We are in a position to help our clients identify and acquire appropriate property assets for their investment or occupational needs.
Our team’s extensive market knowledge and contacts with agents, developers, investors, banks and landlords mean that we are also able to source off-market properties.
We will assist our property investor client to formulate a strategy based on explicit investment criteria for the level of risk they are willing to take and the target returns they wish to achieve.
Whether the client is interested to buy single-let retail units or multi-let industrial units, we will provide a detailed investment appraisal of each potential investment to assess potential returns.
However, the numbers usually only tell half the story and so it is equally important to identify and quantify any potential risks associated with the investment - be they market, technical, legal or other - together with ways of mitigating such risks, so as to assist the client in making the right decision.
We will support the client in negotiations until transaction close - helping to coordinate all parties that will be involved in the due diligence process.
Our team has assisted numerous companies locate suitable business premises, ranging from high street shops to headquarters office buildings. Our client’s benefit from our thorough understanding of the occupational marketplace including leasing trends and regulations, vacancy rates and development activity.
We follow a disciplined and structured process so as to obtain the best results for our clients. This includes helping the client decide on their exact requirements (e.g location, size, rent, special characteristics), conducting searches for and inspecting properties that meet these requirements, evaluating and ranking the most appropriate options, negotiating rent and other lease terms and liaising with the client’s solicitor to finalise the lease.
Complementing our property management services, we will pro-actively seek ways to enhance the rental or capital value of your property portfolio. This can be done in a number of ways, for example:
Restructuring the lease or securing early vacant possession with a view to redeveloping the property or re-letting at a higher rent or to a tenant with a stronger covenant strength, thereby enhancing investment value.
Identifying redevelopment/refurbishment opportunities such as changing all or part of the building to a more valuable use and / or extending the building to provide additional floor space.
Identifying potential additional income sources from the property such as the placing of mobile phone masts and advertising hoardings.
Identify opportunities to sell properties in a portfolio where it is believed that prices have peaked or which offer limited value enhancement.
Under statutory provisions, leaseholders can join together to purchase the freehold interest of a residential building.
The process is quite complex, but Jon Christopher are experienced in each aspect, including valuation & negotiation, working to achieve the most favourable outcome for our clients.
We provide pre-planned maintenance services for commercial buildings and have established a 24 hour facilities management team to be reactive and proactive in ensuring occupiers have no extra headaches to their working day.
In dealing with what are often complex and specialist lease-related issues, the importance of engaging a specialist professional cannot be underestimated. Our Professional Team has extensive experience in all matters relating to business leases and in the past have advised both landlords and tenants with respect to all property types.
We take into account all aspects that influence rental value, from the location and condition of the property, the specific terms and clauses of the lease and recent comparable evidence in the local area.
We also closely monitor changes to case and statute law that may have an impact on the final result. This information is used to provide professional advice and recommendations to our clients and to agree upon an appropriate negotiating strategy.
In all cases our aim is to reach a negotiated settlement which is in the best interests of our client. Where agreement cannot be reached, we also have significant experience in handling complicated disputes involving independent experts, arbitrators and court proceedings, as the case may be.
Whether undertaking a rent review on behalf of a landlord or a tenant, we will diligently undertake all necessary preparatory work (measured survey, review of the lease, market research), so as to be able to provide our client with a comprehensive report with advice on rental value and negotiating strategy. We will then use our considerable experience to undertake negotiations so as to achieve the best result.
Where this is not possible, we will advise on taking the matter to a third party for a decision as dictated by the lease.
Generally, tenants of commercial property have a right to renew their lease upon expiry. Often the process starts several months prior to this date and requires extensive experience of the relevant statute (Landlord & Tenant Act 1954) as well as legal procedures and notices / counter-notices.
On having reviewed all necessary factors, we will provide a comprehensive report with our advice, so as to provide our opinion on rental value. We will then undertake negotiations on behalf of the client and aim to agree the Heads of Terms of the new lease, which will then be drafted by the landlord’s solicitor. In the case that agreement is not reached, we will advise on options available, including litigation and court proceedings.
Lease Restructuring / Surrender
We have significant experience in advising both landlords and tenants in restructuring leases so as to secure a benefit, whether it is to reduce liabilities or increase value. Equally, where a tenant no longer wishes to occupy the premises and wants to surrender a lease, we are in a position to calculate and negotiate any potential premiums that may need to be paid.
