Property  consultancy services are provide by our team based on a competitive hourly rate. Please contact us with your requirements. If it is something we feel we can assist with and add value then we will be happy to accept your instruction.

Whilst there is not a limit to the projects that we would accept on a consultancy basis, to follow are an example of some of the projects we have undertaken to date:

  • Portfolio reorganisation
  • Portfolio Review
  • Development Appraisals
  • Freehold/Ground Rent Valuations
  • Lease Negotiation, assignments and disposal.
  • Site Appraisals
  • Landlord and Tenant Matters
  • Starting or developing a buy to let portfolio
  • Advice on improving Energy Efficiency in dwellings
  • Boundary Issues
  • Design / Layout to maximise capital or rental values

Get in touch with your requirements.

Significant discounts are offered for Charities, Educational Institutions  and other Non profit organisations.

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Energy Performance Certificates or  EPC  is a mandatory requirement whenever a property is sold or let. This is true regardless of whether the property is a new or existing property or whether it is commercial or residential.

Different assessments are required depending on whether the property is commercial or residential and a further, more involved assessment is required for newly built or newly converted premises.

Graham Kinnear Property Consultant are expert in the the field of Energy Performance Certificates having undertaken over 6,000 surveys on every property type from studio flats to farmhouses, shops, offices, trade counters and even a bottling plant.

The EPC records the energy efficiency of a property, providing a rating of the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a building on a scale from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.

The report can only be undertaken by an approved accredited surveyor. We hold accreditations with Quidos, Elmhurst, ECMK and Stroma and can provide your reports via our Accreditation accounts or through your own Corporate Accounts.

EPCs are produced using standard methods about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, and occupiers to see and compare information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from a building, so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment decision.

For dwellings, two ratings are shown, the current rating and the potential rating. The actual energy-efficiency rating is a measure of a dwelling’s overall efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the dwelling is, the lower the associated carbon emissions are and the lower fuel bills are likely to be.

The energy efficiency rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its services such as heating and lighting. The certificate also lists the potential rating indicating what can be achieved if the recommendations were implemented.

The EPC is generally valid for a period of 10 years. You can check whether your property has a valid EPC and when any current certificate expires by clicking on the following links:

Domestic EPC Register          Commercial EPC Register

Following recent legislation, in the event that you are wishing to rent out a property, you should be aware that you will require your EPC score to be a Band E or higher.  Further details of this requirement are discussed in the video below.

We accept instructions from private individuals, estate/letting agents, property companies, auction houses, solicitors and a number of the nationwide panel firms. Discounts are offered for multiple or regular instructions.

Residential EPCs  £50 plus VAT,

Commercial EPCs start at £180 plus VAT,

New Build (SAP) Assessments £175 plus VAT

 

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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The current regime of fire safety legislation came into force in October 2006 and affects  those who are considered  responsible for non-domestic, industrial, commercial and residential premises.

The Regulatory Reform Order consolidated a number of pieces of  fire safety legislation and provides for a risk-based approach to fire safety, allowing more effective enforcement by the fire service and other statutory bodies.fire risk assessments kent

Central to this legislation is the need for a ‘responsible person’ for each property who must  ensure a fire risk assessment is carried out by a competent person.  This risk assessment needs to be subject to regular review.

Completing a fire risk assessment is therefore the first step to making your premises safer from fire and is a requirement by law.

The aim of a  fire risk assessment is to have a robust and methodical look at your premises, the activities carried out in those premises and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises.

The report we produce will be a pictorial and written precis of any significant findings and will make mention of any remedial measures which  may need to be taken in order that the premises can be considered safe.

Fire Risk Assessments are mandatory for property owners who have residential premises with communal hallways. In addition fire risk assessments are required for all commercial premises. In addition to the increasing legislation surrounding fire safety is the common law duty of care which requires property owners to ensure that certain fire prevention measures are in place and operational.

fire risk assessment east kentAs members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers we are experienced in appraising property for fire safety.

We can provide a review of drawings to assess their compliance with fire safety or alternatively we can physically inspect existing premises and provide a report on fire safety.

Most commonly we are engaged to  provide Fire Risk Assessments for the communal area of flats to assist landlords and letting agents in complying with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

The inspection involves assessing the risks which exist and how to effectively manage these. Amongst other things we examine the type of occupier, escape routes, method of construction and whether these require improvement or alteration to reduce risk. We also look at any existing fire prevention measures or installations and make a judgement in terms of whether these are satisfactory.

As well as the initial fire risk assessment survey we can also provide reinspections and annual reviews.

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There are a variety of reasons why property is sometimes vacant. It may be you are selling or letting your property, perhaps awaiting the grant of probate,  or perhaps waiting on a planning decision or for building works to commence.

We provide a management service to private owners,  insurance companies, asset managers, insolvency practitioners and LPA receivers whereby we can inspect and monitor vacant premises to ensure security and comply with any insurance conditions.

Our service can include the initial securing of the premises by way of lock change, services disconnection, water drain down and the securing of entry points and letterboxes. Beyond this we can undertake routine visits and provide a full report of our findings and recommendations.

