With the end of another tax year fast approaching, we’re sharing areas to consider as part of your tax ...
Is it time to conduct a Property Review?
13 March 2020
Here at Fortus, our property experts are on hand to help maximise your property assets.
Here’s three things for you to consider from the outset…
Are your premises the right size and in the right location?
Do you ever look around your office and see your team crammed in like sardines? Or are there vast swathes of empty space you’re paying to rent, heat, clean & maintain, but deliver nothing in return? Are you struggling with footfall in your retail unit perhaps? Or are you running out of storage or production space in your warehouse?
All of these issues could potentially be placing a barrier between your businesses and its growth. Whether you’re tied in on a long-term lease or not, there’ll be opportunities to consider a relocation of your premises and realise savings. If planned correctly and project managed methodically, a relocation can often be delivered with minimal disruption. Which throughout the year will prove more efficient and leave headroom for growth.
Lease events coming up soon?
This section’s more applicable, should you lease your current property. If you lease business premises, has your lease recently expired or is it due to in the next year? Are there any rent reviews or break options overdue or coming up during the next 6 months? If so, now’s the time to take a proactive approach and recognise the opportunities these ‘lease events’, can provide.
We’re often surprised by the savings we achieve and the deals we arrange by simply taking the lead and approaching Landlord’s directly – something many of our clients feel uncomfortable doing and hence we’re happy to do on their behalf. Dealing with these lease events proactively as opposed to reacting after a Landlord’s sought professional advice and comes knocking on your door for more rent, will often ‘pay dividends’.
When did you last ‘really’ review your direct property costs?
Many people are used to shopping around and negotiating the best price for utilities or business supplies, however rarely apply the same approach to their business premises! Rent, Business Rates and Service Charges are often the 2nd or 3rd largest cost to any business and as such should be scrutinised regularly. Whilst many see them as ‘fixed costs’, we’re often able to secure savings by approaching Landlords, to discuss rent reductions – especially where tenants are paying above market rent!
In addition to the above, we challenge Business Rates assessments where we feel these have been incorrectly calculated and apply for reliefs and refunds that often aren’t clearly advertised. We will also review Service Charges to ensure tenants are paying the right amount, apportionment’s are correctly calculated and caps or exemptions are being applied appropriately.
In short, if you don’t scrutinise property related costs, ask for a reduction or challenge a bill, you won’t know whether you’re paying more than you need to!