Strategic Asset Management

All landlords and occupiers regardless of their size from time to time require strategic advice on their portfolio of properties be it from an investment or occupational point of view. From an occupational point of view does the building satisfy the demands of the business the nature of which may have changed or there are plans to change the way the business operates or wish to invest in major capital projects. It is important the property and lease terms reflect the business needs. There are only a limited number of occasions when an occupier has the opportunity to relocate or renegotiate the terms of their lease and for this to be successful a strategy has to be put into place in plenty of time.

From an investors point of view the strategy of owning the particular property needs to be reviewed and a proactive approach to the needs of the occupier needs to be taken to ensure the value of the investment is maximised.

David Boddington & Co are experienced in providing an overview on the strategic issues to be addressed affecting both the landlord and tenant. The services can be tailored to the particular needs of the client which could cover the following:

~ Undertake audit of property identifying principle physical factors.
~ Analysis of principle lease terms impacting upon landlord and tenant.
~ Identify benefits and potential liabilities such as condition, service charge liability,
~ Energy Act implications.
~ Provide budgets of rental value.
~ Assess occupational benefits/disadvantages.
~ Identify opportunities to re-gear leases for the mutual benefit of both parties
~having regard to current market conditions.

Lease renewal and Rent review negotiations

The occupational cost of occupying a building is a significant element of running a business consequently it is important the appropriate advice is taken. Undertaking rent review negotiations or the renewal of a lease can be a daunting and time consuming process for those that are not familiar with the process. There are many pitfalls that can have a detrimental effect upon the outcome of the negotiations for example have the correct notices been served within the correct time frame. Does the tenant still have the right to contend the proposal.

Values vary greatly and are dependent upon many factors varying from location, lease terms and demand all of which are interrelated. Our experience is able to consider all these factors so that the correct terms are agreed reflecting the particular circumstances. No two situations are the same and the service provided can be tailor made to the particular client’s needs.The services can include:

~ Strategic advice incorporating overview of options and budget estimates.
~ Assessment of market conditions and rental value.
~ Undertake negotiations in line with market values and practices.
~ Undertake referral to third party process in the event of negotiations failing.
~ Agree principle heads of terms and liaise with lawyers over finalisation of the
~ lease terms.

Lease re-gears and restructures

In the current economic climate both landlords and occupiers can benefit from reviewing the terms of the lease to improve cash flow from a tenant’s point of view and from the landlord’s point of view the investment value. There are a variety of ways of improving the position of both parties by for example agreeing to extend the lease in return for a reduction in the rent or a rent free period. Alternatively the trading in of a break clause in return for some form of inducement.

David Boddington & Co have experience of undertaking an audit of the lease terms with a view to negotiating more beneficial terms for the parties.

Resolution of disputes

In the event that a rent review or lease renewal cannot be settled by negotiation negotiated settlement it is important that the correct procedures and timetables are complied with. David Boddington & Co are experienced in advising clients on the approach to such matters and the tactics to be adopted in order to maximise the clients position. The services include:
~ Provide pre action advice on the merits of the case.
~ Act as Expert Witness in resolving disputes including referral to third party.
~ Provide strategic advice on seeking a satisfactory outcome.
~ Seek to mitigate costs and where possible seek to recover costs of third
~ party process.
~ Prepare reports and replies during the third party referral process.
~ Attendance at informal and formal hearings including court hearings.
~ Comply with mandatory requirements of RICS Code of Practice and Civil
~ Procedure rules.
~ Co-ordinate legal advice and liaise with Counsel.

Strategic advice in relation to break clauses

The ability to terminate the lease during the term is very valuable to an occupier if they wish to vacate the building for strategic reasons during the period of the lease. However plenty of time is needed to consider whether or not an occupier wishes to exercise a break clause as the process is never straightforward as invariably there are strict time limits to serving a valid notice thereafter conditions that have to be complied with for this to be successful. In some cases the conditions needed to satisfy are not capable of being complied with and the sooner this is established the better. Services include:

~ Strategic overview of lease terms.
~ Liaison with solicitors over precise requirements of the lease.
~ Review of the tactics to adopt.
~ Negotiating position of the parties.

Drafting of leases

Although it is a commercial lawyers responsibility to draft and complete the lease following the agreement of the heads of terms David Boddington & Co have the expertise to advise on the drafting of certain clauses that have a material impact upon the deal from both the landlord and tenant’s perspective.

For example the rent review clause on unusual properties for which either there is only a restricted market or in an unusual location. The purpose of the review clause is for the rent to reflect market values therefore it is important this is reflected in the rent review provisions.

Other clauses that require a surveyors input include the break clause provisions if there to be any, alienation provisions, repairing covenants, service charge provisions and schedule of conditions. David Boddington & Co are able to liaise with lawyers to ensure these issues are addressed and correctly drafted having regard to the particular circumstances.


Dilapidations claims at the end of a lease can be a contentious matter for the parties and if professional advice is not sought it can be a costly exercise. The level of the claim can be mitigated as there is an upper limit that a landlord can claim depending upon the market conditions for the particular property. A successful claim from either party’s point of view requires the input of both a valuer and building surveyor. David Boddington & Co have experience of negotiating such claims in liaison with experienced building surveyors who they are able to recommend.

Service charge analysis and accreditation

The Commercial property industry have a voluntary code of practice for the management of service charges within multi tenanted buildings however to date this has not been universally adopted. The method in which the service charge is calculated and the timing and the nature if items included within a service charge can cause disquiet amongst occupiers if the budgeting process and the detail provided to occupiers is not adequately explained.

It is important at the outset the provisions are adequately drafted and during the period of the lease the service charge procedure is transparent to occupiers with budgets and service charge statements being adequately explained and audited in accordance with the terms of the lease.

David Boddington & Co have experience in the drafting of such terms and the auditing process of the annual budgets and service charge statements.

Relocation and acquisition of commercial premises

The business needs of a company may mean that the current premises no longer satisfy the business and relocation to alternative more suitable premises may be required. Also when deciding whether to remain in the current premises or relocate at the time of a lease renewal it is helpful to know what else there is on the market.

The service can be tailored to the particular clients requirements but can cover
the following:

~ Search for alternative premises.
~ Identify best option satisfying the particular requirements.
~ Undertake detailed lease negotiations.
~ Instruct and liaise with lawyers on completing of lease.

0161 850 1022 | 07415 326370
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