DWD work for a range of commercial developers and office occupiers of all sizes and sectors across the UK, whether single and multiple site occupiers or owners.
DWD regularly acquire office space for clients within London particularly in the West End, City, Southwark, Mid-town and Shoreditch. We understand the market and are adept at negotiating the best incentive packages available to prospective tenants.
We provide a comprehensive service guiding our clients through the entire process from agreeing the search criteria, compiling shortlists, negotiation of terms and liaison with lawyers through to lease completion. Through close collaboration with our building surveying and project management contacts we are also able to offer clients a complete “one stop” re-location package including pre-acquisition survey, planning advice (on use, signage and alterations) and fit out.
In addition to undertaking traditional valuation work for company accounts, secured lending and due diligence, we provide a range of specialist valuation services which include Acquisition/Disposal advice, Affordable Housing/Viability appraisals, Threshold Land Value assessments, Compensation assessments, Ransom/Marriage Value assessments, Charity sector, Option/Overage payments, lease re-gears, Rights of Light profit analysis, restrictive covenant release, Utility relocation, Riparian rights, air rights and Section 18 Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 diminution assessments.
We are highly experienced in robustly presenting our conclusions, either through negotiation or in cross examination as part of litigation proceedings and have a successful track record of providing Expert Witness evidence in this regard.
here are a number of opportunities to mitigate business rate liabilities for office occupiers. We work with clients to exploit empty property exemptions and the effective date regulations. Where construction activity is involved in preparing a new office it may be possible to remove the empty rate liability completely for many months or even years.
The configuration of assessments can have a major impact on liability. Following the Mazars decision (which introduced the Staircase Tax ) the government will often assess separate floors in a building individually. We work with clients to avoid the much higher aggregate liability.
The team has experience of managing each stage of the property’s lifetime, whether it is restacking, reconfiguration, subletting or relocation projects. Each of these events provides an opportunity to reduce the business rates overhead. Similarly, at the end of the property’s life the empty property’s rate liability we advice on different strategies dependent on the circumstances and whether the property will be held empty for a short or long term. Exemptions in excess of the statutory minimums are often achievable as are exemptions to reflect the phased vacation of space.
We work with occupiers as they face issues relating to excessive valuations and changing circumstances that need to be managed. Factual matters, value levels and unit of assessment issues are common place and need to be challenged on appeal. We also work with clients regarding scaffolding or neighbouring redevelopments causing disturbance that can be proved to adversely affect value and subsequently reduce assessments; and where the property has been occupied by squatters it may be possible to delete the business rates assessment.
While Local Authorities will often issue Completion Notices to force the early assessment of the building on a newly completed office, these are often badly executed and we work with clients to lodge appeals.
We advise office owners and landlords on scheme feasibility, technical compliance, the provision of offices and scheme viability. We work with design professionals and frequently project manage planning submissions at the pre-application and application stages coordinating sustainability, transportation, heritage and environmental technical supporting submissions.
We are adept at putting together robust, thought through applications and navigating them through the planning process, engaging with stakeholders and establishing cooperative relationships with strategic and local planning authorities.
Sectors we work with
We work with businesses, charities, high net worth individuals and public sector organisations across a range of sectors to navigate the complexities of property and planning consultancy.
£1m Liability Saving on St James’s Offices
Our client Towerbrook Capital took occupation of newly built offices in St James’s Market, SW1.Experience
Adjacent Building Works Reduces Office Value
Our client, Apple Europe Ltd, occupy offices in Cambridge. We were asked to review the business rates assessment.Experience
Home Counties office – Professional negligence
Our client is a property company who own the freehold of a 20,000 sq ft Grade A office constructed circa 2007 and situated in the Home Counties. They had purchased the property to supplement their portfolio, however there was an issue regarding a potential disposal of the asset due to a defective lease clause.Experience
Blue Leanie – dilapidations
Acting for the owner of an iconic freehold building in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, comprising 64,000 sq ft of a Grade A office building. The property had been constructed around 1982 and is known colloquially as the “Blue Leanie”. The property had previously been let in it is entirety, having been originally occupied by The Equitable Life whose business was merged into the Lloyds Banking Group.Experience