Depending on your requirements we can also arrange for routine cleaning and gardening services.

Periodic roof and ground inspections are also available via pole camera or Drone if required.

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Legionella Risk Assessments are now a mandatory requirement for those who rent out property. We undertake Legionella Risk Assessments throughout the South East for domestic premises as part of the landlords compliance. In addition to the initial risk assessment we can provide on going management and/or regular review assessments.

The Approved Code of Practice L8 provides that Landlords must have a legionella risk assessment undertaken of their rental property and to ensure that this assessment is regularly monitored to control and where possible reduce any risks which may exist. You can download a copy of the Government L8 Guidance here: hse-acop-l8-legionnaires-disease-the control-of-legionella-in-water-systems

The report that we undertake looks at the water system at the property and its fittings and makes comment and recommendations in terms of how any risks can be managed.

In addition to the initial inspection we are able to undertake the ongoing monitoring should you wish.

Why do we have to have a risk assessment now when we have not needed one previously?

The law has changed in that previously a risk assessment for legionella was only required if the system had a capacity of 300 litres or more of water. That minimum amount has been reduced to zero litres and therefore there is now a requirement to risk assess residential properties.

The landlord has no water tank as water comes from the mains so does he still need an assessment?

Yes. There may be other factors within your system that increase the risks of legionellosis, eg deadlegs, showerheads and/or long runs of pipe work containing warm water. A risk assessment should also consider anyone who could be potentially exposed to any legionella bacteria in your system, and particularly groups that are at a higher risk of contracting legionellosis. However, once you have completed your risk assessment you may decide that the risks are insignificant. If you do, you need take no further action other than to review the assessment regularly in case anything changes in your system

Why is this down the landlord and not the water board?

The water board are not responsible for the water once it enters the property. The obligation for the risk assessment and ongoing monitoring lies with the landlord of the property.

How often does this have to be done?  

There should be an initial risk assessment and there should then be a monitoring programme in place. Most of the reports suggest that a monitoring visit should take place every 24 months however if the water system is particularly complex or there are concerns regarding the standard of the system then more frequent monitoring could be recommended.

What is involved with the risk assessment?

legionella risk assessment kentThe surveyor will look at the water system in the property, the pipework, any tanks, heaters and cylinders and take temperature readings at each water outlet. This information will then form the basis of the report that will be provided to you.

What happens if I don’t have a risk assessment done?

Technically you would be in breach of the legislative process. Certainly in the event of an outbreak of legionnaires disease in one of your properties you could be in a difficult situation in the event that you had not undertaken a risk assessment and therefore made efforts to control/reduce any risk that existed.

How long does the survey take?

For a standard residential dwelling the survey will take around 45 minutes.

What recommendations may the survey make?

Safeguards may involve disinfecting water systems, cleaning shower heads, servicing air conditioning units, removing or stagnant water pools and water tanks from systems, insulating pipework, and keeping water cisterns properly covered and free of debris.

Does the law apply to flats and HMOs or just houses?

All property let for residential purposes should have a risk assessment undertaken.

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Graham is a published author whose first book, “The Property Triangle” was released in 2015.The Property Triangle  You can order your copy by clicking HERE.

In addition, Graham has written over 2000 articles on property matters which have featured in national newspapers including Financial Times, Daily Mail, The Scotsman and Evening Standard as well as many regional titles. He remains happy to provide property commentary to media outlets.

Additionally he can provide content for online purposes, trade journals and estate/letting agency internal documents.

property media articlesSince 2015 Graham has been one of the regular monthly columnists for Your Property Network Magazine covering topics such as tenant eviction, energy efficiency, party wall awards and tenant referencing. He always invites readers to contact him directly with any further questions or queries that they have relating to their property endeavours. If you would like a free copy of the magazine then please CLICK HERE

Graham has also contributed to both television and Radio having previously appeared on BBC1 as well as BBC Radio Kent.

Furthermore, Graham is a seasoned speaker and provides informative and often humorous talks on graham kinnear public speaking propertymany property matters at events around the Country. He has hosted property Q&A sessions as well as undertaken keynote talks on a variety of property topics. In addition he undertakes a talk entitled “The Property Triangle” which is based upon his book of the same title.

We would be delighted to hear from you with your requests for media content or speaking engagements so please get in touch with your requirements.

Grahams talks for non profit organisations are generally “fee free”. All he asks for in return is a warm welcome, a good coffee and a donation to the charity of his choice.

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Looking for a Party Wall Surveyor in Kent? Party Wall work is a distinct strand of Building Surveying and here at Graham Kinnear Property Consultant we help Owners and Neighbours throughout Kent and the South East deal with Party Wall matters. Graham Kinnear is a fellow of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, Member of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club Fellow of the Institute of Party Wall Surveyors.

The following video gives a very brief over view of the Party Wall process and when it applies.

The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 came into force on 1st July 1997 and applies throughout England and Wales. It does not apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

A Party Wall is defined as a wall which forms part of a building and stands on lands belonging to different owners, or so much of a wall as separates buildings belonging to different owners.

