English Section, 21st December 2000
RINGLEY CHARTERED SURVEYORS
Keeping in touch with your property and more!
In the pre-Christmas rush Ringley Chartered Surveyors managed to find time to talk to us and give our readers a little bit of property insight for 2001.
Ringley is a 15-strong team of property professionals with corporate clients including Berkeley Homes, Weston Homes, Furlong & Swan Hill Homes & Crowncastle International. The core areas of Ringley's business are: development appraisals and sales, telecommunications, property management, lettings and development.
Ringley Chartered Surveyors see 2001 as a year of great opportunity. With a general election pending, market stability and the low interest trend simply has to continue. Whilst it is true that Ringley's register of new buyer quietened a little this Autumn, the number of commercial valuations undertaken by the survey department grew considerably. Ringley say that commercial rents have increased dramatically over the last two years, in some areas such as NW5 and N19 by as much as 40%. With finance costs low and rents rising, surrendering their lease to buy the freehold simply makes good business sense.
From the landlord's point of view, it was only three to four years ago that voids on secondary commercial units were a painful fact of life. There are new opportunities for landlords to invest in larger schemes where active management of tenant-mix can improve returns and lead to significant enhancements in capital value.
The London Boroughs are continuing in favour of the small landlord, with positive policies towards houses in multiple occupation and a desire to resist fuelling development of yet more flats for re-sale. Ringley see this as just one of the ways the current government are seeking to keep a supply of affordable within the capital.
With more money in the economy Local Authorities are taking positive steps towards regeneration. Projects in which Ringley have been introduced include the new Angel Islington town centre development, the opening up of the Marquess Estate in Islington, the regeneration of Kings Cross, the Greenwich/Development, the A406 Edmonton under-pass and the channel rail link. Ringley have assisted owners threatened with compulsory purchase, negotiated compensation for clients who have been forced to sell part of their land. Ringley have also been involved projects such as key workers housing for the Peabody Trust.
Ringley told us that it is likely that in 2001 lenders will respond further towards the growth in the property market. Income multiples are being raised and new products such as the 40 year mortgage are evolving. The British love affair with home ownership simply is not set to end.
It is Ringley's agency department that benefits from the company's Kentish Town base. Paul Freshwater (Sales Manager) says, it is hard not to take advantage of being encompassed by a circle of designer postcodes like Highgate, Islington, Highbury, Dartmouth Park, Tufnell Park and Crouch End.
Ringley Chartered Surveyors have just acquired a development site for MNP Developments who are part of the Karyatis Group. This site which was one of North London's old bus/tram depots now falls in the Tufnell Park conservation area and is just one example of Ringley's ability to help channel foreign investment.
When it comes to development schemes Ringley Chartered Surveyors's team of experts really can go all the way! For the Karyatis Group, Ringley's architects remodelled the existing plans to include extra balconies and bathrooms which will undoubtedly enhance re-sales says Mehdi Mehra. The survey department have carried out a detailed analysis of the scheme for the company's bankers. The management department are currently assessing the service charge and future management arrangements. Ringley's sales department expect to release some units off plan in April next year.
Amongst Ringley's Directors are three North London valuers who are well known within our community. Matthew Waddams, Mary-Anne Bowring and Jon Stickells have been serving most of the major high street banks including our Cypriot Banks for the last five years.
Most people do not know what property management involves, effectively, someone has to take responsibility for the common areas, to keep the lights and lifts working, keep the garden pretty and makes sure the cleaner turns up. However, there is more to it than this, from preparation a fair service charge to ensuring it is collected, dealing with the Legal aspects of management, insurance, redecorations and so on.
24 Hour Management Ringley offer a six-month start-up service and provide a 24-hour helpline where residents can call with any query. After this period, emergencies are still dealt with on 24-hour basis. The department is headed by Peter Joyce, who has over 30 years management experience and has developed many sites in the Greater London area. Peter is supported by two dedicated problem solvers, three accounts staff, an administrative team and the Survey Department. Peter often reminds his team that they should never forget that what they are managing, is someone's home.
Maximum security for residents. Unlike many unregulated agents, residents money held by Ringley is guaranteed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Ringley is able to write specifications for major works in house, and assess the sum for which block is insured periodically. Thus protecting residents from the adverse effects of an insurer hiking premiums by indexation. Ringley offers all clients the benefit of their block policy with Royal Sun and Alliance, James White advises that premiums range from 7p to 12p per £100 sum insured (plus IPT).
A quick ready-reckoner to find out if your block is insured for the right amount, is as below:
x £0.07 = Â£ Premium
+ Insurance premium @ 5%
James hastens to add that of course, the accuracy of this will depend upon correct assessment of the sum insured initially, and that this was something that Ringley offers as a free service.
Charlotta Karlsson promptly reminded us that not all new sites are even built. Ringley's clients range from the three leaseholders that clubbed together to collectively buy out their freeholder, to the likes of Berkeley Homes, Weston Homes who involve Ringley when a site is no more than a hole in the ground.
Buying out your landlord Peter Joyce reminded us that as under English law, no more than four people can own a piece of land, normally a management company needs to be set up.
Not unlike ICI or M & S, a management company still has many legal obligations, i.e. to hold an AGM, produce accounts and to compile an Annual Return, issue share certificates and maintain the company ledgers. Leaseholders can delegate these duties to Ringley, in turn not only guarantee that should a fine be incurred (provided all the information is available) will pay it.
If any of what Ringley has to offer could open new opportunities for you in the new year, whatever your property requirements are, whether it be acquisition, disposal or investment here are the key contacts:
Planning & Architecture:
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