, and in 2000 passed the Czech bar exam.

1989 Studies for a law degree at the University of Salzburg 1995 Works as an associate for Balcar, Polanský & Spol 2000 Takes the Czech bar exam, and moves to Taylor Wessing as attorney at law in the Prague office 2007 Becomes partner at Taylor Wessing 2014 Applies to become an RICS member as a senior professional for management consultancy 2015 Promoted to CEE head of real estate & energy at Taylor Wessing

THE PRESENT    Today, I am head of CEE real estate and energy, which involves advising international clients in real estate transactions, as well as managing our firm of around 20 lawyers. We are a multilingual office, working in German, Czech and English – it’s a fascinating mix. A few years ago, I became curious as to why many real estate clients were using the title MRICS on their business cards. I had not previously heard about RICS – it’s not a typical network for lawyers. It sounded like it would be beneficial for me to achieve membership. It was a challenging process, but I’m glad I did it, and I’ve been a member now for almost two years. THE FUTURE Over the next few years I’ll be concentrating on increasing our real estate work and expanding the team. I’m also looking forward to being more involved with RICS – I recently participated in an RICS panel “Market Transparency and Financial Stability”, and I found it important to provide insights from a legal perspective.

THE BREAKTHROUGH I got pretty lucky – in 2000 I became the managing partner of Taylor Wessing Prague, more or less from scratch. I formed my own team, and soon after joining the firm, tackled my first real estate project, advising an Austrian real estate fund during its acquisition of an office building. It was a tough transaction, made even more challenging by flooding that hit “A few years ago, I became curious as to Prague two weeks later, leaving the building three metres under water. You why many real estate clients were using could say it was a trial by water. the title MRICS on their business cards”

M AY 2017_MODUS 37



It is a sign of the times that employees today are as likely to face being TUPE-transferred – that is, moved across to a new employer – as they are to lose their job or be sacked. But while TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) is designed to protect staff from predatory companies that see the potential for asset stripping – including the newly acquired workforce – every year thousands of tribunals are still heard because employers have failed to conduct the process properly. “At its simplest, the TUPE regulations ensure that any element of an employees’ contract that may differ from the acquiring company’s terms and conditions – things like holidays, sick pay and pension contributions – are protected indefinitely,” says Darren Maw, managing director of employment law firm Vista. “Any move to apply new terms would automatically be deemed unfair, and could spell a constructive dismissal case.” “Managers at the transferring employer must announce, and provide information about the transferring employee to the incoming employer, at least 28 days before the transfer,” adds Stuart Chamberlain, senior employment consultant at Wolters Kluwer’s Croner. “This is their Employee Liability Information [ELI] duty – failure to do this could result in employees claiming up to 90 days’ pay.”

Workers’ rights TUPE legislation protects an employee’s contract terms indefinitely. Tricky business But remember business decisions that indirectly lead to job losses are not covered. Keep in touch Think about what your staff will want to know; try to be as open as you can as early as possible. Still at risk A redundancy can still be made once an employee has transferred, provided it is unrelated to the transfer. Fault lines Any unfair dismissals made before a TUPE become the new employer’s responsibility. 38 RICS.ORG/MODUS

PARALLEL PROCESS The second issue is if the prospect of redundancy does occur. Under both the original and updated legislation, staff are protected to the extent that to dismiss someone through redundancy via TUPE is automatically unfair. However, this does not preclude employers from consulting in parallel about redundancies during a TUPE, providing that both processes stay separate. Redundancies can still be made after an employee transfers to the new company. The acquirer may not need all the staff they have gained, for instance, or the transferring firm may now require fewer people because of who has left. However, if the sole or principal reason for the dismissal is the transfer, it is still classed as unfair. In any post-TUPE negotiations, managers will have to prove it was not the main reason for the redundancy.


BUSINESS  Your first responsibility during a consultation process is to your staff

So far, so straightforward. It is what might happen further down the line where things can get tricky. Legislative changes in 2014 clarified that only aspects “relating to the transfer” could be protected indefinitely. This means businesses can proceed with actions that could lead to job losses – such as a restructure or a relocation – without fear of a case being brought against them. These are called economic, technical or organisational reasons. As a consequence, employers can now make new collective agreements with employee groups or unions which, if agreed upon, could change future conditions. Although there is no legal requirement for managers at the transferring employer to inform staff about prospective changes, this is one instance where the consensus seems to be that it is best to do so. “The best way to approach a TUPE is that it should be about managing people rather than the process,” says Maw. “The best managers ask themselves,‘what would staff want to know?’ Changing to a new employer will be unsettling and worrying. Transferring staff may have questions about what their new career prospects might be, whether they’ll be part of a culture they’ll be happy with [box, opposite]. The best managers will do their best to answer these questions in advance to give as much information as they can, rather than the legal minimum.” Maw tells managers who are concerned about saying something they shouldn’t that they need not worry. He argues that you cannot, in practice, over-explain, as most staff are simply seeking reassurances. If you do not know the answer, it is better to say so and then resolve to find out.



“‘Winging it’ definitely is not a valid approach when it comes to TUPE,” cautions Declan Bradley, employment lawyer at legal advice platform Lexoo. “Where the correct steps have not been taken, affected employees can claim up to 13 weeks’ salary, automatic unfair dismissal where applicable and any detrimental changes to their contracts because of the transfer – even changes implemented years after the TUPE transfer – are unenforceable. Legal advice

“The best way to approach a TUPE is that it is about managing people rather than the process. Managers should ask themselves, ‘what would staff want to know?’” DARREN MAW Vista must always be taken, but those that stick to the basics should TUPE successfully.” It is worth noting that if any dismissals occur before a TUPE, but are deemed unfair, the purchaser assumes liability for dealing with it. “If you are the new employer, you should be very interested in the contracts of the staff transferring to you,”advises Donald MacKinnon, director of legal services at Law At Work. “While the transferring employer is under an obligation to disclose all the terms and conditions, it’s not uncommon for accidental omission to occur. Don’t presume a scheme is not contractual, just because you are told so. Employees can have a different view of the status of their conditions. It’s essential businesses are prepared for all the small details, but that they manage the big picture, too.”

