Residential Land Company News Section

Nobody wants to be seen as token

Emma Whitby-Smith, Head of Investment at Residential Land talks to Estate Gazette about diversity within the property industry.

Emma Whitby-Smith, Head of Investment

Emma Whitby-Smith, Head of Investment

When I first started in the property industry 30 years ago, diversity on any scale didn’t really exist, or if it did, it wasn’t high on the list of management priorities.

Any industry that is reliant on building relationships needs people who are representative and have a broad mix of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, personalities and opinions. Thankfully, on the whole, the working environment has changed in a positive way in the past ten years. While there is always scope for improvement there is certainly broader diversity at senior levels in the property industry.

But diversity is not a buzzword. There is a difference between “complying” and truly understanding. Nobody wants to be viewed as a token individual within a company.

Employers should understand that employee welfare is a priority, and should review company policy regularly and engage with employees at all levels to improve working relationships. An individual who feels accepted, included and understood will in turn be happier and feel more valued. Understanding business is understanding people.

The London property industry is embracing diversity and companies are taking huge steps to introduce and improve diversity programmes. Freehold’s work has been a game-changer. The LGBT property networking group holds monthly events hosted by industry giants such as British Land, Savills, Cluttons, JLL, Shaftesbury and RICS, to name but a few. These respected companies understand that diversity is not about fixing a problem – it is about ensuring business sustainability and improved performance.

I can of course, only comment on the London property scene; other areas in the UK are sadly not as progressive. It is even worse in other countries.

While my sexuality doesn’t define me, it is absolutely an integral part of who I am and it is an enormous relief I can be honest about the fact I have a long-term female partner with my colleagues and associates. Twenty-five years ago, I would have thought twice about being so open for fear of prejudiced assumptions or worse.

People have been discriminated against, and sadly continue to be so, for no other reason than for being different. I have the support of my chief executive, who values my contribution to the company and respects me for who I am. He recognises that a one-size-fits all approach to managing people does not achieve fairness and equality for everyone.

People have different needs, values and beliefs. Good management demands fairness and equality but also flexibility and inclusiveness.

Read the article on the Estates Gazette website here.

Residential Land buys 4b Merchant Square, Paddington

Residential Land can confirm that it has bought 60 luxury flats for long leasehold at 4b Merchant Square, Paddington. For further information please read the article by Estate Gazette and Property Week below.

EG - Residential LandRitchie buys Paddington PRS block

Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has bought a block of 60 luxury flats in Paddington, W2, for £60m from Malaysian investor Amcorp.

The privately rented residential block at 4b Merchant Square forms part of the 1.8m sq ft mixed-use scheme developed by European Land, a joint venture between the Reuben brothers and Bruce Jarvis’s family trust.

4b Merchant Squiare - Residential Land

60 flats in 4b Merchant Square – Residential Land

The deal comes as European Land is preparing a potential £250m sale of the three remaining development sites at Merchant Square, including the proposed residential tower nicknamed the Cucumber.

Ritchie plans to rebrand and reposition the flats to boost their rent roll to £2.7m. He said: “We are pleased to have made this strategic purchase at a time when West End Green [the 600-home project on Edgware Road being bought by Berkeley Homes] is finally moving forward and European Land’s plans for the Merchant Square Cucumber are also coming to the market.”

Amcorp acquired the building in 2013 from the Crown Estate for £47m. It financed the purchase with a loan from Singapore’s United Overseas Bank. The facility has now been carried over to Residential Land in one of the first such instances of a UK operator securing funding from UOB, according to Ritchie.

The deal follows Residential Land’s acquisition of Palace Wharf in Fulham, SW6, for £37m, taking the company’s prime London rental portfolio to more than 1,200 homes.

Residential Land is backed by Canadian pension fund Ivanhoé Cambridge.

By Alexander Peace, Estates Gazette | Residential | 26-06-2015 | 08:00

 

Residential Land featured in Property Week

Residential Land featured in Property Week

 

 

 

Residential Land swoops on £60m Paddington block
Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has acquired a luxury flat scheme in Paddington for £60m.

The 60 unit block at 4b Merchant Square was bought from Native Land which is backed by Malaysian investor Amcorp.

The building forms part of a 1.8m sq ft European Land scheme which includes the Cucumber.

Residential Land will undertake a programme of refurbishment at the site which is around five years old.

Native Land acquired the building in 2013 from the Crown Estate for £47m.