The purpose of the Party Wall Etc Act is to provide a robust framework in which issues relating to party wall maters can be resolved without the need to resort to potentially expensive legal action between neighbours. It is also a mechanism where a Surveyor can authorise an Owner to undertake works which would otherwise be unlawful at common law. In addition to the permissions it gives to those wishing to undertake building works, it provides protection and safeguards to those who live adjacent or near to such developments.

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In short the Act sets out precisely what can be done when building works are proposed that may have an effect on an Adjoining owner.

The types of work which are covered by the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 include the following:

  1. Building on or over a boundary position which is not currently built upon.
  2. Undertaking works to a shared wall
  3. Excavating ground within 6 metres of an adjoining structure or property

The 1996 Act is in some senses a rather complex piece of legislation and therefore we offer a free, no obligation review of plans and drawings in order that we can advise you and /or your Architect whether the Act applies to your proposed development or indeed whether you are likely to be affected by a development proposed by your neighbour. If you have any questions at all then please get in touch!


So how does the process work?

In simple terms a Party Wall divides the buildings of two owners with the boundary between the two properties, usually, but not always, positioned at the centre of the wall. If an owner plans to undertake works which directly affect a party wall they must write to their neighbour explaining what it is they propose to do and when they are planning to start.  We can help you with the notices you may need to send if you are looking to undertake work to your property.

So if I don’t share a wall with my neighbour the work won’t be covered by the Party Wall Act?

Many owners are surprised to learn that the Act actually covers two other specific types of work (that’s why the “etc” bit is in the title!); new walls (but not fences) built at or astride the boundary and excavation (ie digging for foundations) close to an adjoining owners structure.

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How Close?

For excavation to be notifiable under the Act it must be within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure, increasing to six metres for deep excavation and deeper than the foundations to that structure.

What will my neighbour do once they receive the Notice?

If they are relaxed about the work and the affect that it may have on their property then they can simply confirm their consent in writing. However if they are concerned it is recommended that they seek professional advice from a Surveyor before replying to the notice. They can, at any time, dissent to the notices and appoint a surveyor to help address their concerns. If they do not reply to the notice within 14 days then they will be deemed to have dissented and be “in dispute” with yourself, the building owner.

Dispute sounds serious?

Dispute is simply the term used in the Act when an adjoining owner does not consent. It doesn’t mean that you cannot remain friends with your neighbour or that you cannot undertake the proposed work; it just means that the Act’s dispute resolution procedures are triggered and the owners are obliged to appoint surveyors.

To do what?

The appointed surveyors will review the plans, assess the risk to the adjoining property and agree what must be done to reduce that risk. They will also ensure that the building owner carries out their work in a manner that limits the inconvenience to the adjoining owner.

Who can act as a Surveyor?

Other than the owners themselves, pretty much anyone, although as there are important construction issues to be agreed it would clearly be helpful if they had a relevant qualification and were familiar with party wall procedures. That will normally mean appointing a surveyor who is a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and or the Pyramus & Thisbe Club. If you need a Party Wall Surveyor in Kent then we hope our firm will be your first choice!

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So how much will this cost?

In all normal circumstances, the building owner pays the surveyors fees; which is only fair given that it is them benefitting from the building work. Our costs for the drafting and service of all the required notices under the Party Wall Etc Act are £150.00 plus VAT.

What happens if my neighbours property gets damaged?

The Legislation can either allow the building owners contractor to make good any damage to the neighbours property or request a payment in lieu in order that they can employ their own contractor. If there is a dispute over the cause or extent of damage you can use the Act’s dispute resolution procedures. If there is an award produced, it will include a record of your property before the work commences.

What if I start the works without adhering to the Party Wall Etc Act?

If you start your project without adhering to the Party Wall Etc Act then in essence the notifiable aspects of your project would be unlawful and your neighbour would be potentially entitled to apply for an injunction forcing you to stop your project. Furthermore in the event of a dispute with your neighbour you would have to resort to the potentially expensive route of civil litigation as the protections offered by the Party Wall Etc Act would not be in play given that Party Wall Notices were never served.

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So just remind me again where the rules apply….. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. If you are excavating for foundations within 3 metres of any part of your neighbours property then you must serve a party wall notice.
  2. If you are building on or astride the boundary you share with your neighbour then you must serve a party wall notice.
  3. If you are going to undertake any works to a wall that you share with your neighbour then you must serve a party all notice.

I still have more questions….

Then please contact us on 0844 414 8659 or 01843 583000 or by email at [email protected]

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Project Management is one of our key services at Graham Kinnear Property Consultant. We are proud to have brought many derelict buildings back to life as well as successfully overseen the construction of new buildings from the ground up. If you are contemplating a development in the Kent area then we would be delighted to hear from you. Construction Management KentWe provide a project management service which can operate from the start of the development to the finish, or at any point inbetween. Regrettably we are currently only able to accept instructions in the Kent area. This is due to the fact that our project management service is very intensive and requires frequent site visits. We are therefore only able to act to the standard that we want to, in our immediate locality.

