Building consultancy

Our building surveyors have gathered extensive experience in building consultancy and have specialized and specific skills to provide a wide range of professional services in connection to property management.

> Building surveying

Our building surveying practice provides a full range of services from preacquisition and condition surveys of single assets of any scale and type, through to the inspection of large building portfolios. We also offer tailored surveys and advice for dealing with specific building matters.

Our building surveys provide succinct and essential information to assist prospective owners or occupiers during the decision-making process about any building’s condition and its investment requirements, but also the inherited risks and liabilities following completion of a property transaction.

Additional services that can be concurrently provided with the survey are planned maintenance schedules, condition records, building audits, reinstatement cost assessments and others.

We have particular expertise in landlord and tenant matters providing an added value when looking at tenant liabilities, whether for the prospective tenant or the investment purchaser. Said dilapidation liabilities can significantly impact on risk, and it is important advising on the appropriate management.

> Vendors due diligence

Increasingly, the disposal of singular assets or portfolios (regardless typology: hospitality, retail, residential or commercial properties) incorporates the provision of Vendor’s Building Survey Reports. These reports are provided to accompany marketing packs under structured transaction processes and can be relied upon formally by purchasers.

There are notable advantages to this advance survey process, assisting in speeding up the disposal process, and where issues are highlighted by the report, the vendor has time to consider how best to address any matters raised before going to market, rather than being faced with a survey report from an partial, unknown party, avoiding an unnecessary pressure under time and financial constraints.

> Dilapidation & schedules of condition

Condition reports faithfully capture the condition of a property at a given date, normally during lease negotiations. Landlords and tenants will set out the repairing liabilities in leased property or provide a photographic record to enable damage to be identified when construction works are undertaken by adjoining owners.

Lease contracts will reflect tenants’ obligations to repair certain defects during the lease term, to leave the property in repair typically excluding normal wear and tear, or to reinstate their fit out modifications when the lease ends, among others. We act for landlords and tenants in preparing and negotiating Schedules of Dilapidations valid during and at the end of the lease. Dilapidations claims are often disputed and we can provide qualified advice during potential arbitrations. To avoid said discussions we prepare and negotiate Schedules of Condition at term commencement which establish the tenant’s repairing obligations ensuring the property is returned at the end of the lease in no better condition than that in which it was taken.

> Defects analysis

Our Building Surveyors have significant experience of building types and construction methods allowing us to undertake detailed building pathology, providing you with an analysis of building defects and recommendations to remedial works in order to fix the issues and problems identified and therefore preserving the value of the asset. These may happen as a result of a combination of factors including the external environment, design detailing, building construction issues and ongoing maintenance.

Our comprehensive building defect analysis, our assessment, together with our Project Management and Rectification Services skills for all types of buildings will help in understanding the reasons for premature failure of a particular building element, which are not always immediately apparent and may also need careful study to establish if there are wider liability issues to consider beyond the repair works alone.

> Expert witness

We have considerable experience in providing expert witness reports in construction and property related disputes. Reports can cover licensing or tax discrepancies, design and contracting, professional negligence, defective building completion or buildings in disrepair given inadequate maintenance or operational failure.

We act for landlords and tenants in arbitrations during dilapidations disputes, provide advice in court proceedings, and appear as qualified experts representing the client in a Court of Law if required.

> Planned maintenance programs

The planned maintenance programs in conjunction with Condition Surveys may be required for strategic planning, detailed maintenance assessment and/or audit purposes.

These permit to anticipate planning of expenditure in an excel spreadsheet, and over a number of years (typically ranging from 5 to 10 years), ensuring that a balanced approach is taken to property maintenance, spreading expense along the intended period of time and avoiding large peaks in CapEx, also minimising excessive reactive maintenance costs in connection to obsolescence or items which are not economic to repair.

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