Residential Land exceed their £4k donation target for the Ahoy Charity

On the 19th June 2015, Residential Land took to the Thames and rowed nearly 9 miles in choppy and cool conditions to raise money for the Ahoy Charity.

The brave Residential Land ‘Iron Duke‘ team consisted of Emma Whitby-Smith, David Keir, Tessa Ferguson, Mark Barker, Gaynor Whiting and Andrew Mckee.

Thames Residential Land

Rowing hard with beautiful views of Tower Bridge, London

 

Team Iron Duke put in a valiant effort and managed to complete the 8.5 mile course in 56 minutes 23 seconds. Not only was this a great time, Residential Land managed to smash their fundraising target and raised a huge £4,640 for this worthwhile charity.

Team Iron Duke - Residential Land

Team Iron Duke – Residential Land

The London Property Challenge consisted of 10 teams from the industry and raised more than £30k to help this young people’s charity.

Residential Land would like to thank all who sponsored team Iron Duke for this event which allowed us to give to a charity which is changing young lives.

The fundraising page is still open and we would still appreciate any donations that you would like to make. You can do this here.

Residential Land

Rowing in choppy conditions by The Houses of Parliament.

Thank you for all your help and support. If you would like to read more about the charity, please follow the below link to the AHOY Centre website.

http://www.ahoy.org.uk/

What should PRS stand for?

Residential Land has recently been featured in Property Week within the Perspectives section. Bruce Ritchie explains what PRS should stand for and the challenges that the private rental sector has to face.

The article in Property Week is detailed below otherwise you can click here to go to Property Week website.

Residential Land - private rental sector

Property Week article: What should PRS stand for?

The growing market needs international investment – and new skills

The private rented sector (PRS) in the UK is growing. There are now several large new-build schemes with specific rental planning consent under construction, particularly in London where we are based, and more to follow.

However, for the sector to continue to grow, we need to promote the services we offer and to set the scene properly, and in some ways the property industry is not ready for it.

Before tackling what’s holding back the PRS, we need to first ask: what does PRS really stand for? To me, it stands for ‘professional rented sector’. PRS to us is the institutional, corporate end of the rental market as opposed to the letting of single flats and houses by individuals more commonly called buy-to-let landlords. By creating the term PRS, we have lumped together, in the public’s eye, all residential rentals.

The build-to-rent market is aiming to differentiate itself from private landlords who are more likely to be tarred with the tabloid image of poor-quality accommodation, bad service and hidden charges. This image is what the professional rented sector needs to separate itself from.

The reason such a sector is emerging now is due to the phenomenal growth in the UK’s rental market. Since 1988, the number of people renting in the UK has grown from 7% to 35%, which is an enormous section of the market. The growth in the number of buy-to-let purchases adds to many homeowners who now rent out a spare room to be able to assist in affording their mortgage payments. New legislation has made this easier, by giving individuals the ability to rent out their home for a holiday let for up to 90 days in any 12-month period, for instance.

Knowledgeable tenants
For the first time, we have a substantial proportion of the population who, in general, know more about renting than they do about buying a property – either as tenants or as novice landlords. Tenants are increasingly aware of their rights of tenancy agreements, of notice periods, of rent reviews and of the kind of reasonable service or behaviour a landlord should provide. They are interested in how their lives improve within the rented sector. This is where the professional rented sector has its part to play.

With the backdrop of a strong and growing market, for the PRS to prosper, those in the sector need to focus on standards. Any professional landlord will know that, if you offer a better service and better product you will get a better price and a better return on investment, as well as have an easier life because you’ve done what you should have done.

The rental sector so far has been good at implementing self-regulation. Professional landlords, by and large, have accepted rental agreements that are clear and concise about both a tenant’s and landlord’s rights. They sign up to the Housing Ombudsman, even though they don’t need to.

Self-regulation is a sound way to do it, better than implementing more quangos, red tape and bureaucracy. We have a market with professional agents and professional surveyors who would scream and shout if standards were not upheld by their client. We all have a responsibility to ensure that high standards permeate within the PRS.

Take what is happening in the US, with the proliferation of what they call multi-lets or family lets: large-scale properties with thousands of occupants. Those properties are usually well managed, we’ll let and we’ll publicised; landlords have to compete with each other. It’s an open marketplace.

Standards are a crucial part of building a successful PRS business. Our tenants are our customers. We are selling them the opportunity to rent one of our products and, if we don’t treat them correctly, we only have ourselves to blame.

