21/05/19

We are pleased to acquire this potential development site ‘Dalston Garages’ for residential use for our client Inland plc.

This was an off-market transaction offered to Day and Bell for our clients.


We are dedicated to find development/investment sites for our clients, working with vendors and purchasers.
21/05/19


Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Client Money Protection Procedures


Main purpose
  • Allow RICS Registered Firms to offer client money protection in accordance with the Rules
  • Compensate Clients of a RICS Registered Firm for the losses of its Clients resulting in a RICS Firm failing to account for Client Money to the person entitled to it in accordance with the Rules.
  • These notes provide the principle procedures adopted by Day and Bell to meet Scheme rules and general RICS accounting guidance.




Client Money Protection Scheme
Aim
To ensure that clients’ money can be clearly linked to the clients’ to whom it belongs and is protected on their behalf at all times and in particular, in the following circumstances:
  • Insolvency
  • Death of a sole practitioner
  • Misappropriation by any party
  • Transfer of client money to another organisation

Should client money be misappropriated, Day and Bell will inform RICS, and where appropriate, the police and our insurers.

General
Day and Bell ensures that:
  • Employees have a clear segregation of duties and responsibilities and that a Director oversees the client accounting function.
  • We employ competent and knowledgeable staff who are responsible for processing clients’ money and who are familiar with RICS Rules.
  • Accounting systems are securely controlled and protected.
  • Computer systems are adequately protected for access, firewalls, back-ups and disaster recovery.
  • There is adequate cover for holiday and long-term absence.
  • Directors cannot and do not override controls surrounding the accounting system.
  • All departments apply the same level of controls in relation to the client accounting function.

Client Bank Accounts
Following RICS Guidance, Day and Bell ensures that:
  • We hold clients’ money in multiple client bank accounts separate from all other monies and it is available on demand.
  • Our Bank is National Westminster Bank plc, Enfield Customer Service Centre, PO Box 145 Lee House, Baird Road, Middlesex, EN1 1FN.
  • The client accounts are correctly titled ‘Day and Bell Surveyors Limited Client Account’, to easily distinguish them from other accounts. For discrete accounts, the clients’ names are included in the account title.
  • We have written confirmation from the bank of the client account conditions.
  • We advise clients in writing of the bank account details and agree the terms of the account handling, including arrangements for interest and charges.
  • We obtain written consent from our client if we are to retain interest.

Client accounting system & controls
Day and Bell ensures that:
  • Accounting records and systems are appropriate to the nature and volumes of client account transactions. We use Qube Property Management software to enable us to manage client money effectively.
  • Our system provides details of all money received into and paid from all client accounts and shows a running balance of all client money held in that account.
  • Our system identifies all receipts and payments to the client to which they relate; for example by means of client ledgers showing cash balances held on behalf of clients at all times.
  • Accounting records are completed chronologically and promptly.
  • The current balances at the total and client levels are always available.
  • All ledgers have the client name and an appropriate description, e.g. the property address
  • Overdrawn balances on client ledgers are prevented by the systems or controls in place and where they do occur are investigated and rectified immediately.
  • Adequate controls are in place over unidentified client money to ensure that such funds are kept securely. The client should be located and reimbursed as soon as possible. Such funds held for over 6 years may be donated to a registered charity.
  • A central list of client bank accounts is maintained including dates of opening and closing of accounts.

We complete “three way” reconciliation at least once every month where clients’ money is held in a general account.

This is produced as a formal statement with any unresolved differences or adjustments being fully investigated and explained. Any errors identified in the reconciliation process are promptly rectified.
General client account reconciliations include a full list of:
  • Client ledger balances and the total of the balances
  • Dated unrepresented cheques
  • Dated outstanding deposits
  • Details of any other reconciling items
  • System reports supporting reconciliation figures as appropriate

For discrete bank accounts the monthly reconciliations should agree the cash book or system balances to bank statement balances and include a full list of:
  • Dated unrepresented cheques
  • Dated outstanding deposits
  • Details of any other reconciling items
  • System reports supporting reconciliation figures as appropriate

Reconciliations do not include regularly occurring adjustments or reconciling items more than three months old, except for unrepresented cheques which should be no more than 6 months old.
  • Reconciliations are reviewed and signed off by a Director.
  • Client accounting records, including copies of reconciliations, are securely kept for at least 6 years plus the current year.

