Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How to Help Reduce Risks

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How to Help Reduce Risks

Article excerpt

QAS a landlord, how can I reduce the risks associated with a vacant property? A Beth Grimson, senior surveyor in DTZ's portfolio active management team answers: "Since the economic downturn the demand for commercial property of all types - retail, office, industrial - has significantly reduced. This combined with a significant number of business failures has lead to a significant increase in the number of vacant properties in the UK. Currently over one in 10 high street shops are vacant.

"Landlords, property holders, investors and developers all face management problems and increased risk when a commercial property becomes vacant. Failure to manage vacant property correctly can result in expensive repairs, unnecessary costs, management problems and potential litigation and costs. The other concern is to keep the property in a reasonable condition in order to attract new tenants or occupiers.

Q What can be done to reduce risks, issues and property management headaches? A If you, as owner, insure the property it is more than often a legal requirement to inform your insurer when that property (in part or whole) becomes vacant. You should check the terms of building insurance policy as soon as the property becomes vacant to make sure the building is adequately covered. Failure to notify your insurer can either invalidate or reduce the cover on your policy as vacant property is generally more costly to insure and requires additional cover.

If your landlord insures the building you should also check the provisions of your lease to identify whether there is a contractual requirement to notify him when the property becomes vacant.

To avoid potential litigation it is always best practice to notify your landlord in writing.

Vacant properties run a far higher risk of attracting squatters, trespassers, criminal damage, arson or theft. …

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