We aim to ensure that the project is completed to the required standard, compliant and delivered to the Client both on time and on budget.  Our service will save you stress and time and should save you money that an over-run on time or overspend on budget would otherwise incur.

The services that we can undertake can include any or all of the following:

Costing of Development

Selection and appointment of Contractors

Negotiation on Price/Rates

Drawing up and signature of contract with Builders

Dealing with Party Wall or other pre development compliance issues

Undertaking a Health and Safety Review and required Risk Assessments

Arrangement of site security

Site Management

Construction Management

Liaison with Building Control or Approved Inspector

Weekly progress meetings either on site or by photo/video/skype

Dealing with Utility Providers

Snagging and Handover

Negotiation and release of retentions

Additionally we can provide post completion works including

Building Regulation Sign Off

Energy Performance Certificates/ SAP Assessments

Fire Risk Assessments

Installation Certificates for Gas & Electric supplies and installations

Fire Sprinkler System commissioning certificate

We genuinely believe that we will, in all likelihood, save you far more money than we ever charge you as well as removing an enormous amount of stress and headache that self managing a project can often bring.

Get in touch for a no obligation informal discussion about your plans and let us explain how we feel we can help. Our fees are bespoke to your project. They will depend on the size of the project and the level of involvement that you require.

Bank / Funding Monitoring

We also accept appointments  from Banks and  lending institutions  to monitor development sites where funding is being provided. This role, more commonly known  as bank fund monitoring,  involves our undertaking an initial survey following which our team will monitor the development on an ongoing basis.Project Management, Construction management

A typical instruction will mean that we provide a report confirming:

  • all statutory consents are in place – Planning, Listed Building Consent, Building Regulations Approval and Party Wall
  • we assess the reasonableness of the  projected build costs
  • we review the  Construction Drawings for compliance.
  • we ensure the Programme of proposed works  is suitable and reasonable
  • we ensure the correct insurance is in place and remains so throughout the project
  • we ensure that the correct contracts are in place. This is normally a JCT contract.
  • we ensure that CDM Health & Safety regulations are in place and complied with
  • we assess whether the appointed contractors are capable of carrying out the construction project in the time allowed.

The report we produce will highlight any shortfalls or areas of concern that need to be addressed or amended.

During the construction phase every time the developer needs to draw down funds, we carry out a thorough site visit to ensure the stated works have been  completed to the required standard and, that being the case,  we advise the bank or  lending intuition that they can release further funds for the next phase of the project.

In essence we are the eyes and ears of the project in a very similar way that we provide project management to private Clients.

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It is a common held thought that you can negotiate better for someone else than you can for yourself, so why not consider engaging us in respect of property acquisition or disposal?

Property Buyers service

With 20 years estate agency experience and having acquired over 150 properties we are ideally placed to assist you. We have experience in the acquisition of residential and commercial property including standard residential property, new build, blocks of flats, hotels, licensed premises and even a pier!

We can deal with sourcing, liaising with estate agents, solicitors, funding providers, price and terms

negotiation. Our charging structure on acquisition means that we will save you more money then we charge you in fees.

Property Buying service

In terms of disposal we can deal with advising on marketing method and strategy, appointing estate agents, marketing suggestions and press releases, fee negotiation, sales progression and solicitor liaison. That said it may well be that we already have a Buyer in mind given that we have been dealing with property investors for almost a quarter of a century.

We seem to have developed a reputation for assisting with the disposal of unusual or problem properties however we relish the challenge!

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Having assembled and managed property portfolios for private Clients for over 20 years, we are perfectly placed to provide informed advice regarding maximising your property assets.  We can undertake a review of your portfolio either to assess that the rental income is at an appropriate level or to identify which, if any, properties may be best suited for sale. We can also arrange to provide valuation advice in advance of a bank valuation for refinancing.

Alternatively we can provide advice on refurbishment and improvement, potential planning gain, scope for change of use, further subdivision and the like together with an analysis of how expenditure would impact the rental return achievable.

Our teams have considerable experience and expertise in planning legislation including permitted development and prior notification, planning policy and a strong understanding of the development process as well as the needs and demands of our various local market places.

Whether your property portfolio is to provide a current income, retirement income or a legacy for generations to come, it makes sense that it performs for you to the absolute maximum.

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Thermographic Surveys can be very helpful in dealing with specific defects within buildings such as defective underfloor heating, leaking concealed pipes, heat loss,  damp, faulty electrical systems and the like. In short the thermal image makes the invisible, visible.

The inspection is not intrusive and therefore can be used to avoid the need for expensive or unsightly exploratory works.

We can undertake a report using a Thermal Imaging Camera and include the images obtained within our written report.

Thermal imaging as part of a thermographic survey can identify heat loss in a building, the escape of water, the identification of cold bridging as well as identifying defects in heating systems, particularly those located underfloor.

