Commercial Surveyor Services

Bradley-Mason LLP is a Chartered Building Surveying practice who offer the full range of Surveying, Building Consultancy and Project Management Services throughout the UK.

Our senior level team provide expert advice, with a focus on a quick turnaround service to maximise value and to fully understand our client’s businesses and property requirements. Ranging from investment funds and private Landlord’s to High Street retailers and commercial Tenant’s, we offer advice on the whole life cycle of their property interest from acquisition to disposal. Our aim is to predict your needs and ensure your expectations are exceeded. We question your requirements to ensure that our services are tailored to your current and future needs.

Leadership Award Recognition!

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Delighted to congratulate Julian Mason on winning the Mentor Award at the Leadership Awards at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

Julian has over 30 years’ experience in the building industry and more specifically working as a Chartered Building Surveyor. His interest in building design, construction and pathology has led to a deep knowledge and understanding of our built environment. Julian is keen to share all this knowledge and training with surveyors of all levels within our company from a formal to more informal situations of discussing things sat around within the office.

Julian provides guidance and advice at each stage of the site survey by imparting knowledge as well as supporting graduates to form their own decisions.

To further support the next generation of building surveyors Julian completed the RICS training to become an APC assessor in 1996. APC assessors are volunteers from the construction industry who give up their time to read submissions from graduates who are training on the APC pathway to become a Chartered Building Surveyor, prepare questions and take part in the interview process with two other assessors to decide if each individual candidate has the required understanding, knowledge and skill to become a Chartered member of the RICS. Julian has been an active member of the APC assessor panel for the last 27 years, further demonstrating his desire to guide and support the future of our industry.

Julian’s genuine desire to guide, advice and support the future generations of Building surveyors we believe demonstrates the qualities that make him a great mentor and leader. He is an exemplary role model and leads by example and those that have followed in his footsteps have gone on to become well rounded and knowledgeable Chartered Building Surveyors.

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An Overview of Condensation

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What is Condensation?

Condensation is the process in which water vapour becomes a liquid. It can cause a range of issues from problems to internal finishes, to much more severe issues to the structural integrity of a building.

Two environmental factors combine to determine condensation risk; temperature and humidity. The warmer the air temperature, the greater the quantity of water vapour the air can hold. When the air is at maximum capacity, it is saturated, and its relative humidity (RH) is 100%. The dew point temperature is reached when the RH hits 100%. At this point, if the temperature decreases or the quantity of water vapour increases, then the air’s capacity is breached and excess water is deposited on the coldest surface.

In other words, relative humidity is inversely proportional to the temperature of the air, so a drop in temperature will increase the relative level of humidity to a point where the vapour will condense and liquefy.

Water droplets on a window

Example of condensation formed on a window

 What are the Different Types of Condensation?

 

There are two different types of condensation:

  • Surface condensation – when air becomes saturated (100% RH), water droplets condense on cold surfaces such as window glazing, tiles, impermeable gloss paint and vinyl wallpaper.
  • Interstitial condensation – where the dew point temperature is reached within the thickness of a building, condensation will form. This commonly occurs when moist air permeates through elements of a building fabric, within which there is a temperature difference. This is typically when warm, moist, internal air moves towards the cooler external areas, driven by a pressure difference. If the temperature change is significant enough, condensation will occur.

 

What is the Link Between Condensation and Mould?

 

Mould and mildew are typically caused by condensation. They thrive in warm and moist conditions such as those created by condensation appearing as black spots usually on walls, ceilings and poorly ventilated spaces such as cupboards. Examples from a recent survey we undertook are included below.

 

Mould growth on an internal profiled fibre cement liner sheet.

Mould growth on an internal profiled fibre cement liner sheet.

 

Mould Growth

Detailed view of mould growth

What are the Problems Caused by Condensation?

  • Health risks – mould growth can be a health risk to occupants, particularly the young or elderly, as they produce allergens, irritants and toxic substances.
  • Visual deterioration – visual deterioration to internal elements as a result of water becoming trapped causing staining and swelling.
  • Structural decay – moisture becoming entrapped within the structure can result in long-term structural damage such as corrosion to metal components, timber rot, swelling timber and damage to cladding. Remedial work can be costly.
  • Energy efficiency – where insulation becomes saturated, a building’s thermal performance and efficiency will be reduced leading to an increase in energy costs.

