Professional Services

Christo & CoProfessional Services

Professional Services

With no direct link to financial institutions, Christo & Co is recognised for providing completely independent and impartial advice that is acceptable to and preferred by the majority of lending sources and similar financial bodies.

The firm’s chartered surveyors offer the full range of specialist services required by property owners, investors, developers, lenders and tenants. Confidentiality and security of client information is maintained at all times and at all levels.

The practice provides asset valuations for capital and rental purposes; our detailed appraisal of both owner occupied and investment portfolios embraces advice on sales, purchases, lettings and taxation.

Building Surveys

Building surveys encompass a wide range of areas giving valuable advice to existing owners and occupiers as well as those considering new residential and commercial property.

If you are buying or renting residential or commercial property you will be directly or indirectly responsible for the maintenance of that property. Professional advice on this before committing to a deal allows you to negotiate with a better understanding of your future liabilities.

Stronger demand in the UK commercial and residential property markets has allowed landlords to insist on longer term leases – tenants will need to look closely at the service charge provisions in their leases and the condition of the property to assess what the future costs could be.

Our building surveys for residential and commercial property for purchasers and tenants cover:

  • Diagnosis of defects and damage assessment. Service reports on electrics, heating, air-conditioning and other services.
  • Reports on maintenance. Property maintenance planning.
  • Specification, initiation and management of building works for property maintenance and repair.
  • Party Wall Matters. Implementation of the Party Wall Act 1966 which now encompasses works on the line of junction or adjacent to the junction of all UK property.
  • Dilapidations advice to tenants and landlords. Negotiation of dilapidations for both interim and terminal schedules.
  • Schedules of Condition. Record the condition when taking a new lease.
  • Assessment of building costs for insurance and reinstatement purposes.
  • Structural Engineering. Advice on building defects and subsidence claims; engineering solutions to alteration and refurbishment work.

Architectural

The Architectural Department was created in October 1999 in response to a growing demand by established clients of the firm for the provision of high quality in-house architectural services. These services capture multiple aspects of design and project management in areas such as property development, residential, office, industrial and retail conversion, refurbishment and new works.

The Architectural Department works in close collaboration with the Agency Department of the firm to establish property-specific requirements in terms of design and building work that will enhance the property’s market value and potential.

In-house professional services cover the whole spectrum of architectural practice from inception, feasibility and outline proposals, through detail design, preparation of production information, tender procedure and inspection of operations on-site to successful completion of the project.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is the medium used to process the work and the department is fully equipped with state of the art CAD workstations and peripheral devices.

Landlord & Tenant

The practice can advise on all Landlord & Tenant Act matters, thus providing a complete service of the highest calibre. The specialist field of rent reviews and lease renewals is handled by an experienced team of chartered surveyors, well-versed in complex case and statute law which surrounds rent reviews and lease renewals.

Christo & Co is most active in London and the Home Counties. However, our network of contacts and a qualified staff of individuals who have had experience throughout the UK enable us to deal with properties anywhere in the country.

This service is essential to our clients who have portfolios which vary both in description and location.

Rent Review for Landlord, NW6

Rent Review for Tenant, N4

Lease Renewal for Landlord, Kent.

Lease Renewals and Rent Reviews

The practice can advise on associated Landlord & Tenant Act matters, thus providing a complete service of the highest caliber. The specialist field of rent reviews and lease renewals is handled by an experienced team of chartered surveyors, well-versed in complex case and statute law which surrounds rent reviews and lease renewals.

Christo & Co is most active in London and the Home Counties. However, our network of contacts and a qualified staff of individuals who have had experience throughout the UK enable us to deal with properties anywhere in the country.

This service is essential to our clients who have portfolios which vary both in description and location.

Advice

The rent payable on your property is one of the single largest costs that face you and your business. The opportunity to minimize this cost occurs only every few years. It is therefore vitally important to act when the opportunity arises. In the past you may have negotiated the new terms yourself. You may believe you have achieved a good result, but have you considered whether it was the best result?