Choice is the most important thing to a tenant – of location, of rental level, of co-tenant and of tenancy length – which is why the concept of making threeyear tenancies the norm is ill-advised. What of the landlord who has a building that needs refurbishment in two years’ time or needs refitting completely to meet regulatory standards? Do they start emptying their building three years before because they have to restrict themselves to a three-year tenancy? What of the tenant who has a one-year job position and does not want to be lumbered with a three-year commitment?

A policy from Labour in the recent general election was to establish a national register for landlords. This is a half-way step towards a national reporting system on the quality of landlords. If it is used for good, taken to the point where people are allowed to comment on what their service has been like – perhaps modelled on TripAdvisor, for example – this could generate a better situation for all involved. Although Labour is not in power, this could be an idea for the government to adopt.

If the recent election result has taught us anything it is that Britain is a nation in the majority of people who aspire to succeed and do better. Those people want flexibility to move to a better home or a different location; they do not need to have their hands tied. Most landlords are happy to offer longer tenancies. The free market enables tenants to find them if they need.

International balance
I’m not so sure that the build-to-rent market, despite its growth, is going to be a huge stimulus to the property industry. And why is that? I identify three crucial reasons.

First, most developers build to sell, because that’s what makes money. If the profit is going to be larger by exporting these units to China than finding a buyer who can hold and rent it for 15 years, that’s what the builders will do. It is difficult to buy blocks of flats for rental from new housebuilders and this will only change if the export market dies off . If all new build had to be offered for sale in the UK first, we would see a larger proportion of this stock being occupied by British residents and investors.

Second are the planning constraints. Until such time that local authorities are all on board and it is the norm to give planning to a new-build block specifically on the grounds that it is rented to the PRS for a fixed period, say 10 years, where there is no affordable contribution other than this commitment, you’re not going to end up with a lot of buildings being created for this use. This leads to the third possible impediment to the growth of the PRS: if regulatory or fiscal changes are made that make the sector a less attractive investment for overseas investors, it could grind to a halt.

There are currently 115,000 homes being built in major schemes in London. More than 80,000 will be funded by overseas money, because the government doesn’t have any money to do it. UK developers are finding it very difficult to compete to acquire sites; even if they could navigate the planning red tape and requirements, they are not going to build enough homes to meet UK requirements. Development finance is expensive and not easily available, thus providing liquidity issues to the growth of the market.

We should be prioritising that overseas investment is protected. New homes aside, the UK benefits hugely from regeneration, from the construction costs, sourcing the materials that were used and deploying the skills involved. Even if UK properties are rented or sold to overseas, they still bring huge advantages to the UK. In a factory, if you manufacture a product to export, it’s out of the country and all you have to show for it is the money. In the property industry, we manufacture an asset, we sell it abroad and it stays here, earning us money for the rest of time. It provides a continuing income for the country as well as homes for our population when those properties are rented by their foreign owners.

Ultimately, coming out of recession, what’s driven London is not the government saying we want lots of builders. It’s been foreign income investing in schemes because there’s strong market growth in terms of capital values and income. If this isn’t nurtured then we will not hit our targets either through the PRS, London development or the UK in general for new homes.

Learn new skills
A final barrier to growth of the PRS is the fact that the commercial property industry, which is keen to get involved, lacks the required skill set.

Imagine the number of customers in a large residential block, perhaps 1,000 tenants to look after; that’s an enormous business. If you are a retail, office or shed landlord you’re never going to have that diversity of customer base. Plus, you collect money once a quarter, whereas we collect every week. It is normally our responsibility to repair a property and to insure it, not the tenant’s. It’s a lot harder to be a large-scale residential landlord than a large-scale commercial landlord.

The skills you need within your company are vast, from building surveyors to electrical engineers, from health and safety people almost to psychiatrists who can help a tenant with their habitation issues. It’s personal – people in their homes and occupations having daily issues that you have to handle from a professional point of view. That’s put off a lot of people from getting involved.

While we don’t have the land to replicate the market that has been created in the US, given the thousands of successful landlords there I have no doubt that the market will continue to grow in the UK. Returns are being made, our cities are being regenerated and at the moment foreign investment continues to arrive. We just need to get a few things right.

Residential Land goes offplan in west London

Residential Land is proud to announce that it has completed on Palace Wharf, a deal for a riverside scheme in Fulham that has planning permission for 27 residential units.

For further information please read the article in Property Week below or follow the link to read it on the Property Week website

Ritchie’s Residential Land goes offplan in west London

Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has completed a major off-plan residential purchase in west London, after taking advantage of a lull in the Asian forward-sales market.

