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HCLtd.eu   Disability Access Auditing

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2004
Our fathers and for fathers always taught us to help others who need help. What this legislation seeks to undertake is to design into, retrospectively to existing building and by default into new buildings, the ability to access premises initially by the general public and later the work place.

In undertaking audit nothing is ever black and white for there are various levels of acceptance that seek to address existing facilities. The purpose of audit is to look at these various levels of acceptance applying common sense of what will and won't work in providing accessibility.

The transition period for compliance is long past now, but the legislation does recognise that industry should not afford to undertake all the work identified in audit all at once. The Access Statement, which will emerge out of the audit, will seek to address this very issue, in briefing those in need and provide a warning of what the accessibility issues are. This document also goes a long way to mitigating liability in court providing of course a reasonable effort is being made to get to grips with the issues in hand. (Case law is changing and developing all the time and legal council will no doubt be required.)

It is important to remember also that ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for non-compliance in discriminating against others.

The initial walk through will provide the scale of the issues to be addressed.

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HCLtd.eu Stock Condition Surveying

The basis of undertaking property management is all about knowing what the state of the premises is. The depth of the surveying is driven by the content of the management work to be undertaken and can embrace every thing that is fabric, building services, legislative compliance and range over the wants of repair to 5 years cycle to whole life scheduling to 30 years. This is often undertaken as a multi point survey, which will cover as many subject heads as is required.

The same rules apply where there is just a few buildings to the many, however the consequence of change is the scalable factor. Part of this work is the essential creation and or updating of the existing intelligent AMP plans, which will drive room schedules in buildings and space schedules externally. Period updates of this information will also be required to keep a good and orderly record of the premises etc.

We employ our own management software, which will link and provide extensive flexibility in the methods of data capture and the delivery of the data, whether the data is destine for the clients own databases or our own databases.

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HCLtd.eu Asset Property Management

Having completed the bulk condition surveys of the building fabric and building services, title, legislative actions, legal and consultative process we can now structure a process that either continues an existing process stream lining event or create or employ middle ground software, that ties together any number of existing and new processes. Often we see tragic results where one database does not share information with another and critical information falls down in the gray areas between information piles and treasured bundles etc.

There is no such thing that the middleware has missed the goal, made a mistake, gotten it wrong etc.

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HCLtd.eu Fire Risk Assessment

The Regulatory Reform Order Fire Safety) 2005

It is absolutely paramount that we take every precaution possible in premises and we now have a single point of reference which brings together the myriad of legislation in addressing the issue of fire safety in premises. The documentation created here will be compliant with the industry “watch dogs” and to work towards protecting ones self against those who “shoot first and ask questions later”. Often the information required in compliance is already evident. The act explains that the RRO is not intended to cost the industry money but to regulate that which is already in existence.

The arrival of this legislation has had a dramatic effect right across the industry. Most importantly we now know who goes to jail when things go very wrong.

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HCLtd.eu Cost Management

This activity reaches across every aspect referred without exception and is often left to chance that good will may survive and that the client/contractor will get through the work un-scaved. To leave so much to so little and all in the name of chance is something that we should tread on the side of caution and be more positive in its resolution.

In addition whole life costing and wants of repair cost scheduling is an important part of AMP work, it is the backbone of any system and regular and period maintenance updates will be necessary.
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HCLtd.eu Construction Management

The eternal triangle of cost, programme and quality is the only feature here. Take any one event away and the stack will collapse. Whether employing design and build or traditional plans and specification the starting point is always the same, what does the client want and need? Working hard in each of these corners will go a long way to mitigating the potential run to the courts in settling dispute. 

Managing the client in his employers' requirement, embracing the planning and building regulation process, offering the tender package, contracting the work, getting the business installed up and running. Whether green field or existing premises in leasehold or self ownership the issues are the same. One can’t leave to chance and remaining focused is paramount.

Agreements to undertake work should utilise the industry standard documents. To abridge them in the belief that it will provide greater or different protection against a potential contractor is fraught with danger.

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HCLtd.eu Environmental Audit

Whatever one calls this subject the scope is her to stay. We will manage this process ensuring industry alignment in what is reported and manage change where change is required.

