NOLAN REDSHAW OFFERS ADVICE FOLLOWING THE SPENDING REVIEW
With the economy showing no signs of picking up and the government announcing extensive spending cuts, many firms are continuing to feel the pinch of the recession. Property costs can represent a significant proportion of a firm's outgoings and are an expense that can often be overlooked. Louisa Brown, a senior asset manager and Associate at Nolan Redshaw has advice on how both owners and occupiers can reduce property costs:
Business rates - with new rateable values assigned to business premises earlier this year as a result of the Valuation Office Agency's revaluation procedure, now is the time to check whether you are paying the correct amount of business rates. Where alterations or additions have been made to a property, this will have an impact on the level of rates payable so it is important to check that your property has been correctly assessed. It is also worth bearing in mind that 'external' factors, such as extensive road works, or the opening of a new retail scheme, can also potentially give grounds for an appeal if your trade has been affected.
Service charges - where service charges are payable, whether on commercial or retail property, make sure the cost of the services you are being billed for can actually be legitimately recovered under the terms of your lease and that any ambiguous clauses are not being used to the landlord's advantage. Is the proportion you are being charged fair and reasonable and how has it been calculated? Are the services you are paying for actually being provided? Have they been procured by way of competitive tendering to ensure the best price is obtained? These are all questions which you are entitled to ask and have answered. You should also be provided with an annual certificate detailing what has been spent and you can request a breakdown of the costs and copies of invoices. Similarly, you should be provided with an annual budget detailing the anticipated expenditure and the services to be provided. Particularly in residential properties, service charges are simply paid by tenants as an additional outgoing but there could be potential for money to be reclaimed. Is it something you can afford to overlook?
For further information on rating or service charges, please contact Louisa on 0161 763 0828 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org« BACK TO ALL NEWS