.... more buildings are being renovated to ....... enable them to be occupied.
The 3 R's - Rating - Refurbishment or Repair
With the property market on the incline, more buildings are being renovated to update and refurbish those, which hitherto, had not been economic to repair, to enable them to be occupied.
As rates liability remains an important consideration for any building owner or occupier, it is especially relevant, at times, when the premises are incapable of beneficial occupation and works are being undertaken to them.
Rating law demands all premises are assumed to be in a reasonable state of repair whether this is a fact or not. Common sense dictates that where extensive works are being undertaken and the premises cannot be occupied, then the rate payer be absolved from rates liability during the extent of the period of the works.
There has recently been a case where the Upper Tribunal determined that a building which was described as "undergoing reconstruction" should be valued for rating purposes at just £1. Thus, this vindicates the common sense view, however, with potentially much Government income riding on this case the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has sought to take the matter to the Court of Appeal, so certainty remains unresolved.
Roche are currently advising a major client on this very matter and we suggest the next few months are going to be very interesting and there are high stakes at risk!
If you have any questions on this matter please do contact us.
Anglia Square Shopping Centre has signed a new lease with Hollywood Cinema .....
A NEW LEASE OF LIFE FOR HOLLYWOOD CINEMA AT ANGLIA SQUARE
Anglia Square Shopping Centre has signed a new lease with Hollywood Cinema. The popular four-screen multiplex - which in 2012 famously hosted the global premier of blockbuster Alpha Papa starring Norwich's very own Alan Partridge - will continue to screen new releases and much loved classics on the biggest screens, and at competitive prices.
Commenting on the deal, Trevor Wicks, Director at Hollywood Cinemas said:
"We are extremely happy to continue our long-standing and successful cinema operation in Anglia Square and look forward to continuing to offer the biggest films at value for money prices in the future."
The renewal of Hollywood Cinema's long-term commitment to Anglia Square coincides with what has been a busy Christmas period, which has welcomed droves of Christmas shoppers taking advantage of the fantastic range and great value deals.
Eric Kirk, Centre Manager at Anglia Square Shopping Centre commented:
"These lease renewals demonstrate the confidence that retail businesses have in Anglia Square and really reinforce how important we are as a community shopping destination in north Norwich.
"I'm happy to report that it has been a good start to the festive season and we expect the next three weeks will be the busiest, in the run up to Christmas. By all accounts, it's going to be a positive start to 2015 as well."
Roche Retail is the leasing agent for Anglia Square.
For further information, please contact Pia Choudhury at Redwood Consulting: 020 7828 5553, email@example.com.
Roche Retail successfully introduced a local restaurant group to the former Bella Italia premises in Exchange Street ...
Roche Retail Swiftly Let Former Bella Italia Restaurant in Norwich
Within a month of the property being placed on the market Roche Retail successfully introduced a local restaurant group to the former Bella Italia premises in Exchange Street, in Norwich's city centre. After an impressively quick and good quality fit-out the 7 Heaven Burger and Waffle Company have now opened their doors in time for the Christmas trade and look set to provide something unique for food goers. Company owner Marcus Pearcey said "interest in the new restaurant has been phenomenal and the first few days trading has exceeded all our expectations".
The premises totalling some 2,500 sq ft over two floors, are located directly opposite Jarrolds Department Store within Norwich's retail core and the very successful 'Lanes' area which is home to an eclectic mix of national and independent retailers, eateries and public houses.
Graham Jones of Roche Retail commented that: "this letting underlines the prominence of Norwich as a centre for not only established restaurant brands but also new ventures and builds on the success the city is having following recent openings from Bill's, GBK, TGI Fridays, Las Iguanas and City Pub Company's Georgian Town House. What is also encouraging is that the appetite for restaurant premises in Norwich appears to be showing no signs of letting up and we are seeing further strong demand from both national and local operators."
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway ......
A11 dualling - the impact on commercial property
The long-suffering business community and residents of East Anglia that use the A11 as a means of connecting with the wider world, can finally look forward to the imminent opening of the last dual carriageway section of this vital trunk road.
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway. Journey times for people and goods will be reduced whilst predictability of arrival and delivery times will be dramatically improved. But what impact will this have on commercial property in East Anglia?