The range and scope of audit covers, building defect investigation, leak detection and energy certification.
We embrace the latest thermography cameras in much of this work together with other leading edge technology.

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HCLtd.eu Asbestos Awareness

Asbestos reporting is important in our lives and the management of this will influence the progression of refurbishment and development of ones business needs. To create the initial reports to determine the scope and severity of the problem, to undertake the subsequent review in the management of the protection where choice allows it to be have been retained.

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HCLtd.eu Lease Interrogation

From the tenants' point of view

There are many issues to be addressed in satisfactorily entering into a lease, which the landlord will by default will seek to install as his set piece arrangements, making the tenant responsible for issues that may not wholly be correct, reasonable, or just be un-related and inappropriate. If these issues are left un-resolve confusion will be created at the later date in both managing the lease and departing the lease upon conclusion.

There is no substitute for taking short cuts in title work and quite clearly the more you work at it from the out set the better the terminal conclusions will be!

Note: The work I do here is not the legal soliciting, I leave that for those best suited to do that job. The service I offer is the supporting roll of the wide reaching building surveying duties that go with the activities of entering or leaving a lease whether it is from the tenants' point of view or the landlords' point of view. Whatever the required service is, it must never be left for the solicitor to act on his own, he will not have the wide reaching skill set or time required to attain these implicit goals.

Typically the range of services covered here are not only the schedule of condition or the dilapidations work; but include construction management in fitting out, interim and terminal works in dilapidation, managing the building file and how to limit liability in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act (Discussed earlier), the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety), undertaking the Preliminary Environmental Report and what it means. Planning and the care needed surrounding judicial review and Building Regulation work in making changes to the premises to support your business, how to occupy premises prior to signing-up without impacting on any deal in the making.

The list goes on somewhat. I don't profess to be an expert in every instance and occasion but enjoy a reasonable working knowledge of these headings and where to go for help when help is needed.

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HCLtd.eu   Schedules of Condition & Dilapidation

For almost every tenant who enters a contract with a landlord to occupy premises under a lease or license, a schedule of condition will almost be certainly required to protect ones interest and to balance the terminal schedule of dilapidations at the end of the lease, especially when the premises have been occupied by others before you.

Schedule of Condition from the tenants' perspective

The purpose of the schedule is to protect your interest in limiting the repairing obligation of the tenant with interim and final dilapidations at the end of the lease. Remember the obligation imposed upon you by the landlord will be to "put and keep in good and substantial repair" or such phrases that allows the landlord to have back his premises in a fit and tenantable condition. The only way to record this event is to catalogue the state of the premises before signing the leasing.

Schedule of Condition from the landlords' perspective

The informed tenant will be aware of and have created a schedule of condition which the landlord will need to agree with the tenant. The tenant will attempt to include all and any items that have a bearing on the future repairing obligation. Whilst the landlord is not entitled to betterment he is entitled to have fit and tenantable premises. A balanced and unbiased schedule is very important for a quick and speedy conclusion.

Terminal dilapidations from the tenants' point of view

On vacating the premises having concluded the due time period the tenant must remember that the premise need to be handed back in a similar state as was first occupied. The landlord will embrace works to address a whole problem which the tenant might only be liable to part of the cost. Just because the premises were in a shabby condition at the start does not entitle or mean they can be left in this same condition. However finding a balance between the two can be a financial burden that was not expected.

Terminal dilapidations from the landlords' point of view

With the out going tenant, works to put right, reinstate or undertake refurbishment of the premises will be required to bring the premises back to a merchantable quality. The tenant rarely understands the process and will need to be lead through the various stages. This is often seen as an aggressive step, but is in reality an entirely reasonable event to expect the tenant to either undertake the work or pay compensation for others to do the work. The timing of these activities are important and one must not shoot oneself in the foot in 'jumping the gun' so to speak.

General note

There are many different types of lease with all manor of repairing obligations available, all of which will require a balanced view to be taken by the landlord and the tenant and at prescribed times pre and post lease.

The most obvious answer is not always seen at the outset and often there is some or extensive middle ground to be enjoyed by both parties. An initial walk through is always worth a punt in discovery.

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