Controls over the receipt of client money
Day and Bell ensure that:
  • A Director or appropriate staff member, independent of accounting staff, open incoming post
  • Procedures exist to ensure all clients’ money is banked within 3 working days
  • All cash and cheques received by post or by hand are promptly recorded
  • A reconciliation is performed between money received by post and that day’s banking
  • Procedures exist to identify and distinguish between clients’ and office money
  • Mixed monies are initially paid into a client account and the office element paid to the office account when the receipt has cleared the bank
  • Fees received in advance for professional work not yet billed are paid into a client account pending completion of the work
  • Duplicate receipts are issued for cash received and controls over the physical security of cash are effective. Cash is not generally accepted.
  • Unbanked client money receipts are kept secure.

Controls over payment of client money
Day and Bell ensure that:
  • Checks are made to ensure that sufficient funds are held on behalf of the relevant client before payments are made
  • A copy of the bank mandate is held and up to date
  • Adequate authorisation and supervision procedures are in place for payments made by cheque, bank transfer and electronic methods
  • Insurance and adequate Director supervision is in place where payments are made by non-directors
  • All payment requests have supporting evidence and that documentation has been authorised in advance by a Director or other appropriate person
  • Blank cheques are not signed, and unused cheques are kept securely
  • Effective controls are in place over the setting up of new supplier accounts on the system
  • Cash payments are avoided

12/03/19







In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced that eligible retailers will receive a one third discount on their business rates bills for two years from April 2019.
Relief will be provided to eligible occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in 2019/20 and 2020/21. This could lead to a maximum saving of @ £8,500; with the National Multiplier having being increased to the record level of 50.4p in the Pound.

Retail property occupiers will presently be receiving their Business Rates Bills for the next financial year. We understand the discount should automatically be included on the account – and clearly shown on your bill. If the discount is not shown, your use may not be eligible, or occupiers should contact the Rating Authority and ask for clarification.

The eligibility is relatively straightforward; albeit a little unjust for high street businesses that are predominately office use.

The following list of uses should receive the relief where the rateable value is less than £51,000:


RETAIL

  • Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/ caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)


SERVICES

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/ key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire


FOOD AND DRINK

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

This list is not exhaustive. Broadly, retail properties with visiting members of the public should be considered for eligibility.

Authorities will be sending forms to Ratepayers asking them to record any other State Aid that they may be receiving.

Properties that are not readily accessible to visiting members of the public are not eligible for relief, along with many quasi-office businesses. These are listed as:
  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux dechange, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting offices


For further details of the scheme, please see the full Guidance Here


21/01/19


The Harrow Market is a local shopping centre in Langley, near Slough in Berkshire. The development of 17 shops was completed in the late 1960s and retailers have successfully traded there for many years.

A healthy mix of different occupiers and active asset management has been in place and it is remarkable that there have been no new lettings in the centre since the original leases were granted. Changing shopping patterns have led to some units being transferred, resulting in the arrival of a beauticians and Dominos Pizza, although the original healthy range of occupiers has generally stood the test of time.

Nat West Bank previously occupied the double unit at 11/12 The Harrow Market. As part of their branch closure programme, we negotiated an early surrender of Nat West’s lease – subject to a significant premium payment to the Landlord. Day and Bell then offered the first unit in Harrow Market – on the market – in almost 50 years.

Strong interest was received and we are delighted to report that a new letting has completed. Thames Hospice have taken a new ten year lease with a five year break and review. A capital contribution, rent free period and stepped rental was agreed, compensating Thames Hospice for the requirement to install a new shop front, strip-out the bank’s fittings, complete repairs and remove asbestos. The Landlord retains a surplus from the premium received from Nat West and the rental increases from £32,200pa for Nat West to £42,000pa on the letting. 5763 Associates Limited represented the tenant, with Day and Bell acting for the Landlord as letting agents and Asset Managers.

The loss of a clearing bank is not ideal for any shopping centre. However, the attraction of Thames Hospice will draw new customers to Harrow Market. They successfully trade from 20 branches and will provide an upmarket charity shop facility, with a very high standard of fitting-out. We wish Thames Hospice good fortune in Langley and believe they will contribute to the continuing vitality and mix of goods and services available at The Harrow Market.
16/11/18
The biggest news from last week’s budget for many of our clients is the proposed introduction of a new retail relief for up to 90% of High Street properties.

