Building Consultancy

Our Building Consultancy team specialises in the delivery of commercial building surveying services, operating for owners, occupiers and investors throughout the UK.

Our services are structured to support client requirements and our aim is to provide tailored solutions which add measurable value to our client’s business; where appropriate, working with other disciplines to provide a coordinated and integrated service.

Our core service lines include:

Helping you to identify the issues and minimise risk associated with building acquisition

Property acquisition can be both costly and complex, giving rise to future financial and operational risk. Our experienced Chartered Building surveyors will help lead you through the due diligence process, advising you not only of a building’s physical condition, but on wider considerations, including mechanical and electrical services, health & safety, sustainability, legislation, occupational issues and future maintenance requirements. So, the question is whether you can afford not to have one?

We undertake building surveys independently or through the co-ordination of external consultants where a multi-disciplinary approach is required. This can include validation tests to M+E services, below ground drainage surveillance and materials testing. The findings are collated into a comprehensive report, giving you a fully comprehensive account through a single point of reference.

By arranging your own building survey, you will be sure to establish any emerging risk, helping you to make an informed decision on either proceeding with purchase, or to use the report as a cost negotiation tool.

Help protect and limit future repair and reinstatement liabilities at lease expiry

Leasehold property can be subject to strict tenant repair obligations and before entering into any agreement, it is worth considering the potential impact of dilapidations liability at lease end.

If the condition of a property is not fully recorded prior to commencement of a lease, the risk of having to remedy defects existing prior to occupation increases. Any future landlord claim for dilapidations is difficult to defend, with no documented evidence to establish the pre-lease condition of the property.

Chartered Building Surveyors at Hughes Ellard have vast experience in the preparation of Schedules of Condition on commercial and industrial premises, helping limit tenant’s financial risk, whilst reducing repair obligations and reinstatement work undertakings.

If you require professional advice on how best to limit your repairing obligations, let us assist you through each stage of the lease process.

Helping you to untangle landlord and tenant disputes at lease end

The issue of dilapidations is a misunderstood and often overlooked part of the landlord and tenant relationship. Put simply, it relates to the breach of lease covenants for which the tenant is responsible and the associated remedy.

Our building surveyors are experienced in the assessment, preparation of schedules and defence substantiation of dilapidation claims, delivering services in line with ‘the protocol’ and RICS best practice guidance. We act on behalf of either landlords or tenants, covering all office, commercial, retail and industrial premises.

Our client-focused dilapidations advice services also extend to:

  • The negotiation of monetary settlements on behalf of landlords or tenants
  • Monitoring tenant dilapidations liability works on behalf of landlords
  • Reviewing lease obligations and assisting tenants to develop dilapidations exit strategies prior to lease end
  • The undertaking of Dilapidations Liability Assessments prior to occupation or during a lease assignment with existing tenant obligations
  • We have in-house expertise in relation to Section 18(1) valuations

Safeguarding banking clients providing finance for new developments

Hughes Ellard regularly advise financial institutions in relation to funding new developments. Once instructed to perform monitoring services, we assess the developer’s project proposals, build costs, timing, specification and statutory consents – safeguarding client interests through identifying risk.

Our development monitoring services are two-stage and typically include:

Stage 1 – Development Feasibility

  • Review proposals, plans, build costs, programme and specification
  • Advise on build costs using industry knowledge and published cost data
  • Assess duties for health & safety, statutory matters and insurances

Stage 2 – On-site Monitoring

  • Monthly inspections to validate contractor payments and cash flow
  • Advise on progress, compliance with specification and statutory matters
  • Report on pertinent project related issues to safeguard client interests

We have monitored projects across Hampshire, West Sussex and Isle of Wight and work closely with our Valuation department, offering a comprehensive in-house Project Monitoring and Valuation service.

Helping you achieve value for money through effective project delivery

Throughout a building’s lifecycle, capital expenditure and planning will be needed to cover repairs, maintenance and refurbishment work arising from occupational requirements, component failure or compliance with statute.

Our Chartered Building Surveyors are experienced in the design, specification and management of a wide range of project types. We help deliver a focussed and tailored service, ensuring client requirements are firmly established and achieved.

Our Project Management services include:

  • Development of the brief
  • Feasibility study and budget cost forecasting
  • Advice on procurement methods and health & safety Design and specification of the work
  • Statutory approvals, tendering and evaluation
  • Contract administration, financial control and certifications Project handover and monitoring of defect rectification period

Whether you need advice on building refurbishment projects, fit-out, repairs or maintenance work, our Building Consultancy department can help.

Applying technical thinking to diagnose and resolve building defects

Throughout the lifecycle of a building, defects will affect fabric and structure elements. The need for a defect-focused survey may be required to assess the issues, identify the probable cause and to enable the specification of an economic and appropriate repair solution.

Our Chartered Building Surveyors have detailed knowledge of many building types, applying this to undertake defect analysis investigations. We also advise on defect risk (in the context of the whole building), impact upon health and safety, likely disruption to business operations and likely financial implications.

Should further intrusive investigations be required, we can organise these to be undertaken with contractor assistance and with permission, perform the opening up of concealed building areas. Survey reports can be tailored to suit individual client needs and be presented in a variety of formats.

Following investigations, we are well placed to lead in the specifying and implementation of repair works, managing these on your behalf.

Helping you accurately estimate the cost of rebuilding

A Reinstatement Cost Assessment for insurance purposes is a calculated estimate of the cost to rebuild a property on a basis of total loss or substantial damage, where complete demolition and rebuilding may be necessary.

An accurate cost assessment is important to ensure your building is insured for the correct amount, avoiding situations of under and over insurance. If a property is undervalued, insurance payments may not adequately cover the cost of rebuilding in the event of a claim. Likewise, if the building is overvalued, insurance premiums could be higher than they need to be.

Our knowledge allows for the accurate measurement and assessment of reinstatement values using current building cost data, whilst making allowances for other issues including location, demolition, site clearance, specialist features, site topography and fees – all factors influencing rebuilding costs, particularly if the property is of listed status.

We are well versed in preparing Reinstatement Cost Assessments for building insurance purposes on a wide range of property types.

 Our advice can help you:

…understand your property liabilities and help mitigate risks.
…maximise your building’s use and efficiency.
…maintain and improve your building assets.
…translate the technical detail into a commercial context.

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Get in touch

Mark Patel

Chartered Building Surveyor

Nicholas Miles

Associate Director

Rachael Willis

Assistant Building Surveyor