A sudden improvement in accessibility can change distribution patterns. The overall improvement in the accessibility of Norwich will undoubtedly enhance the City's appeal as a business location. However for distribution, it will now be easier for companies to cover the whole of East Anglia from, say, Thetford or Bury St Edmunds which are geographically more central. My firm is already advising logistics clients that are reviewing their operations in this way. Therefore, a boost for warehousing in the centre of the region.
Manufacturers will find it easier to get goods to and from East Anglia. This should reduce costs, improve service and therefore competitiveness. Logically, I expect to see improved demand for industrial units in Norfolk and Suffolk along the A11.
For retailers, critical considerations are catchment areas and drive-times. Therefore the big regional centres of Cambridge and Norwich will be further boosted by being more accessible from the centre of the region, possibly to the disadvantage of smaller towns between the main cities. Better communications within the region might also make East Anglia more attractive to big retailers such as IKEA and Decathlon as more households fall within an acceptable drive-time.
As far as offices are concerned, Norwich will be significantly enhanced, enabling it to challenge Cambridge with more credibility. With prime office rents exceeding £30 per square foot, arguably Cambridge has become over-heated. Norwich is roughly half this level and therefore well placed to take up the pressure. Norwich Research Park's competitive prospects are similarly enhanced.
It will take time for the consequences of this significant improvement in our road infrastructure to work through the economy and into the commercial property market. The overall impact will undoubtedly be positive but as improved accessibility opens up new markets, there will be greater challenges for businesses in some locations although I expect the over-riding impact to be extremely positive.
by James Allen, Senior Partner, Roche Chartered Surveyors, Norwich
With the changes in the economy and parties to a lease having an eye to every opportunity to improve their situation and ...
Break Clauses - Back to Square One
With the changes in the economy and parties to a lease having an eye to every opportunity to improve their situation and their business strategy, break clauses have become and continue to be a hot topic.
The drafting of leases historically, was, thought to create a water tight situation where both parties can rely on the lease to satisfy all scenarios in respect of break clauses.
However, changing times have proved this not to be the situation and case law is now prevalent and ever-changing on this matter. The leading case in these circumstances relates to Marks & Spencer PLC v BNP Paribas Securities Trust Company (Jersey) Limited and another 2014.
This case has recently been heard at the Court of appeal.
By way of background, a lower Court decision permitted M&S to reclaim rent paid in advance and which was relevant to the period of time after the break date itself. This earlier decision has been swiftly over-turned by the Court of Appeal stating "...it would have been obvious to the parties before they signed up to the lease that there was a possibility that rent would have to be paid on the last quarter day in full for a period which went beyond the break date. They would therefore have made some provision for this case". Obviously not!!!
This latest decision does give certainty in this situation and going forward it is evident this situation must be addressed in all future leases. Thus if the intention is for rent after a break clause to be reimbursed it must be stated so.
Not a welcome decision for tenants but at least it gives clarity.
Jackie Crisp has achieved the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence .....
Surveyors acting as Expert Witnesses
Jackie Crisp has achieved the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence, a Masters level qualification held by no more than 150 surveyors throughout the UK and which is now the only standard recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, of which she is a Fellow.
Surveyors acting in a capacity as an Expert Witness can provide evidence in lease renewal, rent review, valuation, dilapidations or other disputes. Where the surveyor is acting in such capacity the RICS Practice Statement and Guidance Note, Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses, clearly states the duty of the surveyor is to the judicial body presiding; the court, arbitrator or tribunal and NOT to their client. This may come as a surprise to some clients, especially when the client realises the surveyor is required to include all facts which may or may not harm their client's case.
The surveyor is required to give truthful, impartial and independent opinions to enable the judicial body to make an informed decision.
At the inception of the instructions the surveyor must ask himself if he has the knowledge, experience, qualification and training relevant to the case in question. He must also ask himself if there are any conflicts of interest, actual or perceived, which may arise out of the instruction given. If there is any cause for concern on this matter the instruction must be declined.
These are important parameters which need to be adhered to rigidly because if they are not, the weight given to the surveyors evidence is lessened or compromised.