  • Were you able to spend sufficient time in negotiations? Or did your usual business commitments take priority?
  • Are you certain that you had taken full account of the standard and condition of the premises and the services provided?
  • Did you properly account for variation in lease terms?
  • Are you confident that you fully considered the impact of the extensive case and statute law available to you?
  • Did you properly assess the impact of proceeding to a determination by an Arbitrator or Independent Expert? Would you have achieved better results at a court hearing? Are you aware of PACT as an alternative to lease renewal court proceedings.

Clearly the complexity of this process requires a specialist level of expertise. Christo & Co can offer this expertise. The Rent Review and Lease Renewal Department deal with these matters every day of the week

The Property

A complete understanding of the property involved is essential. Location, prominence,layout and accessibility have an immediate impact on rent. An inspection of the property will reveal hidden advantages and disadvantages. Repairing liability, quality of natural light and efficiency of services will all affect the value of the building. In addition, accurate measurements and detailed notes on alterations and improvements will have a major effect on the level of rent payable.

The Lease

We constantly consider the implications of user clauses, alienation clauses and restrictive covenants, as well as all other aspects of your lease because all these factors can have an effect on the final rental payable. Professional advice is required from the start, particularly when the strict timetables contained in most leases need to be adhered to if severe penalties are to be avoided. Changes in case and statute law occur almost weekly. They must not be ignored as these changes can have considerable effect on the rental level.

Disputes

It is inevitable that in some cases agreement cannot be reached, and negotiations deteriorate. Consequently, the matter will be referred to an Independent Expert or an Arbitrator, or in the case of Lease Renewals, to County Court or PACT, Christo & Co have considerable experience in dealing with the complicated procedure surrounding such disputes. Indeed, members of the firm regularly act as expert witnesses, Independent Expert or Arbitrator in such disputes.

The Service On Offer

While you may think that you could negotiate a satisfactory result, do you have the comparable evidence, legal knowledge and all round property experience to achieve the best result?

Before accepting instructions and commencing negotiations, we discuss with clients the rental levels, lease terms and the strategy to be employed.

We will provide you with regular updates and consistent reports to keep you advised of our progress at all times. At Christo & Co we have the all round experience and professional standards (including ISO registration), so that whatever the property, our understanding of the factors involved enables us to achieve the best possible results for you and your business.

Project Management

Architecture and building surveying share some common ground, a building surveyor can often provide architectural services and vice versa.

Surveyors more frequently get involved with administration of the building process and often act as “client’s representative” or ”contract administrator”. Architects tend to have more training in design and architectural theory and history, whereas building surveyors incline more towards the technical, practical, contractual and legal aspects of the building process.

However, some building surveyors also have the ability to plan and design as well as handle administration of a building contract.

At Christo & Co, our team covers all aspects of the building process and we are therefore able to offer a range of services that can dovetail with the matters handled by our other departments.

  • Building Project Management. Taking control of the procurement process and construction team to ensure that the client gets value for money and that programmes are adhered to.
  • Design Services. Full planning and design drawings and tender information for new buildings or alterations and extensions to existing buildings.
  • Statutory Controls. Planning applications, appeals, Building Regulations approval, certificates of Lawful Use and Development.
  • Planning Supervisor role under CDM regulations.
  • Party Wall Matters. All aspects of the Party wallprocedures.

Please contact us for an informal discussion about your requirements. If we cannot help with our industry knowledge we will be able to point you in the right direction.

Property Development

Christo & Co views property development as an integral and supportive function to the other departments. We undertake feasibility studies, project management and monitoring of development schemes with varying degrees of involvement to suit the needs of investment and occupational clients.

The surveyors on our team are experienced in maintenance, alteration and refurbishment of residential and commercial property, they prepare drawings and specifications, select contractors, monitor building works and control costs.

York Towers, York Way, N1

Headquarters building acquired for clients for new office complex, offering 80, 000 Sq.Ft immediately opposite Kings Cross major development. Christo & Co retained as selling agents.

Battle Bridge Basin, Kings Cross.

Unique canal side development offering a combination of studio B1 units and newly built offices.