MANAGING ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE “The real test of any organisational change plan comes during implementation when people react to the process of changing, ie, how people feel about the impact of change on their relationships

at individual, group and organisation levels. Changing is relational – the new role, the new boss, the new staff … and people may react very strongly if they feel change impacting on deeply cherished relationships, ways of working, values and beliefs.” This is an extract from the Information Paper, Managing Organisational Change. Download the guidance from

Service charges put on report DR ANDREW HOLT Professor of accounting, Metropolitan State University of Denver The financial reporting practices for UK commercial service charges are not subject to statutory legislation. Given that total annual expenditure on the charges exceeds £10bn, and many schemes have annual costs of more than £1m, this is surprising. Where a lease fails to include financial reporting provisions, accounting guidance comes from the RICS Code of Practice, Service Charges in Commercial Property. Since 2011, the Service Charge Operating Reports for Offices and Retail (SCOR) has monitored compliance within the UK multi-let office and retail sectors with 10 of the Code’s accounting requirements. Overall compliance levels improved until 2013, but have since plateaued. Recent analysis of the service charge accounts for 200 UK properties found that just one complied with all 10 of the requirements. What are the issues surrounding the accrual of expenses? Most service charge accounts are prepared on an accruals basis, whereby the cost of work conducted for services performed during the period for which no invoices have been received is classed as periodic expenditure. While most certificates accrue expenses appropriately, there is evidence that certain provisions for future works planned but not yet commissioned are incorrectly recognised as

accruals, rather than contributions to a sinking or reserve fund. Why are accounting improvements needed? Service charge certificates should provide relevant information that is complete, neutral and error-free. However, accounts seldom include reconciling “balance sheets” or statements of changes in sinking/reserve funds. Alongside such crucial omissions, there are often more basic reporting issues, such as a failure to utilise the Code’s cost classes and categories, and inconsistent accounting certification. How can service charge accounting practices be improved? There is evidence that, since the Code’s inception, some managing parties are preparing accounts that comply with most of its requirements. Such “best practice” statements typically provide details of accruals and prepayments, include a balance sheet, utilise prescribed cost classes and categories, and detailed disclosure notes. What is clear is that the Code should require certificates to include the above as a matter of course. How can RICS promote accounting best practice? Although the Code has improved best practice, it may be time to designate it a professional statement, giving it greater teeth. This will promote higher standards in service charge accounting, and ensure that commercial occupiers receive the information they need and deserve. M AY 2017_MODUS


Overview of infrastructure Dispute resolution



Taxation and capital allowances

Technical requirements


9 Environment and sustainability



Contracts management and administration


Infrastructure channel

7 6 Procurement


Cost planning and management

Planning and consents

5 Programme and project management

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CPD booster Related content from RICS

TELECOMS UPDATE: TOUGHER TIMES AHEAD? Emma Humphreys (above) presents a webcast focusing on the legal issues and developments in mobile communications. webcasts/292 ››CPD hours: 1

RINGING THE CHANGES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT The code that governs the UK’s telecoms infrastructure is being updated – so make sure you’re connected Warning signals As the UK’s demand for digital communications grows, the telecoms industry is seeing an increase in issues around masts, relocation and infrastructure. These are giving rise to complex disputes that can cause problems for surveyors and their clients. Furthermore, these issues are going to be affected by reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) – the law that covers equipment used to transmit signals such as mobile phone calls. Timed out Mobile operators argue that the present code, which gives them rights to install apparatus on properties, works too slowly. The code is also disliked by many landlords because of the restrictions imposed when an operator puts equipment on its land. Developers can also lose time, since it is not uncommon for it to take 18-24 months for apparatus to be removed from a site, due to the complexity of the legislation.

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Shift in approach Surveyors should be aware of some of the key changes within the proposed new code. For example, although the draft code allows for the removal of apparatus to enable a redevelopment

by the landlord, it also introduces an 18month notice period. The existing right for landlords to “lift and shift” apparatus has not been retained, which will restrict their ability to relocate equipment unless they have expressly provided for this in the agreement with the code operator. The draft code also aims to limit rents by providing that no account should be taken of the value of the land to the operator. Not your call There will also be a test to decide whether to override a landlord’s rights and order the installation of apparatus on its property. If there is no voluntary agreement, the court will assess whether the property owner can be compensated for the prejudice arising from code rights being imposed, and whether the prejudice to the landlord is outweighed by the public benefit in having access to the relevant services. Crossed wires The existing ECC has caused real practical difficulties for mobile operators and landlords and will continue to do so, as the new code is not retrospective. It seems likely that its complexity will simply lead to a new set of issues for argument. EMMA HUMPHREYS is a partner at law firm Charles Russell Speechlys

STANDARDISED WAYLEAVE FOR URBAN TELECOMS IN LONDON Osborne Clarke’s Donal Kelly and Alex Davy (above) cover the City of London’s standardised wayleave agreement. webcasts/289 ››CPD hours: 1

BIG DATA AND SOURCES OF PROPERTY INFORMATION RICS’ Rachel Dick (above) examines online sources of data for professionals and the role of data in managing property and assets. cpdfoundation. com/webcasts/287 ››CPD hours: 1 M AY 2017_MODUS



BENEFITS To view the latest offers, new partners and promotions, visit

tax at present, paying more tax. So, too will some basic-rate taxpayers, if their rental income pushes them into the higher-rate tax bracket. Wear and tear Landlords can no longer automatically deduct 10% of their rental profits as notional wear and tear. They are only able to claim tax relief on costs they have genuinely incurred. Using a limited company Placing buyto-let properties in a limited company may be an option, but it is dependent on a host of factors, such as: number of properties held; for how long the properties will be held; level of rent and other earnings/income; the extent of leveraging on the properties; and the landlord’s personal circumstances.