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Letting Agent & Estate Agent Training is the primary function of the Graham Kinnear Property Academy. Property Training to us means “Teaching Property Properly.”  There are a number of property training courses out there by a number of people who claim to be experts. Our pedigree, however,  speaks for itself. During the 11 years that our Founder owned and ran an Estate/Letting Agency, that firm won 8 national awards including the Cecil Jackson Cole award for Corporate Social Responsibility, was featured on TV/Radio on several occasions, successfully traded every year including those turmoil years of 2008 – 2009 and whose founder was runner up in a Lifetime Achievement in Property Award being beaten to first place by the former Countrywide Chairman, Harry Hill. Add to that Graham was a Fellow of both NAEA and ARLA, is an Associate of the Institute of Residential Property Management and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and additionally holds both the Certificate in Practice in Estate Agency and the Certificate in Residential Lettings and Management.

With a collective 20 years experience in the Letting Agent & Estate Agent Training environment , having been employed as a Manager and Trainer before setting up a four branch, multi award winning agency in Kent, Graham has experienced all market conditions.  Since that business was sold to Countrywide in 2014, Graham was asked by the Industry governing body PropertyMark to write and deliver courses to train Agents from around the Country.

In addition to training for PropertyMark, Graham provides Letting Agent & Estate Agent training services directly to Estate and Letting Agents from Trainee through to Director level.

As well as classroom style training at venues  throughout the UK we  also provide on site training to letting and estate agents in their own office environment. One to One training is available as well as training for groups.

We can custom the training topic to suit your requirements and train staff from trainee through to Senior Manager level.

The topics upon which we most often provide training include the following:

  1. Legislation and Best Practice
  2. Winning Instructions and Increasing market share
  3. Branch Turnaround – turning a loss into a profit or making an average office into your best office.
  4. Dealing with Problem Tenants, Rent Arrears, Tenant eviction.
  5. Engage the Investor market. Double your office income by developing a dedicated investment department.
  6. Overcoming objections & closing techniques

Please feel to contact us to see how we can assist in the training and development of both your staff and your branch. Minimum qualifications for Estate Agency staff are going to be implemented. Get your staff ahead of the game now!

Letting Agent Training        Estate Agency Training Nationwide        Letting Agent & Estate Agent Training

To follow are some of the firms whose staff we have trained.

Nationwide Firms:

Martin & Co

YOPA

Link Up Properties

Castle Estates

Birmingham:

Cottons Chartered Surveyors

Scanlans

Cornwall:

Maxine Lester

Essex:

The Home Partnership

Gloucestershire:

CJ Hole

Hertfordshire:

Marshall Vizard

Hamilton Chase

Kent:

Miles and Barr

Milton Ashbury

Prospects UK

Quely & Co

London:

Ashdown Marks

Ashmore & Co

Compass Residential

Davies & Davies

Fine & Country

Jane Thorne Residential

Kalmars

Lord Estates

Luxus Hauser

Peterman & Co

Robert Irving Burns

Shaws Kensington

Stanford Estates

Stanley Chelsea

Manchester:

Rivershill Property Sales

Norfolk:

Gilson Bailey

Melanie Estates

Northamptonshire:

Charles Orlebar

Oxfordshire:

Abbey Rentals

Sussex:

Brock Taylor

Scotland:

Kelvin Valley

Umega Lettings

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Drone Surveys have become increasingly common in the surveying profession as a cost effective means of inspecting areas which would otherwise be inaccessible or require a scaffold to facilitate manual inspection. By undertaking the inspection via Drone there is a reduced cost and reduced health and safety issues as no one will need to use a scaffold.

drone survey kentYou should be aware that any firm offerinmg commercial Drone services must be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, carry the appropriate insurance and have passed both a practical and theory test. The drone pilots at Graham Kinnear Property Consultant all carry appropriate permissions and are authorised for daylight flying.

In addition to building inspections, drone surveys are now established as a valuable approach to  surveying. Not only do they eliminate manual ‘at-height’ working issues, they can also greatly reduce risk and improve safety outcomes.

Our Drones can be deployed faster than a scaffold can be erected and therefore allow property owners to investigate defects using high quality photo and video.

Residential Premises:

Our residential survey work with Drones is principally in respect of roof inspection. We can provide a thorough inspection of the roof, gulleys, gutters, soffits, flashings and roof coverings. Being Building Surveyors we can interpret this data and provide you with a report detailing any areas of concern which require either immediate repair or should be considered as part of a routine maintenance plan.

As well as receiving instructions from property owners, we also accept instructions from Insurance Companies and Loss Adjusting firms who require footage following fire, flood or storm damage.

Commercial & Other Premises:

We undertake inspections of commercial premises as part of a routine maintenance inspection or to identify issues which require remedial works. Given the quality of the images that we obtain, we can make thorough inspections of rooftop Solar Photovoltaic panels, HVAC systems and air conditioning systems. Such inspections can identify problems before they become serious or are sometimes required as part of a manufacturers warranty requirements.

In addition to Commercial Premises we also undertake drone surveys of ecclesiastical buildings which often require defect analysis and recommendations in respect of leadwork, belltowers (and the bells themselves) rainwater goods and the like.

Marketing and Promotion:

Aside from survey work we are often engaged to produce aerial photography and video footage for marketing purposes and some of these commissions have seen us work outside the property sphere.

