Jeremy’s Jottings – Spend To Save

You know those annoying phrases such as “think outside the box” or “under the radar” well there is another which you may have come across “spend to save”. So far as commercial property is concerned spending to save largely holds true as the following examples help to demonstrate:

Over the last three months I have been instructed to serve several schedules of dilapidations. For those of you not familiar with commercial property a schedule of dilapidation is used at the end of the term of a lease where a tenant has not complied with its obligations to repair, decorate, reinstate and give back with vacant possession. A schedule sets out the landlord’s views on any breaches of the lease and the remedial work required. All of this can give rise to a landlord having a claim for damages. The claim for damages of the last three schedules served, in each instance, has been in excess of £30,000.

On receipt of a schedule the counter argument most commonly put forward by a tenant is along the lines of “….well the property is in better condition than when I took it….” This may well be the case but if a lease requires a tenant to give back a property in repair this is very unlikely to be relevant. Other arguments I hear all to regularly are along the lines of “… well it’s not too bad…..” and or “…..but I only decorated x years ago….”. I could continue.

I never cease to be amazed how many prospective and existing tenants don’t take professional advice when entering a lease. The objective would appear to be to save money. I don’t know if the recipients of the last three schedules took professional advice or not but if they had done so and acted upon it think of the potential savings.

Whilst the above focuses on dilapidations please don’t think this is the only area where spending to save may be beneficial. The same can apply to a significant number of lease covenants. Although the example is tenant focused I come across frequent examples where spending to save equally applies to landlords. An example which comes to mind is where a landlord is likely to lose an income stream in the region of £4,000 a year as a consequence of not “spending to save”. Just think how much this may add-up to over the term of a lease and if he should decide or need to sell the potential impact on the property’s capital value.

So can you afford the risk of not spending to save or is it time to make further enquiries and take professional advice? And, when I say take advice I don’t just mean instructing a professional to act on your behalf but ensuring they explain the relevance and potential impact of what you are entering into at the beginning, through the terms of and at the end of a lease.

Next jotting – ten things to think about before entering into a lease.

Jeremy’s jottings do not constitute advice on any specific matter. Lawson Commercial recommends you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of the jottings.

Ideal Estate Agents Office

Following the merger of Lampons and Freeman Forman the old Lampons office at 1 Station Road, Heathfiled, the lease of which is coming to an end, is surplus to requirements . We have therefore been asked by the landlord to find a new occupier for these spacious shop premises which are ideal for estate agency but could equally be used for a large retail shop. The property is some 1,479 sq ft overall with useful storage towards the rear. and is available, ready for immediate occupation once redecoration is complete, on anew lease with no premium.

Fully Fitted Restaurant Available

Lawson Commercial have been instructed to market fully fitted restaurant premises in the High Street in Uckfield. Overall the restaurant has some 500 sq ft of useful ground floor accommodation including a bar plus seating for around 40 people. Above are 6 rooms plus a bathroom ideal for staff accommodation. The premises are held on a long lease from 2005 at a rent of £14,000 pa and a premium of £55,000 is being sought for the lease, fixtures & fittings. This is an excellent opportunity to acquire premises fitted as a restaurant with all the right consents in a prominent High Street location. For full information and appointments to view give us a call.

New Waves Rolls Up The High Street

Following the expiration of New Waves lease at 73 High Street they have moved up the High Street buying a freehold property at 115 High Street. The new shop is a delightful property, next to the The Broadway, with a most attractive ground floor with useful accommodation over which could be converted into a flat. This is another example of improved business confidence with the proprietor of New Waves investing in a freehold property to run her business from.

Jeremy’s Jottings

I am going to let you into a secret which I don’t think even Chris knows. A couple of generations ago one side of my family was relatively wealthy having a furniture business with branches in Kent. But this was all lost when the senior partner died not having made a will. Despite this, and much to my frustration, certain close members of my family still haven’t made a will even though they know the problems this may cause.

With the above in mind I should like to pose some questions. If you don’t or haven’t made a will how can you be certain those you would like to benefit will actually do so? What will happen to the property, the business, the house you have worked so hard for? And finally if you made your will some time ago is it still relevant or does it need updating?

Moving-on but in some aspects related to the above. Partnerships are formed for a variety of reasons these can be say to purchase or lease property or to establish and subsequently run a business. Such partnerships can be with parents, partners, relatives friends. Partnerships are fine until there is a falling-out. Examples being someone wants to leave, the partnership is looking to dissolve, the partnership is in financial difficulty and personal assets may be at risk. If there is no partnership agreement and there is a falling-out is it going to be possible to resolve matters amicably and fairly? If not solicitors may well benefit considerably. Documenting a partnership agreement may well not address every problem that may be encountered but it should address reasonably foreseeable events and in so doing make life that much easier for everyone in the long term.

Writing about the above hasn’t been easy. Contemplating such matters may not be particularly pleasant for you and if this is the case then I apologise. However if this jotting prompts just one of you to take positive action I will consider it to have been worthwhile

Next jotting – You never know who you are going to meet

Jeremy’s jottings do not constitute advice on any specific matter. Lawson Commercial recommends you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of the jottings.

Rent Reduction For Quick Letting

The asking rent on Unit 5 Riverside on the Bellbrook Business Park in Uckfield has been reduced to £8,500 pa. This smart, modern terraced unit is just over 1,900 sq ft on 2 floors with 5 car parking spaces. It has a trade counter use and it is now available at a rent of only £4,44 per sq ft. So a really cracking deal. it is one of the few units left on the Bellbrook Business Park that is ready for immediate occupation.

Price Reduction – Freehold Offices

New Olives, a professional office suite right in the heart of Uckfield town centre with a High Street address, has been reduced in price by £30,000 to a new asking price of £195,000. This makes this building a very good buy. It is just on 2,000 sq ft of accommodation ready for immediate occupation.

For full details and to view call us today.

Another Successful Sale In Crowborough

I am pleased to say that we have sold 8 Sybron Way, a freehold industrial building, in Jarvis Brook. This is the third Crowborough industrial building of significant size we have sold in the last 6 months. Following hard on the heels of the sales at Pentagon House and Martin Story Engineering, both on the Farningham Road Estate, this means that within the last 6 months 22,500 sq ft of industrial space has changed hands on a freehold basis.

This highlights that business confidence is on the up and that we are coming out of recession with businesses moving to the area and local businesses expanding.