RENTAL ARITHMETIC Recent tax changes could leave buy-tolet landlords severely out of pocket Property continues to be a tax focus for successive governments in the UK. From April 2017, further significant tax changes for buy-to-let landlords are being phased in as a result of revisions to tax relief on mortgage interest. Buyto-let landlords are potentially set for steep increases in the tax they pay on their rental income. Here is a summary of some of the key tax changes. Stamp Duty Land Tax Higher rates of SDLT are already in place for second properties. An additional 3% is now payable on buy-to-let purchases where the individual already owns at least one other property, with a top rate of 15%. Even those buying a property with a value of less than £125,000 will now be paying 3%.



Capital Gains Tax Although lower rates of 10% and 20% were announced in the 2016 Budget, these do not apply to disposals of residential property, which still attract rates of 18% and 28% depending on the marginal tax rate – excluding a main residence. Income Tax Prior to 6 April, landlords could reduce the tax payable on their rental profits by deducting mortgage interest from rental income before paying tax at their relevant marginal rate. This system will be phased out by April 2020, at which point landlords will only have a tax credit equivalent to 20% of their mortgage interest to set against their rental income. This will result in every mortgaged landlord, who is subject to 40% or 45% income

Readers should be aware that levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances. FOR AN OBLIGATION-FREE financial review, please visit, email, or telephone +44 (0)800 953 3030. St. James’s Place Wealth Management is RICS’ Preferred Provider of Wealth Management Advice*. *Advice is provided by representatives of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services. For more details, visit RICS is an appointed introducer to St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.




Is there a book, website or app you couldn’t be without? Email

waterproof protection rating, so it works reliably outdoors and also in freezing temperatures. Included in the package is Leica’s Rod Eye 120G, a receiving device with a digital read-out display, which can extend the Rugby’s operating range. LEICA RUGBY 640G LASER LEVEL £1,260 inc. VAT (prices vary)



JCT – Constructing Excellence Contract 2016 Tailored for use in partnering and where participants wish to engender collaborative and integrated working practices. £60.98


››The Property Care Association has developed specialist training for surveyors on issues relating to failed or compromised retrofit insulation. ››Storage Share helps businesses or landlords to let vacant space via an Airbnb-like platform, and connects individuals and companies who are looking for space. ››CBRE’s Blueprint discusses how light pollution can have significant downsides for animal and human health. ››Fancy running your own construction company? Construction Simulator 2 challenges you to master more than 60 jobs, from repairing roads to rebuilding bridges, plus you get to operate 36 different vehicles. Available at your preferred app store.

When levelling and aligning in and around buildings, using a good construction laser can be a relatively small investment that can pay off in a big way. Many laser levels use red beams, but this colour can sometimes be difficult to see. The Leica Rugby 640G laser level instead uses a rotating green laser beam that is more easily picked up by the naked eye. The improvement in visibility is a result of advances in green diode technology, says Leica, which makes the beam visible at up to 30 metres without the need of a separate receiver. The Rugby can operate for up to 60 hours, and has an IP67

NEC4 Complete Family of Contracts Contains an added NEC3 Design Build Operate Contract, reflecting the demand for contracts to extend into the operational phase. £720

Quantity Surveyor’s Pocket Book Updated in line with NRM1, NRM2, and NRM3. Invaluable for everything from initial cost advice to the final account stage. £19.99


Leadership & Business Podcast It is: an online podcast series that features discussions with professionals from around the world, who share strategies and tactics for success.

I’m fascinated by leadership and the positive influence it can have on teams and organisations. I’m always keen to ascertain common traits and characteristics among successful leaders. Hosted by Ken White of the Raymond A Mason School of Business, the

podcast covers topics such as how to lead large organisations, the fear of failure, and diversity in the workplace. The podcast provides the best advice from leaders in different fields and disciplines, who have seen and done it all before. Listening to the interviews gives me a

benchmark of where I am in my own career, and helps me focus on what I need to improve. You can access the podcast for free through iTunes, Soundcloud or at GAVIN FERRARIS MRICS is an associate director at Currie & Brown, London M AY 2017_MODUS



Full RICS events listings online at For enquiries, call +44 (0)20 7695 1600. All prices are +VAT


››RICS UK Summit 16 May, London Explore how we can improve the resilience and relevance of the profession, with speakers at the forefront of their industry. Discuss the key drivers for change, gain an insight into future developments and ensure your business plan is fit for purpose. CPD: 4 hours £195 ››RICS CPD DAYS 24 May, Birmingham; 24 May, Exeter; 14 June, Cardiff; 15 June, Lincoln; 15 June, Aberdeen; 4 July, Oxford; 5 July, Bristol Regional conferences full of CPD within land, property and the built environment, with breakout sessions tailored to meet specific learning requirements. CPD: 6 hours £150 full day, £95 half day ››RICS Rural Mid-Session Conference 18 May, Perth Hear crucial updates from the Scottish Land Commission, while other sessions will focus on the Rural Infrastructure Plan, the Planning Bill, and GIS as a business management tool. CPD: 5 hours £80 ››RICS Dilapidations Conference, Scotland 2017 25 May, Glasgow Providing you with expert guidance on the biggest updates that are set to impact dilapidations practice. Legal specialists will provide a roundup of cases and analyse the impact they will have on your practice. There will also be updates on issues such as lease interpretations, building services and payment clauses. CPD: 5 hours £100 ››RICS Dilapidations Roadshow June, various locations Featuring a roundup of recent dilapidations cases; a rundown of the steps required to prepare for the incoming MEES 2018 deadline; and a study of the latest RICS Dilapidations Guidance Note 7th edition. CPD: 4 hours £150 ››RICS Commercial Property Conference, Scotland 1 June, Edinburgh Providing an update on market conditions, plus a look beyond traditional forms of investment, and analysis on future opportunities in emerging asset classes. CPD: 5.5 hours £135 44 RICS.ORG/MODUS