In addition to providing roof inspections, routine maintenance inspections and other surveying solutions we have even been instructed to undertake drone surveys following roof repairs so that the Customer can ensure the work they have paid for has actually been done!

Our drones are able to record  video footage which can provide an aerial view which was only previously available from a plane or helicopter.

Whether you need an inspection for defect identification, routine maintenance inspection or footage for marketing purposes then please get in touch. Drone services  start at just £200 plus VAT.

Special fee arrangements are provided for those who require an annual inspection contract for multiple premises. 

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Newly constructed or newly converted premises require a different type of energy assessment than existing premises. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the method approved by the Government to calculate and compare the energy and environmental performance of buildings to ensure that newly built and newly converted homes will not only meet the requirements of the Building Regulations, but also the current energy and environmental policy initiatives. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)  assessment is undertaken from the various drawings, sections and specifications relating to the development rather than involving a site visit as is the case with existing dwellings.

SAP Assessments The principle aim is to calculate the quantity of energy that a new development will use, whilst delivering a prescribed level of comfort. This is done in part using standard assumptions for occupancy levels and the behaviour of those occupiers.

SAP calculations are similar to an existing dwelling assessment in so far as they are based on the energy balance of the property, considering a range of factors that contribute to energy efficiency. The SAP assessment however involves are more detailed look at the factors which have an effect. These include:

Principle materials of constructionSAP assessments for new build or conversion
Insulation provided to the building (roof, walls and floor)
Air leakage results for the dwelling and the performance of ventilation equipment
The efficiency of the heating system and the controls provided to regulate heat
the calculation of solar gains through openings in the dwelling and the elevations on which they are located
The type of fuel used to provide space and water heating, ventilation and lighting
Renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels and thermal water systems

SAP assessments are a legal requirement for all new-build, domestic properties in the UK under Part L of Building Regulations. Homes must achieve a ‘Pass’  for the project to be approved by Building Control.

Without this, you will be unable to obtain your Building Control Completion Certificate and will not be able to sell or let your completed property.

SAP assessments KentGiven that many parts of the assessment relate to the construction of the property, we recommend that the SAP scores are calculated and considered at the outset of the project in order to be assured that the proposed construction method will meet the regulations.

You should be aware that SAP Assessments are not confined to just new buildings. New extensions or conversions (such as commercial to residential conversions, subdivision of a dwelling into separate flats) also require a SAP Assessment under Part L1b of the Building Regulations.

At Graham Kinnear Property Consultants,  we are undertaking SAP Calculations every week and by involving one of our qualified surveyors at the planning stage, we can help ensure that your property will, once complete, comply with  all Building Regulation and environmental guidelines.

Once the initial drawings are agreed and approved, a design-stage SAP calculations (known as a predictive energy assessment), showing a pass, must be provided to Building Control works start on site.

We can undertake these so called PEAs for you. If a pass is not achieved we can put forward cost effective changes which, if implemented, would mean the building could pass. This may mean alterations or  improvements to the heating system, levels or type of insulation, improved glazing, or a more air-tight construction technique.

On completion of this exercise we can issue design-stage SAP reports for submission to Building Control.

Upon completion of the construction works we shall update the design-stage SAP calculations to incorporate any changes to the design, manufacturer details for all heating systems and the as-recorded air permeability rate.

We shall then issue as-built SAP reports and an Energy Performance Certificate. The SAP certificates will be required by Building Control prior to their issuing you with your completion certificate and so it is important to not leave them until the last minute.

We are qualified and accredited to undertake both Predictive Energy Assessments and Final SAP assessments. Due to the fact that these are undertaken from the drawings rather than a site visit, we are able to offer this service on a nationwide basis.

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Lease extensions are an important consideration for leaseholders.  In our experience, many leaseholders do not know where to turn to find advice on what needs to be done. It seems they are unsure whether they need a Solicitor or a Surveyor.

lease extension kentIf your lease has more than 80 years remaining then  lease extensions will be considerably cheaper than will be the case for shorter leases. The reason for this is that once a lease falls below 80 years, the leaseholder is obliged to pay a sum known as “marriage value” as part of the lease premium. This can increase costs significantly.

Regardless of the current unexpired term, the cost of  lease extensions will increase with every year that passes. It therefore makes good financial sense to investigate extending your lease without further delay.

We provide a service where we will orchestrate the lease extension process in conjunction with a firm of solicitors who are experienced in this field.

The first consideration is to understand whether you are legally entitled to extend your lease. On the basis that the original lease was for a period in excess of 21 years and providing you have owned the property for a minimum of 2 years then you will likely qualify.

Assuming you qualify you will presumably want to know what a lease extension would look like? The extend your lease kentlease extension via the formal route will result in you receiving an additional 90 years on the current lease (i.e. if you currently have 60 years remaining then this would be increased to 150 years) and the ground rent currently payable under the terms of your lease would be removed entirely.

The next step is to get in touch with us in order that we can arrange for a valuation of your premises so that we can formulate the figure that will form part of the notification that will be served on your freeholder.

