With recent rising energy costs and global insecurity brought into sharp focus by the war in Ukraine, it is time to take stock of your property assets.
Two issues should be to the forefront of consideration:
For landlords, if you have let your property to a tenant on a long lease with the tenant solely responsible for repairs, it is easy to become complacent. However, there is an ongoing trend of Government tightening legislation as it seeks to meet climate change targets, thermal performance and efficient use of energy.
The Government White Paper for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) sets out the need for commercial rented buildings to meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C from 2028, with an EPC rating of B from 2030. It is estimated that in Bedfordshire alone, 55% of the commercial buildings have an EPC worse than C.
If a property is not maintained and improved on a continual basis and meets tenant/buyer expectations, it can quickly become unlettable and unfit for purpose. Poor maintenance can also result in users of the building having day-to-day activities disrupted and lead to a spiral of lack of care, resulting in an unattractive property.
Recently we have been commissioned by a local property owner of two town centre offices to advise on management issues as follows:
Following a review of the EPCs and obtaining advice on potential improvements by a specialist consultant, we are now drawing up proposals of how to achieve an acceptable rating with a target of EPC rating of at least C and possibly B to future proof.
Various parts of the building were found to be suffering from decay and deterioration resulting in tenant dissatisfaction. Opportunities are being taken to replace windows with thermally efficient versions, while still maintaining the character of the building.
We are also consultants to several local churches to advise on their ongoing repairs and refurbishments. Recently, we have carried out a quinquennial review of properties belonging to Three Rivers Church in Bedford. Various repairs and improvements have been carried out to their three properties during 2021, with cyclical redecoration planned for 2022. Spurred on by the Mayor’s Climate Change fund initiative, the trustees are now looking at ways to reduce their energy bills. Following obtaining an EPC as preliminary guidance, we are now advising on options to carry out improvements to lighting, heating and insulating the building fabric.
Do you have a commercial property that needs to be looked at? Please contact Stuart Brown to find out how we can help you.
If you have a commercial property that you let but are considering property management, then please contact Tessa Smith.