The Chancellor promised to cut liabilities by a third on retail premises with a Rateable Value of up to £51,000 for two years from April 2019 and we understand that the definition of “retail property” will also include car showrooms, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, bars, etc.

As always, the devil will be in the detail and our rating surveyor consultants will closely monitor progress on implementing the legislation to ensure that all of our qualifying clients benefit from the relief.

Other measures include a new taskforce with a £675m budget to regenerate High Streets nationwide and 100% relief for all stand-alone public lavatories.
16/11/18
The Staircase Tax is a complicated and ever-evolving area within Business Rates. It started with a case that rating surveyor consultant Paul Rabette took to Valuation Tribunal (and resoundingly won, we might add) back in 2010. The Lands Tribunal and the Court of Appeal agreed with the arguments that Paul originally put forward. However, unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not, leading to a landmark decision that introduced the Staircase Tax. This resulted in huge changes in the way that properties are assessed, with lots of occupiers nationwide seeing their properties “split” into multiple assessments – causing an administrative nightmare and often an increase in liability.

The new Act gained Royal Assent on 1 November and provides the opportunity to correct errors caused by the Supreme Court decision. It also allows our rating surveyors to revisit any cases where clients were advised not to appeal or where appeals were withdrawn based on the law as it stood. We can backdate as far as 1st April 2010. Our consultants have already compiled a list of clients that could benefit from this and will be submitting appeals shortly. If you think this may apply to you please contact kit.rabette@dayandbell.co.uk
02/10/18
In recent years Town Planning rules have been relaxed in many respects.

One of the most controversial issues has been the opening up of Permitted Development to convert offices and light industrial space to residential use.

Some commentators suggest this creates opportunities to reduce the dire housing shortage. On the other hand, traditional planning policy aimed to retain employment use on business space.




Day and Bell has been involved with a number of development schemes where office buildings are now apartments and industrial properties have become houses. The changing nature of commerce meant that that there was less requirement for offices in north London, but there are so few buildings remaining that occupiers struggle to find suitable premises. For industrial buildings, the situation is much worse, as manufacturing or storage and distribution businesses cannot find any suitable premises in many London suburbs.

Ultimately Permitted Development has created more sleepy suburbs, with less vibrancy and fewer employees visiting the shops at lunch time – providing further challenges to the vitality of High Streets.

London Borough of Barnet is looking at introducing an Article 4 Direction, where the Permitted Development in the Borough will be stopped. This restriction has been introduced in a number of other Council areas and it may help balance the future use of remaining business space, with housing.

On the other hand the reintroduction of intervention in the property market may seems at odds with the strongly Conservative doctrine of Barnet Councillors, who have privatised most services.

Day and Bell will follow the consultation and others may contribute on https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/ (when Barnet Council place it there). The deadline for comments is 12th November.
02/10/18

We are delighted to welcome Alex Jackson to the team as our newest Graduate Surveyor

Alex graduated from Oxford Brookes University in Summer 2018 and joined Day and Bell immediately in order to start working towards his APC, which he intends to sit in the second session of 2020.

Alex will be supporting the team in a range of professional work, focussing primarily on leasing and letting, landlord and tenant, and property management which will provide him with excellent APC experience.






20/09/18

We are delighted to welcome Anthony Di Maio to the team as our new Graduate Surveyor.

Anthony graduated from Oxford Brookes University in Summer 2017 following which he has been working for Savills at their Richmond HQ office.

He will be assisting with a range of professional work, mainly focussing on landlord & tenant, asset management and valuation instructions which will provide him with excellent APC experience.
13/09/18
The Headquarters of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a grand old building at Great George Street, on Parliament Square. The balcony of the President’s Apartment is one of the best spots in London and the remainder of the building is quite spectacular, with its Victorian Gothic Revival design.

Perhaps we’re a little biased and have a vested interest, but if any members of the public wish to have a tour on Saturday 22nd September, please see these details below.

http://www.rics.org/uk/news/news-insight/news/rics-london-headquarters-to-open-doors-for-open-house-day