Our Client Services
This small firm of chartered surveyors was formed in 1994 by James Pickthorn, who is still the principal. It has grown in numbers of clients, in financial turnover and in the range of work. Nevertheless, it still comprises only Roger Taylor, his former partner Kinney Green, TH Cho, a banker from Korea and James Pickthorn. In the future, we wish to grow by taking on individuals who have a similar rigorous commitment to quality, independence of mind, and client retention.
We draw on outside resources in the form of, for rating advice, Peter Dulley, for real estate legal advice barrister Michael Daiches for construction and surveying Andy Stewart of Stewart Watson, and for Town & Country Planning Peter Edwards. We think this additional support is important because real estate is affected by the economic, legal, construction, planning, consumer and marketing issues.
Information is key to our activity. We used the publicly and privately available sources, monitor planning authorities, and retain many thousands of records of ownerships and transactions, both historic and current.
For a general conversation, please call anyone of us. Our contact details are under Contacts above.
Sales and Lettings
Marketing skills are required par excellence to maximise returns from property transactions. More thought is given to it by regular players than regular players would admit. We can design and arrange marketing campaigns, carrying out a plan which we believe secures the best for our clients. Normally we
- Advise on likely market reaction and suggest asking terms and overall strategy
- Carry out marketing on an agreed plan
- Negotiate the best terms achievable
- Liaise with the client's solicitors until completion
Nevertheless, the most effective agent of all the is the one who through his own skills finds the buyer or tenant through acute market knowledge rather than sweat and tears.
Representing occupiers in securing premises is the largest part of our business. Extracting good value requires an understanding of the client's aims and an excellent up to date knowledge of both the propertes and their owners. It also requires experience to know the implications of the lease provisions and to have an immediate knowledge of the market. We think we have these attributes. Our normal course of activities is:
- Seek out all the possible suitable premises
- Present the propositions, including costs, in digestible form
- Visit the sites with our client
- Advise on commercial terms
- Negotiate Heads of Terms
- Liaise with solicitors through to completion of documentation
Rent Review Negotiation
Rent review negotiations are specialised. They are not simply the adjustment of the old rent to current market conditions, as the negotiation depends upon the mechanism and assumptions in the lease, as well as open market value.
Critical are the collection and interpretation of market transactions and an understanding of the basis of valuation. Early preparation achieves the best results. As part of this process, we can take specialist legal advice from our consultant, Michael Daiches. We normally
- Appraise the rent review provisions and factors affecting market value
- Advise on negotiation strategy
- Carry out negotiations
- Advise on the best settlement negotiable
- Write and submit expert third party submissions as required
Many leases are within the security and tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Negotiations are similar to rent reviews, but differ with the assumptions and procedures laid down by that Act and subsequent Acts, and so the procedure and basis of valuation is different. For example, time is of the essence and the letter of law has to be complied with. The strategy and tactics are very important. We normally:
- Appraise the timing and service of notices, valuation issues and the likely lease terms
- Advise on the likely best settlement
- In the unlikley event of disagreement, conduct referrals either to Court or PACT (Professional Arbitration on Court Terms)
Where the lease does not have the protection of the act, the tenant is not entitled to 'hold over', so he needs to establish his options early to maximise his negotiation position. Take advice!
Rates is an occupiers tax. Each year a multiplier (known as the rate in the pound) is set by Parliament to be applied to the Rateable Value which has been assessed on each property. The rateable value is set each five years (1995, 2000, 2005...) and is based upon rental value two years previously (e.g. for 2005, values in 2003 apply). The initial assessment is made by the Valuation Officer using open market data which the government collects and which the general public has to supply by law. In theory the Valuation Officer has a great deal of information at hand and so should assess each property accurately. Nevertheless we have found significant examples where rateable valuations do not reflect accurately the market circumstance in 2003. You should have your assessment looked at.
Our rating consultant, Peter Dulley, has undertaken many thousands of appeals in the last 25 years and provides a comprehensive service, assisted by our own extensive database of transactions. If you think your rates are too high, please contact him or James Pickthorn. We normally:
- Advise on likelihood of success at appeal
- Negotiate appeals
- Conduct Tribunal submissions if necessary
Our Korean Services
We serve Korean companies in the UK through our Korean representative, TH Cho, who has over a decades experience in the UK property market, and a previous career with a Korean bank in London, Vancouver and Seoul.
We offer all the services that we offer to any other client, except that we can also explain the issues in Korean language. We have unique experience in handling business in the UK on behalf of Korean organisations.
Korean clients for whom we have acted are as follows:
- 14 Korean Banks
- 11 Securities Companies
- 9 Insurance Companies
- 9 Public Organisations
- 14 Trading Companies
- 4 Manufacturing Companies
- 7 Construction and Shipbuilding Companies
- 13 Tourism, Transportation and Communication Companies
- 35 other transactions including Retail Shops