Business Rates

Christo & Co has a fully qualified rating team of chartered surveyors with years of experience and a proven track record in successfully challenging rating assessments.

2017 LIST NEW APPEAL PROCESS – “CHECK, CHALLENGE, APPEAL”

Advising on the 2017 Business Rates Revaluation is very different to any previous Rating List. The Valuation Office Agency, introduced a revised and multi-stage process to challenge the 2017 Rating Assessments. The stages have to be completed in sequence and strict timescales apply to responses and subsequent action.

PRE-CHECK, PROPERTY VERIFICATION STAGE

There is an initial administrative stage before the Check process can begin. This will require the ratepayer to formally register on the Government Gateway, set up a company related account and then formally identify each of their properties in the rating list before instructing their surveyor to represent them

STAGE 1 – CHECK

This initial stage establishes that the valuation is based on the correct facts. Where the facts are found to be incorrect they will be amended. In many instances this stage will become a procedural requirement before a challenge can be mounted. Access to reliable sources and property information is essential.

STAGE 2 – CHALLENGE

This stage requires a detailed valuation, along with comparable evidence to support any change in value. This stage provides the opportunity to discuss the basis of the valuation and the supporting evidence with the Valuation Officer

STAGE 3 – APPEAL

If the Challenge stage is unsuccessful or it is not clear how the valuation has been ascertained there is a right of Appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunal within a fixed timescale.

ADVICE

Initially we will advise you upon the accuracy of your rateable value and follow the Check, Challenge and Appeal procedures whilst advising on other reasons as to how your rate liability may be reduced.

It may be found that your rateable value is reasonable or even too low. The Valuation Office may alter rateable values at any time and therefore professional advice is essential as an unnecessary appeal could have an adverse effect and ultimately increase the rates payable.

Paul Street EC2

Rateable value £50,000
On appeal reduced to £27,250
(45% Reduction)

Cheapside EC2

Rateable value £87,750
On appeal reduced to £64,350
(23% Reduction)

Spectrum House

Rateable value £338,800
Description of use changed,
rates payable on vacant building – Nil Increase

Property Management

Effective cost and tax-efficient property management is essential if landlords and investors are to maximize returns from their investments.

At Christo & Co, our property management department undertakes the prompt and efficient management of a wide range of properties, from single commercial properties to mixed portfolios of varying tenancies.

A fully-computerized accounting system enables us to collect rents and service charges promptly and efficiently. Income and expenditure statements can be prepared regularly and service charge accounts made constantly available.

All properties under our management are inspected regularly, to ensure that tenants comply with their legal obligations and observe all the lease covenants.

We carry out day to day property maintenance – often the responsibility of the landlord – through reputable contractors under our close supervision. We prepare and implement maintenance plans involving detailed specifications, costing, tendering and supervising work in progress through to completion. As buildings approach obsolescence, we will advise on refurbishment and development projects.

Any property investment portfolio must maintain its optimum potential. At Christo & Co our training and experience helps us to pinpoint properties for refurbishment and improvement, and design schemes individually suited to each property.

Below is a small schedule of leading tenants under our management:

mcdonalds-Christo and co
barclays-Christo and co
britishgas-Christo and co
tesco-Christo and co
camden-Christo and co
postoffice-Christo and co
ageuk-Christo and co
santander-Christo and co
superdrug-Christo and co
ryman-Christo and co
prontaprint-Christo and co
peabody-Christo and co

Valuation Services

Our Registered Valuers are able to undertake valuations of all types of residential and commercial properties for various purposes including matrimonial, probate, partnerships balance sheet and strategic planning. .

Valuation Reports are prepared in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors, in accordance with the latest edition of the RICS Professional Standards (The Red Book)

We provide clients throughout the UK with a meticulous service, meeting urgent deadlines and time limits promptly. Our wide-ranging involvement in the property market, our extensive database and our close co-operation with the company’s Agency Department enable us to compile accurate valuations at very short notice.

Valuation - Newington Green N16

Valuation – Courtfield Gardens, SW5

Valuation – Floral Place, N1

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