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News - 05/11/2016

Avoid the office move liabilities trap

Office moves are often a positive for companies but there are risks that must be carefully navigated too. Here, Simon Thorpe, head of building consultancy at LSH Wales, gives his guide to the five key challenges for relocating companies.

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Due diligence surveys

Most commercial leases are on Full Repairing and Insuring terms and so profiling and managing the financial and operational risks to your business is essential.

A building survey should be undertaken, along with a mechanical and electrical survey. It will pinpoint current and future cost commitments and any issues that need to be addressed before exchange of contracts.

With a detailed understanding of the building to hand, companies can then better protect their interests going forward.

Procurement and management of fit-out

LSH’s Building Consultancy team has years of experience acting as consultants for their clients throughout the often complex process of fit-outs, which includes I.T./data requirements and furniture needs.

They provide varying services including feasibility studies and assessment of the most appropriate procurement route. Then there’s preparation of the specification of works, management of the tender process, cost consultancy, Health and Safety duties and project management of the works on site.

Overseeing the quality of the works, Building Consultancy are also able to advise on the provision of warranties, bonds and statutory consents, right up to negotiating the contractor’s final account.

Getting a Building Surveyor involved from the outset is imperative to ensure the best due diligence is obtained along with an understanding of all associated costs.

It is an approach that many companies have benefitted from as they are able to budget both time and money with confidence.

Move management

Experienced project managers understand what it takes to manage a move efficiently and often this is planned on a phased basis, depending on the client.

Successful move management means a tighter control of costs and allows businesses to benefit from a smooth transition and all-important business continuity.

Dilapidations when leaving a property

Looking ahead to the opportunities that a move represents is positive but the existing occupied premises must not be overlooked.

Dilapidations cover issues such as disrepair, decorations and alterations which tenants are required to rectify or pay to have resolved as part of the lease. 

It is sensible to work with a commercial property building surveyor as they are best placed to provide strategic dilapidations advice in order to minimise a company’s exposure to any dilapidations liability. Without it, companies can receive a hefty bill at lease expiry.

When all is said and done, it’s your move

Whilst not every company decides that consultancy is required, many do as Simon Thorpe, Head of Building Consultancy at LSH Wales explains: “Clients tell us that it is easy to underestimate the time it takes to search, acquire and fit out any new premises and that creates difficulties.

“It is one of the reasons why when facing relocation; many then find it expedient to use a specialist advisor to help remove the burden across all aspects of a move.”  


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