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services

Services

Rent Reviews & Lease Renewals

This is the prime focus of Maple Leaf’s business, giving us extensive experience of successfully negotiating retail and commercial rent reviews and lease renewals for both landlords and tenants. Our in depth knowledge of the effect on value of different lease terms and of a range of case law ensures that the correct rental value is arrived at, and that every opportunity is taken to update and improve asset values and lease terms.

Where a landlord wishes to object to the renewal of a lease protected by the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, compensation can become payable to the tenant under a number of different provisions. We are well versed in these compensation provisions and have extensive experience of acting for Landlords, in order to minimise their exposure, and tenants, in order to secure payment of the compensation properly due. This knowledge is particularly critical where a landlord intends to redevelop a property and either seeks to retain tenants within the new development or needs to minimise their potential compensation bill.

One such provision is Schedule 6 Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 which provides for indemnity compensation to a tenant where a landlord has terminated a sublease without agreement. Very few surveyors ever have to deal with such claims but Maple Leaf has dealt with a number and is very familiar not only with the provisions themselves, but of the evidential requirements to satisfy any such claim.

The needs of every client are different and one of our key objectives is to offer the flexibility each client needs to ensure that they can properly plan for their business’ future. The timing and frequency of our reporting is structured individually and is planned to ensure that the right information is given at the right time to enable business planning that can be relied upon.

We are able to tailor the extent of our service to each client’s individual needs, from a single report advising on key terms and rental levels, through negotiating, settling and documenting events, to a full service managing all reviews, renewals and break options on a local, regional or national portfolio.

As well as regular commercial premises, Maple Leaf has negotiated a number of Notional Rent Assessments on behalf of Doctors Surgeries under the NHS Premises Direction 2004 Scheme.

Where required, online reporting is available through a secure portal on our website.

Dilapidation Diminution Valuations

The law places a limit on a tenant’s liability for dilapidations under both Common Law and under The Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 and Diminution Valuations now play a central role in any Dilapidations Claim. They are complex valuations (not agent’s marketing reports) and Maple Leaf is recognised as being at the forefront of how these valuations are assessed and presented as Expert Witness Evidence in any claim.

Traditional valuation techniques for assessing diminution have tended, by their very nature, to be vague and subjective. They do not reflect how a loss in value actually arises in the vast majority of circumstances and this often makes claims difficult for lawyers and judges to truly assess. Our approach removes this subjectivity by focusing on how the loss arises in the real market not in some abstract valuation exercise. As a result it is detailed, it is fully reasoned and it is easy for lawyers and judges to follow making it far easier to assess the true loss in value and giving our approach far greater weight and credibility in any claim.

Our approach to individual appointments is taken in stages to ensure that the valuation is presented in the most appropriate and cost effective format for each stage of the dispute; from a preliminary assessment, to an abridged report aimed at informed professionals and through to a fully Court ready CPR Part 35 compliant Expert Witness Report.

It is common in Dilapidation Disputes for Building Surveyors to reach a point where the majority of issues are agreed. In such circumstances Maple Leaf is able to act as a Single Joint Expert Witness, considering the parties’ (and their building surveyors’) positions from an impartial view point and providing a single report and valuation, which is not binding on the parties but which experience has shown to be of great assistance to the parties in assessing their positions and agreeing a settlement. This report and valuation is also fully compliant with the Court’s requirements for Expert Witness evidence and so will save both parties substantial cost if a resolution cannot be reached and the matter does proceed to court.

See 5-min Slide Presentation on our Valuation Approach.

Download more information on Dilapidation Valuations.

Expert Witness

All our Expert Witnesses have spent over 20-years practicing in their specialist fields and are all highly experienced in Arbitration, PACT and Expert proceedings. We also have Fully Accredited Expert Witnesses (qualified through the Cardiff University Law School/Bond Solon Expert Witness programme) for court proceedings and Single Joint Expert Reports, ensuring that reports and evidence are fully compliant with Civil Procedure Rules Part 35.

We routinely act for both landlords and tenants, providing Expert Opinion on rental valuations, updated/modernised lease terms and liability for dilapidations under Landlord & Tenant Act 1927.

We are able to prepare Single Joint Expert Reports which can save both parties considerable cost and avoid duplication and confusion at trial. If provided at an appropriate point before trial, these can also introduce a valuable impartial assessment in a case. Whilst influential, such a report is not binding on either party, although it will frequently break through entrenched negotiating stances to open a route to a negotiated or mediated settlement, saving all parties’ considerable costs

The key to our approach is to combine in-depth knowledge and experience with balanced impartiality.

Download more information on Single Joint Expert benefits

Arbitrator/Independent Expert Appointments

All our surveyors are highly experienced in all forms of Dispute Resolution and particularly in both Arbitration and Independent Expert proceedings. Their knowledge and experience covers a range of retail, office and industrial properties across a broad geographical area and because they act on behalf of both Landlords and Tenants, they are able to combine in depth knowledge with complete impartiality.

This makes them ideally qualified to act as Arbitrators or Independent Experts in a range of disputes including rent reviews, lease renewals (PACT) and dilapidation claims.

We are able to accept appointments by agreement between parties as it is often desirable to secure such an appointment without the delays inherent in the usual Application to the President of the RICS.

Rating Appeals

Maple Leaf has been instructed on a wide range of Rating issues ranging from assessing Rateable Values (RV’s) on single premises to providing strategic advice on larger portfolios and Shopping Centres. We have appealed against RV’s across a wide range of premises from industrial and office premises to retail shops, shopping centres and specialist assessments such as Multi-Storey car parks.

Such appeals have been lodged to challenge the basis of original assessments and to seek alterations to values to reflect Material Changes in Circumstances which affect valuations. We have been particularly involved on a number of appeals in Shopping Centres to reflect dramatic increases in vacant units and the impact that this has had on rental values. In one case this secured refunds to the tenants of one shopping centre of over £125,000 for the year 2009-10 with appeals still outstanding on 2010-2012.

Conflict of Interest Instructions

With ever larger surveying firms, Conflicts of Interest are becoming far more frequent and are becoming increasingly difficult to place with suitably qualified and experienced surveyors. Maple Leaf is ideally placed to accept such instructions and provides a reliable, professional outlet for rent review and lease renewal conflicts. We are recommended to clients by a number of National Surveying Practices and are recognised as a safe pair of hands that the client is able to rely on but which will not represent a threat to a larger portfolio instruction.

We have also been used by National Surveying Practices as a safety valve for excess work when short term resourcing problems arise, either on new instructions where recruitment is needed long term, or as a cost effective cover for maternity or sabbatical leave. Again we represent a safe pair of hands that can be relied on to perform to a high professional standard without being seen as a risk to the larger instruction.