››RICS BIM Conference 6 June, London Covering topics such as the importance of ensuring security in common data environments, and the increasing use of geospatial data in BIM projects. The event will also feature breakout sessions for both cost and project managers, and facilities managers. CPD: 6.5 hours £255 ››RICS Planning & Development Conference 15 June, London Exploring viability in practice and the relationship between placemaking and commercial value. Topics to be covered include availability of land, the Housing White Paper, the GLA Supplementary Planning Guidance on Viability and Affordable Housing, infrastructure delivery and urban trends. CPD: 6 hours £250

››RICS Rural Conference 20 June, Cirencester Topics to be covered will include new markets for land and nature, diversity in the rural profession, planning and “agritech”. Keynote speaker Sir Peter Kendall will take a closer look at the agricultural sector in a post-Brexit UK. CPD: 5.5 hours £135 ››RICS Strategic FM Conference 27 June, London Tailored to meet the new demands of the FM profession, key topics this year include how the sector is maturing, and maximising value over the life of the built asset. Sessions will also cover the role of the property manager in analysing and optimising a building during the construction phase, and examine what occupiers will be looking for in the future. CPD: 6 hrs £230


May-July, various locations, UK

These must-attend seminars detail the most recent updates to international valuation standards, giving you clear guidance on the changes and how they affect your approach to undertaking valuations. The revised standards will help you provide accurate market valuations for your clients, ensure that you are compliant with RICS Valuation Standards and help reduce your risk in professional negligence cases. The seminars provide best-practice guidance, clear mandatory rules and related commentary for all RICS members undertaking any asset valuation. CPD: 5 hours £160


OBITUARIES Please email obituary notifications to or call +44 (0)247 686 8555 ››RICS Diversity and Inclusion Conference 29 June, London This year’s programme will demonstrate the business case for having a diverse and inclusive leadership. Listen to senior leaders from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Chartered Institute of Building, Royal Town Planning Institute, Arcadis, Valuation Office Agency and CBRE to name just a few. Paula Stannett, chief people officer at Heathrow Airport, will give the keynote address. Network with leaders who are committed to furthering the diversity agenda within the property and construction industry. CPD: 5.5 hours £195 ››RICS Residential Property Conference 5 July, London The UK government has set a target to deliver 1 million new homes by 2020. This annual conference brings together leading experts to debate and analyse how the industry needs to react to meet this ambitious goal. Attend to discover how the latest updates from the housing white paper, and how off-site construction and build-to-rent could be viable solutions to the housing shortage in the UK. CPD: 6 hours £150


››World Workplace Europe 30 May–1 June, Stockholm, Sweden This inaugural conference will welcome public and private sector facilities managers, educators, topic experts, authors, students, product and service providers, members of RICS and the International Facility Management Association and partner organisations, as well as professionals in real estate, engineering, architecture, design, security, IT and HR. CPD: TBC €1,045 (full event), €450 (single day)


››Derek R Biss FRICS 1927-2017, King’s Lynn ››Harry Stanley Davies MRICS, 1929-2017 Loughton


››Valentine James Cooper MRICS 1912-2012, Derby ››Donald James Demus MRICS, 1922-2016 Alford ››Arthur George Frost FRICS, 1928-2017 Kettering ››Nigel Timothy Walker FRICS, 1949-2016 Stamford


››Cecil Vivian Cherns MRICS, 1928-unknown Pinner ››Christopher Paul Ridout FRICS 1943-2016 South Croydon ››Sydney Ivor Shapland FRICS, 1929-2017 London ››Ian Eric Lionel Williams MRICS 1955-2016, Romford


››Graeme Leonard Johnstone MRICS 1955-2017 Darlington


››Harold James Leadbetter MRICS 1934-2017, Wirral ››Dennis Nelson Oliver FRICS, 1943-2017 Liverpool ››John Bennett Pendleton FRICS 1933-2017, Liverpool

››Peter Michael Poole FRICS, 1929-2017 Neston ››Arnold Smith FRICS 1924-2017, Bolton ››Campbell Freder Smith FRICS 1927-2017, Ulverston ››James Norman Tong 1934-2017, Neston



››Brendan Vincent Brady MRICS 1941-2017, Bray ››Kevin Michael Callan FRICS, 1931-2016 Monkstown ››Niall Power Smith FRICS, 1929-2017 Naas

››James Webster Maddock MRICS 1920-2017, Dyfed


››John Alexander Eccles MRICS, 1958-2017 Bangor


››James Reginald Bavage MRICS 1928-2017, Camberley ››Paul Joseph Dickie FRICS, 1950-2016, Fleet ››John Edward Leonard FRICS, 1936-2016 Reading ››Anthony Paul Prior FRICS, 1930-2017 New Milton ››Ernest Prower 1917-2016, Hampshire ››Anthony Frederick Stephens MRICS 1947-2016 Southampton ››Colin Evans Trounce FRICS, 1931-2017 Tonbridge ››Clement Andrew Watson MRICS 1941-2016 East Grinstead


››Bernard L Bratz MRICS, 1928-2017 Montreal ››Dr Charles W Graham FRICS, 1951-2016 Norman ››Lester Harris Hollans Jr MRICS 1969-2017, Auburn


››Wai Sum Chung FRICS, 1948-2016 Hong Kong Central


If you are facing hardship after the loss of a family member, or if you are considering leaving a legacy, please contact LionHeart, the charity for RICS members and their families. Call +44 (0)24 7646 6696, email info@, or visit

››Peter Norman FRICS 1929-2017, Bodmin ››William Ward FRICS 1932-2017, Truro


››Peter James Butler FRICS, 1948-2017 Huddersfield ››Geoffrey Michael Grime AssocRICS 1932-2016 Huddersfield