Once they are in receipt of these Notices, they have a period of two months within which they must respond and agree to the lease extension or make a counter offer requesting that you pay a different premium for your lease extension.

Following a counter notice from your freeholder there is normally an element of negotiation between surveyors and in many circumstances this results in agreement being reached. In the event that agreement cannot be reached then you have recourse to the Tribunal (LVT) who will determine the correct premium to pay of your lease extension. Regardless of how the process transpires, we shall be there to guide you through.

Once the premium is finally agreed then your nominated Solicitor would complete the various legal works and register the revised lease length with the Land Registry.

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Property Dispute Resolution allows property owners to resolve property disagreements, hopefully without the need to resort to expensive litigation. We provide a Dispute Resolution service in relation to a number of property situations, most notably Boundary Disputes, Rights of way, Easements and Contractors workmanship. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Boundary Disputes:

A Boundary dispute is, in simple terms, an ownership disagreement between two or more neighbouring property owners. The land registry records the details of the majority of land and property in the UK and provides a title plan which shows the approximate boundary position on an Ordanance Survey Map. This information is not detailed enough in many boundary disputes and the services of a Surveyor are often required.

The red line drawn around a property on the Land Registry plan only shows the general boundary. It does not identify whether the boundary runs along the centre of a hedge or along one side of it. These maps are often unreliable because they do not mark exact property boundaries. A line surrounding the property may not be the property boundary.

Boundary positions change over time for many reasons: a diverted water course, or a wooden fence that moves slightly every time it is replaced. The reason for such changes is rarely recorded and often leads to disputes.

Resolving a Boundary Dispute:

To resolve a Boundary Dispute, we look at the available Land Registry documents as well as aerial photography records, old maps, deeds and photographs. We also obtain information from a visit to the site in question.

Upon the conclusion of our inspection and research we provide a detailed map showing the correct position of the boundaries and this will enable you to have informed discussions with your neighbour to resolve your differences. We can host those discussions for you should you wish.

Boundary Dispute Kent, Property Dispute resolution

If your boundary dispute has to be determined by a Court then we can provide an Expert Witness report, compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules which can assist in the litigation process.

Alternatively, even if you are not in dispute with a neighbour and just require confirmation of the boundary position, then we would be delighted to assist you.

Private Rights of Way / Easements:

Private Rights of Way and Easements relate to an individuals right to use or benefit from the land of another person as well as that owners obligation to allow the use of their land. A common example would be a right of way over neighbouring gardens to the rear of a row of terraced properties.

A private right of way is a legal right established by usage or by grant and they are a common area where neighbouring owners can end up in dispute.

Boundary Dispute Kent, Property Dispute resolution

Following a site visit and research of all available data, we provide a report which details the existence of any rights of way and easements and which will seek to assist in resolving a dispute between the parties.

In the event that the dispute needs to be resolved via the Courts, we can provide a report, compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules, to assist in the litigation process.

Contractors Workmanship:

Contractors workmanship is sometimes subject to dispute and we can provide an objective, informed and inpartial opinion in terms of the methods of construction and materials used as well as the quality of the work undertaken.

Boundary Dispute Kent, Property Dispute resolution

Whether the issue relates to small construction works, a conversion project or a newly constructed dwelling, we can assist.

We undertake an initial site survey and consider the works against any brief given together with legislative requirements and current codes of practice. Our aim is to bring a satisfactory resolution without the need to resort to expensive and potentially protracted litigation.

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Floor plans and lease plans are generally required for the marketing of a property, inclusion within a lease or to register a legal interest at the Land Registry.

Floorpans: We provide floorplans to estate and lettings agents as well as private vendors and landlords to aid with the marketing of their properties. For Agents we can even watermark their logo on the floorplan to discourage their competitors from borrowing it! As well as standard 2D plans, we can also provide them in a 3D format.

Incredibly competitively priced and discounted even further when ordered with an EPC.

Lease Plans: We can provide lease plans to various scales and in various electronic formats to suit your needs and the requirements of HM Land Registry. Contact us today for a quotation.

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Why do I need a schedule of works?

We can provide a detailed schedule of works which provides a comprehensive insight to the works required to your property. This is generally required in three scenarios:

1) if you are planning maintenance or repair to a block of apartments that you are responsible for, either as Landlord, Managing Agent or Right to Manage Company.

2) If you are a landlord of commercial premises and need to provide your outgoing tenant with a schedule of works prior to the end of their lease or

3) If you want to provide a comprehensive specification in order to procure tenders and quotes for works which you wish to undertake on your property.

schedule of works, section 20 schedule of works

Schedule of works for the maintenance and repair of a block of flats:

A schedule of works in respect of a block of flats is covered by Section 20 of the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act. It is intended to protect leaseholders from paying unnecessarily large sums for work carried out to their buildings. In essence it conveys that a leasees contribution to the works will be heavily restricted in the event that the landlord fails to follow a strict consultation process.