Our advice will be based on an extensive review of property market conditions and for landlords we are able to identify potential opportunities to add value to the property resulting from the restructuring or surrender e.g. ability to refurbish or re-lease at a higher rent or secure a better quality tenant etc.
Working closely with solicitors and building surveyors, we have significant experience in advising landlords and tenants on dilapidations claims which often arise at the expiry of a lease. We will undertake an inspection of the premises and prepare a Schedule of Dilapidations, advising the client of the relevant legislation and negotiating an appropriate claim.
Our firm prides itself in offering a full range of management services for your properties. We are able to “step into the owner’s shoes” and, if so required, effectively take over the running of individual properties or entire portfolios. Such a service is increasingly important for overseas investors who do not reside in the UK. and who are not able to oversee the day-to-day management of their investments. Even locally-based investors appreciate the benefits of employing a professional manager to take over the running of their properties, leaving them free to concentrate on other business interests.
We aim to provide property owners piece of mind by, on the one hand, effectively handling relations with their tenants and, on the other hand, making sure all statutory and contractual obligations are adhered to.
Our approach to the effective management of your property is based on an open and transparent relationship within clearly defined terms of engagement setting out, amongst other things, the property manager’s responsibilities and fee basis, level of reporting, management of client’s monies and procedures for undertaking expenditure. In this way there are no unpleasant surprises or hidden charges.
We follow strict procedures for procuring services from third-party contractors, making sure that we receive multiple quotes and that appropriate warranties and insurances are in place.
We also pride ourselves in providing regular reporting to our clients outlining any actions and issues arising and costs incurred, as well as a detailed annual statement reconciling income and expenses, and providing copies of itemized invoices.
Our services are broadly split along the following lines:
Property Management: Aiming to contain costs and liabilities.
Asset Management: Aiming to maximize income and capital value.
We manage a wide variety of residential and commercial properties, including entire mix-used blocks, for local and overseas private individual investors, family offices, property funds.
Residential Property Management
We assist landlords in all aspects of letting, rent collection, repairs and legal issues. We will act as the owner’s representative and will have direct contact with the tenant with respect to any issues which may arise. More specifically, we can undertake:
In cooperation with local estate agents / advertise the property to find suitable tenants.
Prepare the necessary tenancy agreement.
Undertake credit checks and request references from previous landlords.
Organise an inventory and repair assessment of the property and arranging of cleaning pre-tenancy.
Collect the monthly rent and transfer the monies to the property owner’s account. Handle deposit negotiations pre- and post-tenancy.
Periodically check the condition of the property and arranging repairs as and when required. Put in place procedures for after-hours emergencies.
Liase with utility suppliers, arrange property insurance.
Payment of outgoings such as ground rent and service charges.
Re-letting the property as quickly as possible.
Overseeing and conducting any legal issues such as evictions, non-payment, any form of harassment and any problems with squatters.
Commercial Property Management
In close cooperation with the other departments of our firm, including our professionals in agency, landlord & tenant, valuation and leasehold enfranchisement, we undertake to provide a complete range of management and advisory services across all commercial asset classes, namely retail, office, industrial and leisure property.
Financial Management & Accounting: Preparation of service charge budgets, reserve funds, rent and service charge collection, procuring property insurance / processing claims, credit control, expenditure management, reconciliation, and periodic / year-end accounting.
Tenancy Management: Tenant relations, lease renewals, rent reviews, lease compliance, re-letting, lease assignments and subletting compliance.
Leasehold Reform: Freehold enfranchisement, lease extensions, valuations and negotiations.
Repairs & Maintenance: Long-term planning for capital expenditure, overseeing the planning / licencing application process, procurement and management of contractors, and project management of refurbishment and maintenance works.
Facilities Management: Selection and management of on-site staff, ensuring health and safety compliance, preparation and monitoring of environmental policy, energy audits, certificates and the procurement of security and energy services.
We have significant experience in undertaking a wide range of property valuations and providing advice on values and rents to clients that include banks, property companies / funds, family offices, private property investors, solicitors, auditors / accountants and housing associations.
Our RICS accredited valuers have performed many valuations in Greater London and the South East and have an extensive database of comparable transactions which is constantly being updated through our extensive contacts in the market with property agents, owners and tenants.
We value many property types, including residential houses and flats, office buildings, retail shops, retail warehouses, industrial and warehouse units, development land as well as large property portfolios and estates.
We carry out valuations for a variety of purposes including:
Tax, Probate and Inheritance