M AY 2017_MODUS 45 / To advertise, email or call +44 (0)20 7101 2772

RICS Recruit Residential Valuation Surveyors Do you want to work for a well-established private firm with a corporate attitude - a firm that is quality driven and that has a strong tradition of VALUING its surveyors as INDIVIDUALS? Valunation is part of one of the country’s largest independent and privately owned Estate Agency groups with over 200 branches and we’re looking to further expand and strengthen our national team of residential valuation surveyors. This is your opportunity to make a positive yet rewarding change to your work- life balance and join a leading name in the residential surveying marketplace where we pride ourselves on the emphasis we give to the quality, rather than the quantity, of what we deliver. Our staff retention and recent growth speaks volumes for our business philosophy – we do things differently! We have vacancies for experienced RICS qualified and registered valuation surveyors, who are highly motivated. You must be familiar with undertaking residential valuations and surveys for both lenders and private clients. We have immediate positions in London, Home Counties and the South and elsewhere nationally in England with new vacancies being added all the time, so WHY NOT send us your CV? We offer an above average benefits package including private medical care, life insurance, company pension, BMW car or car allowance, together with a generous bonus scheme. We are also happy to consider part-time or flexible working. If you are interested in joining us we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email your CV directly to or call Paul Lancaster on 07974 090 113 or David Atter on 07973 543 010 for a confidential chat.

All the Jobs, One Call Away RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS (AssocRICS & M/FRICS) Full Time + Part Time

Recruiting Asset Surveyors who are Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors For a confidential discussion contact Ian Frazer, Head of Repairs and Regeneration on 01752 388041 or for more information and our other vacancies please see our website: f PlymouthCommunityHomes

t @PlymCommHomes

The June issue will be published on 6 June Recruitment copy deadline Friday 28 April



London E,EC & N, Banbury, Barnsley, Bath, S Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Bristol, Burton on Trent, Canterbury, Cardiff, Chelmsford, W Cheshire, Colchester, Crewe, Derby, Derbyshire, N Devon, Didcot, Fylde Coast, Guildford, Harrow, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Kidderminster, Leamington, Leeds, Leicester, N Leics, Loughborough, Luton, S +N Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, N Notts, Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Rochdale, Rochester, St Albans, Sheffield, Shoreditch, Slough, Southampton, Southall, Southend, Stoke, Swindon, Teesside, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Wallingford, Warwick, Watford, Yorkshire. ALSO: Staff Surveyors, outstanding employer, Halifax, Huddersfield, N Manchester, York, (Reading - Part Time). Experienced in mortgage valuations and Homebuyer reports. Positions undertaking building surveys also available. Employers include direct lenders, major surveying organisations and smaller local practices. Outstanding basic salaries, commission and benefits packages available. Call Jeff Johnson on 07940 594093 or email your CV in confidence to: or connect via linkedin:


RICS Recruit

Competent Surveyors are required to fill two vacancies created by expansion and impending retirement of senior personnel VALUATION SURVEYOR


General Valuation Work (Residential & Commercial) Landlord & Tenant Matters Lease Reform Expert Witness Reports Compulsory Purchase

Party Wall Matters Building Surveys/Home Buyer Reports Building Disputes Specification/Supervision Dilapidations

ABOUT US Buntings is a long established Chartered Surveyors practice based in West London. Part of a larger property group we offer a broad range of professional services to a diverse client base. An interesting and diverse workload should be anticipated.

ABOUT YOU 1) Initiative/motivation and a desire to grow within an expanding business 2) Qualified, experienced and able to organise your own work load 3) You must “fit” with the existing team of friendly and enthusiastic personnel

THE PACKAGE Contact us and find out. Email your cv in the first instance to or call John Crosbie FRICS on 0208 567 2448 for further information

Look after their future. And we’ll look after yours. Part-time and full-time careers across the UK with one of the nation’s largest valuation and surveying businesses. As a Colleys Valuation Surveyor with Lloyds Banking Group, you’ll work for one of the largest UK Lenders, enjoying Single Lender Reporting, whilst helping customers realise their ambitions of becoming home owners or remortgaging. In return, you’ll benefit from a competitive salary, enjoy the flexibility of working remotely, and receive support, training and opportunities for personal and professional development. Plus, you’ll be eligible for the award-winning flexible benefits package only Lloyds Banking Group can offer, with a wide range of benefits like a contributory pension scheme, private medical insurance, and discount vouchers. At Colleys, we’ll do everything we can to make you feel right at home. Walsall and Sutton Coldfield | Aberdeen | Chippenham and Calne | High Wycombe | Warrington | Gosport/Fareham | North London | Coventry | Watford Search for “Valuation Surveyor” at:

M AY 2017_MODUS 47

To view more jobs online visit

Regional Building Surveyor London and the South East HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT IT’S ACTUALLY LIKE WORKING FOR BT? BT Facilities are a subsidiary of the BT Group, we provide an integrated facilities management, construction and building maintenance service across more than 6,000 UK sites, helping to support BT’s buildings and the 80,000 people working in them. It’s truly a unique, dynamic and very fulfilling working environment. We are looking to recruit a motivated, experienced and professionally qualified Building Surveyor to join our Infrastructure Team covering London and the South East of England. The work requires a strong understanding of building defect analysis, building construction,

and property law with some relevant experience in contract management and administration. A significant aspect concerns the development and prioritisation of building maintenance and other programmes, along with technical leadership on building maintenance related matters within the region. In return we’ll offer you a competitive salary, pension scheme, private health care, company car and a range of other benefits including discounted BT products and services such as BT Infinity, BT Vision and free BT Sport TV. We’ll also give you the opportunities, support and coaching to develop and grow in an exciting business.