How do you Control Condensation?

  • Limit sources of moisture – this can be as simple as keeping lids on pans when cooking, taking shorter showers and drying clothes outside. The general point is to limit activities which produce moisture.
  • Increase air and surface temperatures – air temperatures can be increased by utilising a building’s heating system more often and surface temperatures can be increased by installing insulation or by improving glazing.
  • Dehumidification – this can be achieved naturally through ventilation or mechanically through the use of a dehumidifier.
  • Ventilation – this can be achieved using both natural ventilation techniques such as opening windows, and mechanical ventilation by using extraction vents etc.
  • Avoid cold bridges – cold bridging occurs where there is a gap in a building’s insulation often at the roof/wall junction where the wall insulation meets the roof insulation. Condensation is attracted to the colder uninsulated building components. To prevent this, ensure there are no gaps in the insulation.
  • Install vapour barriers – these prevent moisture from diffusing through the building fabric to a point where temperatures might be low enough to reach dew point.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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Section 25 Notices: Lease Renewals under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954

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Commercial tenancies in England and Wales are governed by The Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) 1954. A Section 25 Notice is named after the section in the LTA 1954 that includes the information that a Landlord needs to provide to the Tenant in order to terminate the business tenancy.

Security of Tenure gives the Tenant the right to be offered a new tenancy at the end of the term. This right was granted in The Regulatory Reform (Business Tenancies) (England and Wales) Order 2003. It applies to tenancies unless the Landlord and Tenant agree to opt out of sections 24-28 of the LTA 1954 at the start of the Lease.

If the Landlord wishes the Tenant to leave at the end of the term or wishes to grant a new Lease on new terms, then a Section 25 Notice must be served within 6 to 12 months before the Landlord wants the tenancy to end. There are two types of Section 25 Notice that the Landlord could serve: one suggests a new tenancy on different terms and the other initiates the termination of the tenancy.

The Landlord can oppose a tenancy on seven grounds (A-G), which are stated in Section 30(1) of the LTA 1954 and are set out below:

  1. Tenant’s failure to repair
  2. Persistent delay in paying rent
  3. Substantial breaches of other obligations
  4. Alternative accommodation
  5. Subletting of part, where higher rent can be obtained by single letting of the whole building
  6. Landlord’s intention to demolish or reconstruct which cannot reasonably be done without obtaining possession
  7. Landlord’s intention to occupy the holding for his own business or as a residence

Where the Landlord serves a Section 25 Notice opposing a new tenancy, the Tenant may be entitled to compensation if it is on the grounds of E, F or G of Section 30 (1) of the LTA 1954. Statutory compensation is calculated on the rateable value of the premises. If the Tenant has been in occupation for more than 14 years, the amount of compensation is twice the rateable value. For less than 14 years, the compensation is 1x the rateable value.

 

Tenancy Agreement

 

If the Tenant does not respond to the Section 25 Notice that is served, then the tenancy will either continue on the Landlord’s proposed new terms or the tenancy will end on the specified date.

Either the Landlord or the Tenant can suggest a new tenancy. If the Tenant wishes to request a new tenancy, they would serve a Section 26 Notice within 6 to 12 months of the end of the term. If the Landlord opposes this request, they must respond within 2 months with a counter-notice, specifying the grounds on which it is opposed.

However, if the Landlord has already served a Section 25 Notice, the Tenant cannot serve a Section 26 Notice but instead would have to reply to the Landlord. Similarly, a Section 25 Notice cannot be served on the Tenant if the Tenant has already served a Section 26 Notice.

Bradley-Mason LLP are an established Chartered Building Surveying practice with a wealth of specialist commercial property, Building Consultancy and Building Compliance expertise to put at our clients’ disposal, wherever their commercial property assets and interests may be based in the UK or Europe.

In conjunction with our expert advice and guidance regarding the design of new property and/or the condition of existing properties, we are able to advise on a variety of legal and practical issues impacting our clients’ individual business needs.