Section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 sets out a three-stage process which must be followed by landlords or indeed their managing agents where appointed, if carrying out works to a building where the contribution from any one lessee will be in excess of £250, or in respect of a qualifying long-term agreement where the contribution from any one leaseholder may exceed £100 in a single year.

Accordingly, prior to the service of Notice, most landlords will appoint a surveying firm such as ourselves to undertake a schedule of required works in order that they can have an understanding of the nature and extent of the works required.

Schedule of works in respect of a Commercial Lease:

In respect of commercial leases, particularly those which are of a full repairing nature, there is normally a clause which requires the tenant to put the property into repair prior to the end of the lease. Obtaining a schedule of works from a firm such as ourselves provides landlord and tenant with a clear, impartial schedule of the works which are required to be undertaken and will therefore often avoid or resolve any dispute between the parties.

Schedule of works commercial premises, external redecoration Section 20

Schedule of works in respect of Property Refurbishment or Repair:

For those simply wishing to undertake works to their property either by way of refurbishment or general repair, a schedule of works enables contractors to more accurately price the work and more accurately determine the timescale which the works will take. In addition, by detailing the works required there is less likelihood that there will be a dispute with the Builders in respect of works which should have been undertaken.

Still have more questions?

Please contact us with your requirements on 01843 583000 or [email protected] and we can provide you with a competitive fixed fee for producing a schedule for your project.

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Dilapidations Surveyor

A Dilapidations Surveyor will generally undertake a dilapidation survey on behalf of the landlord or tenant of commercial premises to assess the condition of a property. This highly detailed survey looks at the current condition of the building from the physical structure and installations to issues involving furnishings and general wear and tear. The subsequent report will therefore detail the works required to restore the property back to its original condition prior to the commencement of the lease.

Please note that for reasons of impartiality and in order to avoid a conflict of interests, we cannot act for parties where we act, or have in the past, acted for the other party.

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Why is a dilapidation survey needed?

If you are a landlord, it is important to understand the condition of the building before the Lease ends in order that the Tenant can be made aware of any works required.  Generally the tenant should be given the option of undertaking the required works or providing a cash sum to enable the landlord to undertake them. 

If you are a tenant, a dilapidation report can help you understand your obligations under the terms of your lease and giving you a stronger hand against a landlord who you feel may wish to try and claim for works which are not necessary. 

Dilapidations in practice.

The majority of commercial tenants are required to keep the property in good repair. If the property you wish to rent is in poor condition you should have the option of either agreeing a lower rent/premium or agreeing that the property will be returned to the condition it was leased in rather than with any improvements. If you are involved in such a scenario we would always advise having a Schedule of Condition agreed by both parties which can be appended to the Lease.

Dilapidations surveys are typically carried out during, and at the end of a lease to establish the current condition of a property, or to understand the costs involved in returning the property to its initial condition. You should be proactive if you do not intend to renew your lease by seeking early dilapidations advice well in advance of the end of your lease and ideally before the Landlord submits a claim. This will give you time to either negotiate a settlement without doing all the works or give you time to do the works at the best cost and without incurring loss of rent and professional fees claims which are likely to be levied if works are carried out by the landlord following the termination of the lease.

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End of the lease

When nearing the end of a lease and upon receiving a dilapidation claim from your landlord’s surveyor, we suggest you contact us and ask that we act on your behalf to ensure the claim is a fair reflection of the works required to return the property to its original condition. Once a dilapidation survey has been undertaken, we can discuss with the opposing party in the hope of negotiating a satisfactory conclusion.

If you cannot agree with your landlord over the Dilapidations then the case could end up in court. As with any litigation this has the ability to become protracted and expensive so we urge you to take professional advice from us if you sense this may be the direction things are going.

How we can help.

Dilapidations in respect of commercial property is one of our specialist services at Graham Kinnear Property Consultants and we act for a variety of Tenants and Landlord’s in dilapidations and in respect of leasehold repair matters. Our aim is to work hard in order to avoid unnecessary costs and therefore reach a satisfactory settlement without the need for protracted legal disputes. 

The need for a dilapidation survey is often misunderstood or indeed more often overlooked leading to potential confusion and dispute at a later date. We recommend you take advice from to help understand your obligations regarding dilapidations and to ensure your liabilities for a new lease are reduced.  If you are already embroiled in a dilapidations dispute then we can still assist you with advice and where necessary, Expert Witness advice on claims which have fallen into dispute. Our Dilapidations Surveyor cover most of England and Wales and are happy acting on behalf of landlords or tenants whether they be i private individuals, PLCs, Pension Funds, LPA Receivers, Charities or Property Funds.

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It is important to fully understand the Lease and any other available relevant documents to determine any dilapidations issue.

We can offer advice in respect of potential dilapidations under an existing Lease, perhaps where a tenants company is being sold or it is proposed to assign a lease to a third party. 

So….

Whether you are a Landlord concerned about your Tenants lack of compliance with the repair and maintenance covenants of the lease or a Commercial Tenant who considers that their Landlord is claiming unrealistic works, we can assist you with initial advice and the formulation of a resolution strategy.

Please get in touch with our Dilapidations Surveyor and find out how we can help you.

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