If this job sounds appealing and you have at least 3 years’ experience in a similar role, then please send your CV to or call us on 0207 809 5773 for more information.



RICS Recruit


Connells Survey & Valuation is seeking Residential Surveyors. We are an established, respected and successful business offering an excellent remuneration package and work life balance. We are looking for enthusiastic Residential Surveyors to join our team. Experienced candidates are preferred but we are prepared to provide relevant training for the right applicant.

AREA DIRECTOR, Essex/Herts We are seeking an individual with the ability to lead and inspire a team to deliver a right first time service to clients. We are also looking to recruit RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS in the following locations: • Blackpool • Bristol • Burton on Trent • Croydon • East London • Halifax

• Leicester • Maidstone • Medway Towns • North Devon • North London • Nottingham

• Oxford • Peterborough • Southampton • Swindon • Uxbridge/Southall • Worcestershire

If you are interested in any of these roles, then we would love to hear from you. Please contact:

Tim Jones MRICS on

07785 266226

or send your CV to

M AY 2017_MODUS 49

To view more jobs online visit


PURSUE A NEW CAREER PATH THIS SUMMER. Join SDL Surveying today. Whether you’re fresh out of the traps or looking for a new


Get on the dog and bone:

leash of life, we’re recruiting

07920 542 665

VRS registered, AssocRICS

Or, email your CV to:

and MRICS surveyors today.


RICS Recruit

Welcome to our future...

Do you want to be part of the technological revolution and help shape the future of the surveying industry? Do you want a consistent and varied workload, spending less time travelling and more time surveying? Are you looking for a team with a clear focus, in which individuality is encouraged but support is paramount? Could you help to inspire the next generation of residential surveyors? Are you forward-thinking, passionate about property and doing the right thing? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, we want to hear from you.

As one of the UK’s leading residential property risk and surveying businesses, we’ve never shied away from change. Last year, we embarked upon the most ambitious technological upgrade our industry has ever seen, to provide a solution that enables our surveyors to work smarter, earn faster, and deliver a more effective service to our clients and customers. But our technology is only half the equation. We’ve created an honest and open culture in which technical expertise is rewarded, and everyone is empowered to do their best.

Our package includes a competitive basic salary, generous incentive scheme, and excellent benefits including private medical care, life assurance, share-save, and much more. We’re always keen to speak to experienced surveyors about our nationwide opportunities and are immediately seeking surveyors in: London (North, East & Central), Enfield, High Wycombe, Oxford, Northampton, Norwich, Edgbaston, Teesside, Lincoln(ZH), Grimsby(ZH), Mid Wales(ZH) Welcome to our future. It’s getting exciting.

But don’t just read about it. Contact any of our directors and they’ll be happy to tell you more: Paul Marcus (Regional Operations Director - North) - 07775 544866 Tim Wood (Regional Operations Director - South) - 07800 705547 Russ Hewitt (Operations Director) - 07775 544842 David Blagden (Director of Consultants) - 07968 932017 Alternatively, contact Matt in our Talent Aquisition Team on 07794392858 or email your CV to

For a full list of our opportunities visit



To view more jobs online visit

Opportunities for Staff Surveyors / Valuers UK wide

Would you like to focus on quality over quantity with a single reporting format, a workload comprising mostly Mortgage Valuations, a tight-knit patch, logically booked jobs, market leading tablet technology and an outstanding remuneration package that isn’t commission led on EITHER a Full OR Part time (employed) basis? We are recruiting nationally for both high street and specialist lenders who require experienced Valuers to work in-house in the following locations immediately (with additional vacancies arising weekly):

Full time

Walsall High Wycombe Bracknell/Ascot Aberdeen Hertfordshire Kent Sutton Coldfield NW London East London Harrow Watford



Part time

Stevenage Wembley Chippenham

Suitable Surveyors will need to meet the following criteria: • MRICS/FRICS qualification (though AssocRICS may be considered with sufficient levels of experience) • VRS accreditation • PII claim free • Strong track record in their chosen patch • A stable career history demonstrating strong commitment to past and present employers. As well as the obvious workload, lifestyle and team benefits, successful Staff Surveyors can expect a remuneration package comprising: • High basic (up to £67k) depending on location

• Profit share or bonuses based on multiple (quality) factors as opposed to volume only • Efficient, logical booking within a small patch • High quality prestige company car • 6 weeks holiday to start • Market leading Pension • A wide range of health, lifestyle and wellbeing benefits • Preferential staff mortgage rates To find out more (without obligation), apply for one of our immediate needs or register (in confidence) for future vacancies in your patch please contact: Greg Coyle 0208 514 9116

RICS Recruit

Opportunities for Residential Surveyors UK wide

With pay reviews completed, withheld bonuses paid and 2017 well and truly underway, how does your current deal stack up against the various other opportunities out there? You could respond to a variety of adverts and run the risk of someone discovering your curiosity… or… you could speak to the agency whose client base makes up the bigger picture and explore the market discreetly with no obligation or risk… what have you got to lose?

With a two decade sector association, wide ranging (and often exclusive) client base and in-depth knowledge of each company through years of close working, we welcome enquiries (in confidence, without obligation and however speculative) from: • Residential surveyors already working in the sector • Residential surveyors who left the sector post 2008, but would like to return with refresher training • Semi-retired surveyors (with residential experience) keen to keep active on a part-time/flexible basis • MRICS-qualified surveyors with relevant – although perhaps not direct – inspection or valuation experience. • Staff Valuers/ Residential Surveyors keen to work client side

Dorset, (DT, BH), Hampshire (SO, PO), Surrey (CR, TW, KT, SM, GU), Kent (ME,TN, CT, BR, DA), Plymouth, Gloucestershire (GL), Bristol (BS), CB, S, NR, Cardiff/South Newport (CF, NP), Chichester, Basingstoke, Aberdeen, Northants, Uxbridge, Harrow, Twickenham, Swindon, Leicester. Remuneration includes a basic salary of £40-55k (depending on location), bonuses (based on fee income), a car (or allowance), healthcare and pension.