For more information or to discuss your specific property requirements, please get in touch with our Head Office in Harrogate / North Yorkshire or one of our regional UK offices in London, Manchester, Sheffield or Bristol.

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UK Government’s Recent Announcement to Close 50 Asylum Hotels

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Our Experience in the Hospitality, Leisure, and Tourism Industry

With the UK Government’s recent announcement that the first 50 asylum hotels are to close by the end of January following the end of their contracts, there is now a desire to refurbish and reopen these hotels to the public. These hotels have played a vital role in housing asylum seekers; however the Government has taken the decision to start the process of closing them. Bradley-Mason LLP offers a range of advice and expertise around this and within the hotel sector in general. With strategic advice we combine our dilapidations skills with our knowledge of hotels to get the best results for our clients.

Bradley Mason have acted as consultants for private clients on a number of UK, European and worldwide hotels for investment, building consultancy and acquisition purposes. With our 20th year of business fast approaching we have amassed a great deal of experience offering our wide range of specialist services across the leisure and tourism industry. When operating a hotel, we understand that maintaining the physical condition of your property is paramount. With our expertise in a range of building surveys, dilapidations and building defect investigations we can help to solve a variety of property-related issues.

We have previously been engaged to undertake a building investment survey of a 770 bed hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. Our investment survey concentrated on the general standard and condition of the building and noted any principal defects and shortcomings which could have affected the investment interest. More recently we have undertaken a survey for a hotel dating back to the 1860s occupying a prominent position fronting the River Amstel. As part of the survey, we worked alongside an experienced mechanical and electrical consultant which allowed a further, usually hidden, dimension of the property’s condition to be assessed.

We have an understanding of various legislative controls throughout Europe and by working with regional architects have offered advice on the acquisition and also subsequent occupation of a number of substantial hotels in such locations as the Netherlands, Cambodia and Laos. Our reports provide clear, concise advice and strike a fine balance between detail and length with enough precision so the problems can be understood and remedied.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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Overview of HM Land Registry Title Plans and their Features

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Land Registry title plans are a crucial document in both commercial and residential properties for officially recording the details of a property and ensuring the property’s rights are accurately documented. Since 2003 it has been law for the plan to be compliant with the Land Registry guidelines. A plan comprises of a detailed scaled drawing that outlines the specific area of the property or premises being included in a transaction. In a commercial property, the title plan can often break down specific areas of larger buildings or complexes which are being sold or leased.

Title Plan Submission

The Land Registry requires the submission of a title plan in various situations, including:

• Registering a property for the first time.

• Since 2003 it is the law that any new lease longer than 7 years must be registered.

• Transferring the ownership of a property.

• When dividing a property into multiple plots.

• May be required when applying for planning permission to show the exact location of the property.

For the plan to serve its purpose it must include several important features:

Defining the Subject Area – The plan clearly defines the area of the premises subject to the lease. This can include office, warehouse and retail space, or other parts of the building or wider external areas that the Tenant is taking control of.

Measurements and Scale – The accuracy of the plan can be crucial in disputes and denoting the lease area in terms of its floor space. This can also be important in calculating business rates for the property. The preferred scale of the drawing is often 1:1250 or 1:500 for properties in urban areas and 1:2500 for properties in more rural areas. Each plan must show sufficient detail so it can be identified on an Ordnance Survey map.

Orientation and Level of the Property – The plan should clearly show the orientation of the property, typically north, to help further identify it. The level of the property should also be noted which is especially important when the property covers several floors.

Common Areas and Rights of Way – Coloured lines are used to detail the leased area and any areas shared by multiple Tenants, such as hallways and car parks. Rights of way must also be clearly defined on a land registry-compliant plan. There are no specific colours required on the plan, however, it is common for red to denote the leased area and blue or brown to identify communal areas and rights of way.

In summary, a title plan provides a visual representation of the areas of a property. It documents important features and plays a crucial role in defining and documenting the sold or leased space, and as a legal document can hold up in a court.

Figure 1: Example lease plan
HM Registry Land Map

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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