Over the years we have been asked to represent both Landlords and Tenants, arguing different cases according to the circumstances. During the last recession rents stood still or dropped, and on behalf of Tenants we successfully resisted increases proposed by Landlords. In recent times, we have acted for a number of Landlords, obtaining good increases, sometimes the first for 10 years.
Many Tenants resist the idea of seeking professional advice from a Chartered Surveyor when their Landlord proposes an increase, particularly if their business is doing well. Tenants think there is no need and they can save money. Often – but not always – this is a false economy for inevitably our fees are substantially eclipsed by the rent saved over 3 or 5 years. Very often our fees are incentive led.
Not only is the art of negotiation required, but also a good understanding of the law, the etiquette, the comparables, the wording in a lease, the basis of measurement, the items to be included or excluded for valuation purposes, and a good eye for the right settlement. Sometimes it is not always in the best interest of a Landlord to seek the highest figure. There may be other aspects to consider.
We have experience of taking matters to a third party referee in the event of being unable to settle a rent review. On one occasion we had spectacular success achieving a substantial increase for a Landlord, far more than was offered by the Tenant before the matter went to the arbitrator.
We can act for both Landlords and Tenants. Over the years we have been asked to represent both, arguing different cases according to the circumstances.
Lease renewals are similar to rent reviews in that a new level of rent is agreed but they require new terms to be negotiated.
Landlords and Tenants often forget that at lease renewal the rent can go down. Unlike a rent review, it does not have to be the higher of the present rent or the open market rent.