Current vacancies include:

Opportunities for first time entrants / Trainee Residential Surveyors nationally Our client is an independent, wellestablished and growing firm of chartered surveyors undertaking the full range of survey and valuation services for main lenders and private clients. They are able to train enthusiastic chartered surveyors from most backgrounds so previous residential surveying experience is not essential. Vacancies exist nationally with particularly urgent needs in the following postcodes: ME/CT, BS/TA, BA/SN, BN, TN, IG, E, RM, SO/PO, LE, CV, LS/WF, RH/GU, M/SK/WA, B/DY/WV, GL/WR. Basic salary c£50k + Bonuses + Car allowance

Opportunities for experienced Residential Surveyors within corporate environments: All London postcodes (N, NW, W, SW, SE & E), Essex (SS, CM, RM, CO, IG & E), Hertfordshire(AL, SG, WD, EN), Bedfordshire/Luton (LU, MK), M4 Corridor generally (SL, RG, OX, SN), East & West Sussex (BN, TN, RH),

Opportunities within panel– appointed, non-corporate practicebased environments Our clients are traditional, independent private practices who service main lender, private client and in-house (agency) instructions undertaking the full range of residential reports for high

We can help you achieve: • An improvement in earnings, be that basic salary or a bonus scheme that offers greater incentives • A reduction in hours or a move to part-time or zero hours working • A reduction in the volume of work that you are expected to handle • An improvement in the general quality of your instructions

average fees. Their ethos is quality over quantity (but not at the expense of security) and, as such, surveyors working for them are not put under the same pressures as they might be elsewhere in the sector. Vacancies exist in the following locations immediately with additional needs following on a near weekly basis: South London, South Hampshire (Portsmouth/Southampton/ Winchester), Chilterns, North West London, North East London/Essex, Kent, Oxford, Bristol/Bath. Chichester, North London, Reading, St Albans, Bromley, Dartford, East London, SW London, Loughton/ Chigwell, Romford, Colchester, Chelmsford, Milton Keynes. Basic salary circa £50k+ with excellent “zero threshold” bonus scheme, quality car and benefits. Regional / Area Management opportunities Climb the corporate ladder in a position that combines staff management, recruitment and support with a fee earning element for maximum OTE (up to £90k in certain locations). Vacancies exist in Norfolk/ Suffolk, Humberside/Nottinghamshire, Essex/Herts and Plymouth / SW England To find out more or apply, contact: James Irving 0208 514 9120



To view more jobs online visit

SPRING INTO ACTION WITH A N E W & E X C I T I N G O P P O RT U N I T Y TA K E Y O U R C A R E E R T O N E W H E I G H T S A N D B E PA RT O F S O M E T H I N G G R E AT ! Miller Metcalfe Surveyors are a leading national supplier of Surveys and Valuations. We believe in investing in our people and ensuring Miller Metcalfe is a great place to work. We have nationwide opportunities available for home based, highly motivated MRICS/ FRICS Residential Chartered Surveyors, who meet VRS registration requirements, have experience of producing RICS HomeSurveys and want to work across a mixture of both private and lender clients. When you join Miller Metcalfe you are guaranteed; a competitive OTE in the region of £60 - £70k (dependant on experience & location), generous incentive scheme, company vehicle or allowance, pension contributions, full administration/technical support and much, much more. With the recent introduction of the new iPad technology our future is bright and there’s never been a better time to join our team. We are fully committed to developing our people and further enhancing their career. We want to hear from you whatever your location. To find out more about us visit To find out more about what we have on offer, please contact: Nicki Henderson, HR Director on 01204 525252 or email your most recent C.V. details to All applications are dealt with in the strictest of confidence.



RICS Recruit

HARGREAVES JONES RECRUITMENT 2017 Quantity Surveyors and Senior Quantity Surveyors of all levels sought to meet rapid company expansion Location: Nationwide Excellent Salaries + Car/Car Allowance + Generous Pension + PHI. Sector Experience Sought– Gas, Oil, Nuclear, Utilities, Commercial and Traditional Building Hargreaves Jones is a commercial and Project Management Services Consultancy serving the Oil, Gas, Nuclear, Utilities, including overhead Transmission Lines, Pharmaceuticals, Fast Moving Consumer Goods sectors (FMCG) and Commercial and Traditional Building sectors. We pride ourselves on delivering commercial and project services to clients engaged in capital construction and engineering activities on both large and small infrastructure projects for Blue Chip clients, or their respective design and project management service providers. The continued expansion and success of our growing business, presently averaging 34% year on year since 2006, and recently acknowledged as placing Hargreaves Jones in the top 50 QS Firms in UK, is reliant upon finding enthusiastic & motivated professionals to join our growing business.

For a confidential discussion please contact us on 0161 817 3340, alternatively send a current copy of your CV to

REQUIREMENTS FOR FREELANCE & ZERO HOURS RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS UK WIDE We continue to see unprecedented demand for both LTD and PAYE freelance and zero hours residential surveyors across the UK. As panel managers, lenders and independent practices seek viable solutions to address the ever changing residential landscape, we have been inundated with requests to supply experienced Residential Surveyors keen to work on flexible terms nationally. Work is offered on a non-exclusive basis (with FULL PII Cover provided by our clients in most cases) enabling suitable surveyors to enjoy all the financial benefits of consultancy working with none of the usual drawbacks (i.e. not being able to service existing clients, expensive PI premiums & run off cover etc..).

Whether you seek supplementation of existing workload, your first consultancy agreement or simply an improvement in the terms you currently work under our extensive (and often exclusive) client base means we have access to opportunities that cannot be secured directly or through other channels.

