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Strategic Estates Strategy

As the estates world adjusts to the varying demands of the postcovid world, one thing is clear – current building stock, both leasehold and freehold, may be unfi t for purpose or no longer required. Whilst traditional models of  appraising and analysing building stock, such as stock condition surveys, are still relevant, they can be supplemented and improved upon, including looking at wider periods for maintenance programmes, learning from other sectors (the NHS 6-Facet Model) and ensuring that complex, sometimes historic, buildings are properly appraised.

The property holdings are likely to be a key asset and liability in many organisations. As well as appraising the condition and maintenance programmes of building stock, it is important that accurate portfolio records are  retained and assessable, irrespective of whether the assets are held on a freehold or leasehold basis, or possibly a blend of the two. This allows for a strategic assessment of how the buildings are used in order to optimise space efficiency and minimise operational cost.

Leasehold Property

With leasehold property, significant advantage can be obtained by having an accurate record of key lease events (such as rent reviews, break options and expireries) and other pertinent terms. Our specialist teams can
help with compiling this information. They can also provide support with managing the often less scrutinised occupational costs, including buildings insurance and service charge, by reviewing the obligations and cost base. In addition, they are experienced in dealing with sub-tenant recoveries, helping maximise revenue by ensuring the appropriateness of the charges.

Freehold Property

Whilst many of the issues associated with leasehold property may not be relevant to the freehold estate, it is still important that accurate property records are kept, and the data held should ideally go beyond the condition and maintenance of the building stock. Additional records may include information on the reinstatement or other values of assets, as well as details on the property insurance, title obligations and other relevant information,  including any sub-tenant obligations. Our teams are experienced in gathering and interpreting the required data and maximising any sub-tenant recoveries.

Strategic Planning

With accurate and assessable information on an estate, our Technical & Real Estate team can work with you to formulate an appropriate strategy. This may include space planning, refurbishment works and help with altering  the size and balance of your freehold / leasehold estate to ensure that it is in keeping with your requirements moving forwards.

Surveys and Consultancy

Appraising the Condition

The traditional ‘cost to condition B’ HESA model, whilst useful for short term planned maintenance, will not give a full understanding of the impending investment needs, particularly where complex mechanical and electrical
systems are present. To fully understand future liabilities our experts regularly advise that 30 to 50 year maintenance plans be prepared and, if required, linked to asset registers to clearly show a consistent picture of the  entirety of your estate.

Stock Condition

The condition of buildings is often the key focus of estates strategies. In reality, it only covers maintaining what you already have, rather than where you need the building portfolio to be. By adopting other methodologies (including those used by the NHS) we have advised universities on not only HESA defined functional suitability, but the ‘adaptability’ of buildings, the efficiency of buildings and plant, known utilisation/occupancy and wider costs of complying with recommendations within statutory surveys.

Maintaining Complex Buildings

Universities have been at the forefront of building design for the best part of 900 years, and this is not without its legacies. Our specialist teams of surveyors have advised on maintenance costs of some of the most historic estates within the UK, providing consistent and sensitive maintenance plans including accounting for largescale stonework replacement over a fifty year plan though to the nuances of maintaining ‘unorthodox’ listed 1950s

Lead Consultants

Tom Downing, Director, The Oakleaf Group (A Bellrock company)

Russell Heath, Head of Retail, Leisure & Industrial, Technical & Real Estate Services

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*Information offered in this webinar is in line with UK Government guidance at the time of recording.

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