When faced with a property related issue, Finance Directors, Company Secretaries and Managing Directors will need to consider the appointment of Agents. There is undoubtedly an element of reluctance, particularly as the mindset is one of cutting costs wherever possible. Previous experience may have involved the use of Property Valuers on the instructions of the Company's Bank for funding purposes or Accountants in support of the Company's Accounts.

In those instances the widely held view is that such appointments are unnecessary and incur extra costs. It is against this backdrop, when negotiations need to be undertaken for a new Acquisition or Disposal, a Lease Renewal, Rent Review or a Rating Appeal that in the first instance the Company may feel they can do the job themselves. Undoubtedly their negotiating skills will be on a par with a Chartered Surveyor but there is the danger that they are likely to miss an important detail, eg using the incorrect measuring procedure, which must be undertaken in accordance with the RICS Code of Measuring Practice or inadvertently accepting an onerous term in a Lease which could prove more costly in the longer term. It is also important to be aware of changes to current Legislation and have details of comparable evidence in relation to the specific property.

In order to allay the concerns of Senior Management a more attractive fee structure needs to be put forward based on an incentivised arrangement. This can be created in a number of forms and relate to a percentage of the overall saving on the particular job. For Acquisition it can be based on a percentage of the difference between the agreed price compared with the asking price or a percentage of the rental saving on a new Lease or a Rent Review. In terms of Rating a percentage of the overall refund over the period of the Rating List, assuming a successful reduction in rateable value has been negotiated. The 2010 rating list is now in force and it is important that attention is given to the effect of the new rating assessment on non-domestic properties. The appeal procedure is available to achieve appropriate reductions in rateable values based on advice from qualified rating surveyors.

In this way the Client at least feels they are getting value for money and the important aspect for the Firm of Chartered Surveyors is the Client will hopefully instruct that Firm again in the future.

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