Business Rates and Strategic Property Services Experts
Almost all UK organisations are compelled to pay business rates and many incur additional property costs including, rent, dilapidation and service charges. Our experts work to uncover opportunities for reduced outgoings and potentially significant cash rebates.
The Property team focuses on delivering savings in occupancy costs for businesses of all sizes working predominantly within business rates and strategic property services. In addition to advising companies, they also specialist in sectors including education, leisure and healthcare. Their approach is to appraise each Client site and develop an individual case-by-case strategy to maximise the scope for savings. Their strength is the combination of accommodating their Clients’ individual needs with an innovative approach that focuses on getting the best result for the Client.
Our experts also advise corporates within their own transition phase on the best property strategy in terms of minimising ongoing property spend, through a combination of discussing improved working practices, space planning and tailoring a property accommodation strategy their meets the ongoing demands of their company.
Cost Areas Include
• Business Premises / Business Rates
• Council Tax
• Legal Expenses
• Property Acquisition
• Property Leasing
• Rent Reviews
• Lease Renewals
Our property services embrace the needs of our clients, whether they simply want to know if their property spend is correct, through to bespoke casework requires a more complex solution.
The Property team keep ahead of the curve by running leading Tribunal test cases, taking internal and external CPD learning sessions, investing in specialist rating and property software and most importantly having a great team with the appropriate specialist skill sets that we can parachute into specific cases.
We often come across two distinct groups of clients; those who want to know their rates are not too high and maybe get a rates refund and those with specific property issues.
This might include minimising rates on completion of a new building, minimising rates during construction, dividing/splitting rating assessments, change of use issues, or simply a perceived or real view that their rates are too high…to name a few!
Our job is then to utilise our skill sets to plan a strategy to best arrive at the answer the client wishes, through the full spectrum of rating services, including compiled appeals against rateable values, material changes, audit and compliance, together with empty rates strategic advice. It should be said that understanding which routes to take in terms of appeals, communications with the authorities and references to legislation/case law play a large part in this advice.
We are also currently liaising with clients in relation to the 2017 rating revaluation and providing guidance when required in terms of advice on Forms received and budgeting advice. This is a very significant event as there has not been a revaluation since 2010.
As we move towards the revaluation going live in April 2017, the intensity of communications will increase from a variety of sources and clients will need a trusted hand to make sense of it all and provide advice when required.
The range of property types we come across within property services is vast, ranging from independent schools, to landed Estates, steel works and vast spa hotels. This makes the job unique and often generates the debates with the Valuation Office.
The interpretation of the use of the property is significant as this can influence the basis of valuation, so successes can be negotiated, for example, from former pubs, which are now restaurants (£142,000 saving) and schools and colleges where the valuation basis can be the subject of great debate (£350,000 saving achieved on recent London College). Below is a brief summary of some successful cases in percentage terms.
Strategic Property Advice
Businesses will always be changing whether through contraction/outsourcing or expansion either organically or through company acquisition.
This generates a need for property advice in terms of having the right fit of properties for the business and the associated costs managed, to allow the company to achieve its objectives. Our corporate property experts can assist, by understanding and discussing the clients’ needs and developing a strategy that fits the defined goals. This might be a single site relocation, or commences with compiling a complete summary of costs from which to discuss, through to a fully managed property strategy. Often the relationship starts from a one-off ‘usually fairly timely’ issue and the relationship develops from there.
The skill sets required include a knowledge of business needs, property acquisition and disposal, dilapidations, space planning and a good negotiating stance when confronting discussions with property owners. Through an established network of consultants, our team can assist in these areas, understand client needs and be a trusted and respected adviser.