To express your interest in confidence or discuss further without obligation please contact: Jamie Davies Direct 0208 911 1079

M AY 2017_MODUS 55

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So why exactly, is bigger, better? This may well apply to some things, I guess, but as a skilled professional you will have been trained to understand that true professional values are something to be respected and maintained. At Metropolis, we want to work with you, respect your judgements and values and help you achieve as much personal satisfaction from your career as you can. So if you are an FRICS/MRICS and have experience of residential valuations, please email me your CV and I will come to meet you to discuss the Metropolis way. It may not be bigger, but I think you’ll find it may be better!



Consultants required in the following areas: South West PL, BH, BA, TA, DT, BS, EX, TQ North East HU, NE, SR, WF, DH North West L, BD, LA, HD, HX, M, CA, CH, SK, WA East Midlands PE, CB, LN, DN West Midlands ST, TF, WS, WV, HR Wales SY, LD, LL South East CT, ME, GL, OX Greater London W, WC, SM East Anglia NR PLEASE CONTACT

RICS Recruit

QUANTITY SURVEYING – EXPERT WITNESS CONSULTANCY Quantity Surveying Expert Consultant. Competitive salary + benefits + bonus. If you are a confident and analytical Quantity Surveyor with construction and cost management experience and some experience of dealing with claims or disputes, and you are wondering where to find your next challenge, then the answer may well be to talk to Black Rock Programme Management Limited (Blackrock PM). Blackrock PM, market leaders in programme management, forensic delay, project management and quantity surveying expert work, are looking for Chartered Quantity Surveyors with the drive and ambition to take the next step in their careers. Expert witness work is among the most demanding and challenging work you can face as a professional surveyor. It involves working with demanding clients and their legal representatives, working to tight deadlines and often on difficult and complex cases that take a lot of detailed forensic work to unravel, and report on. Then comes the challenge of being crossexamined, often by some of the brightest barristers in the world.

The successful candidates will have the opportunity to work on some of the largest national and international projects currently in arbitration or litigation and be part of an expanding and highly regarded expert team.

THIS ROLE WILL ENTAIL •Forensic quantity surveying analysis • Support to leading quantum experts involved in international arbitration and litigation •Central London location • A competitive salary and benefits package is also on offer, together with a rewarding bonus scheme and the opportunity to progress. DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE •BSc or MSc in Quantity Surveying •MRICS qualified, or equivalent • MSc in Construction Law - preferred not essential • Experience working for either contractors or professional quantity surveying firms • Deep industry expertise, such as power, energy, process, civil, building or mechanical and electrical

• Energetic, proactive and professional with a good understanding of commercial management • An interest in construction law and a desire to develop (sponsorship opportunity available) • Excellent analytical skills, an attention to detail and clear report writing • Eligibility to live and work in England with fluent written and spoken English. ABOUT THE COMPANY Blackrock PM enjoys an outstanding reputation for highquality independent profession expert advice, and the senior team comprises many experts with experience of arbitral forums and the Technology and Construction Court. We believe in employing the best to provide the highest quality of service. Blackrock PM has a strong future, with plans to extend into other construction disciplines nationally and internationally, and outstanding opportunities for career progression both home and abroad. Blackrock PM invests in its staff and provides a unique environment for the development of future experts.

If you want to take your career in Quantity Surveying to the next level with Blackrock PM, please apply by sending your CV, contact details and covering letter to

TECHNICAL MENTORS REQUIRED Are you passionate about mentoring Appren�ces? Due to rapid expansion the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) are seeking both prac�sing and recently re�red Surveyors to support Appren�ces through our Technical Mentor scheme.

Looking for your next promotion?

We are looking for Chartered Surveyors with a flexible approach and a willingness to travel, qualified in any of the following

NPS group is recruiting surveyors across our UK network of offices.

◊ Quan�ty Surveying ◊Building Surveying ◊ General Prac�ce ◊ Valua�on

Contact Donna Owen for more details: T 01603 706029 E

If you have experience of suppor�ng candidates through either AssocRICS or APC all the be�er! In return, we can provide

¨ ¨ ¨

Fixed remunera�on package Training on RICS qualifica�ons The opportunity to be part of a charity that provides life changing opportuni�es for young people Please send a copy of your CV and a covering email to: recruitment@cs� For further details please contact : callum@cs� www.cs�



Mind map

ARE ‘SMART’ BUILDINGS VULNERABLE? Will Matthews head of real estate insight, Deloitte, London, UK

Buildings are effectively becoming IT assets, making a cyber attack an inevitable and imminent threat.

As buildings become smarter, the interconnectedness of control systems and open WiFi networks, as well as mobile devices and cloud computing, raises the vulnerability of data – both for the landlord and tenant.

Establish who is responsible for cyber security in relation to the building. Our research found that just 5% of FTSE 100 companies disclose having a board member with specialist technology or cyber experience.

Risks could come from organised criminals, nation states, “hacktivists” or terrorists, who could use a building’s IT systems to cause physical destruction, reputational damage, and financial or productivity losses.


Develop an understanding of key threats, and act to address weaknesses. Raise awareness and vigilance among employees, so that they are alive to potential threats and are better able to detect them.



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Our CPD: Why gutters fail and the options to repair, replace and refurbish: A specifier’s guide As part of its specification support service the Sharman’s CPD “Why gutters fail and the options to repair, replace and refurbish: A specifier’s guide”, is interactive in its design. The programme explores the common causes of gutter failure in the commercial and industrial sectors and the options to repair, replace and refurbish. It finishes with a practical gutter network demonstration using a purpose made rig.


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RICS Modus, Global edition — May 2017  

#RICSModus, May 2017 — the RESPONSIBLE issue. Despite efforts to promote a less adversarial culture in construction, disputes are becoming m...

RICS Modus, Global edition — May 2017  

#RICSModus, May 2017 — the RESPONSIBLE issue. Despite efforts to promote a less adversarial culture in construction, disputes are becoming m...

Profile for ricsmodus