Backed by Canadian pension fund giant Ivanhoé Cambridge, the private rented sector (PRS) specialist has forward-purchased Chase New Homes’ scheme at Palace Wharf in Fulham at £1,250/sq ft – with the deal worth around £37m in total.

Palace Wharf, Fulham

Palace Wharf, Fulham

The site, near the famous River Café, has planning consent for 27 residential units, comprising five townhouses and 22 flats. “We see that to fulfil our stock requirements we need to be buying new as well as existing [stock],” Residential Land chief executive Ritchie told Property Week. “There’s an opportunity while Asian markets cool for us to replace that Far Eastern buyer with investor money, PRS money, rather than ‘export money’.”

The deal is Ritchie’s first off-plan purchase with Ivanhoé Cambridge and comes after Ivanhoé invested in a fifth Residential Land fund in February. The new £650m fund is focused on a broader area of prime central London, and its upper price point for investment has increased from £1,500/sq ft to £1,650/sq ft.

As well as buying the Fulham scheme, Residential Land has sold a £47m residential block in Marylebone to a group of Middle Eastern investors. Elliott House, 1 Molyneux Street, has been sold to developer Coronado – with backing from Shariah-compliant Al-Rayan bank.

Residential Land had already stripped out the building after receiving planning permission in 2012 to increase the size of the 1930s block from 28,500 sq ft to 35,500 sq ft – increasing the number of flats from 23 to 31.

Coronado will now take over the redevelopment to create the enlarged building, with Residential Land exiting at a price of £1,650 on the existing square footage.

Ritchie said it was a sign Shariah-compliant purchasers were becoming more comfortable with development.

Support our team and help us raise money for The AHOY Centre charity

On the 19th of June 2015 Residential Land will take part in The Oarsome Property Challenge! We decided to take on this particular challenge as it makes a refreshing change from the normal croppedimage750400-home1 property industry fundraisers and of course to raise as much money as possible for the Ahoy Charity. This charity dedicates itself in changing people’s lives and building life skills through sailing and rowing.

It will also be a great opportunity for us to scour the river for any potential residential opportunities that may not be visible from the road! Emma Whitby-Smith, Head of Investments has promised to take a notebook along with her, so she can make notes of locations, whilst rowing!

The Watersports based charity’s primary objective is giving opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk youths by offering opportunities for disabled people to participate in activities and courses on an equal level.

We have a pledge; by the day of The Oarsome Property Challenge on the 19th June 2015 we must raise £4,000 for The Ahoy Centre. Please help us to do this. Anything will help!

You can make a donation HERE

Thank you for all your help and support. If you would like to read more about the charity, please follow the below link to the AHOY Centre website.

http://www.ahoy.org.uk/

Residential Land headline sponsors of RESI Awards for fourth year in a row

 

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As headline sponsors of the RESI Awards 2015, Residential Land CEO Bruce Ritchie opened the awards with a short introduction.

 

Residential Land were headline sponsors for the RESI Awards on Wednesday 13 May 2015 for the fourth consecutive year.  Property Week RESI Awards was another huge success and saw over 1200 property professionals fill the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane.

The awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise excellence within the residential property industry

and celebrate the successes of that year. The event is an extension of the popular annual RESI conference, and has instantly established itself as an equally important networking event for the residential property sector.

Residential Land would like to say a very well done to all of this year’s winners!

This year’s winners included:

Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year – Savills (Sponsored by Residential Land)

Ritchie also presented the award for Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year which was awarded to Savills.

Ritchie presented the award for Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year which was awarded to Savills.

International Sales Agency of the Year – JLL

UK Sales Agency of the Year – Savills

Letting Agency of the Year – Knight Frank

Property Manager of the Year – Ringley Chartered Surveyors

Residential Investment Agency of the Year – Knight Frank

Asset Manager of the Year – Grainger

PRS Deal of the Year – Mace

Deal of the Year – Deloitte Real Estate

Large Developer of the Year – The Berkeley Group

Small Developer of the Year – Mount Anvil

Development of the Year – Royal Wharf – Ballymore and Oxley

Newcomer of the Year – Resonance

Landlord of the Year (Privately Owned) – Get Living London

Landlord of the Year (Registered Social) – A2Dominion Group

Residential Financier of the Year – The Royal Bank of Scotland

Student Accommodation Operator of the Year – Unite Students

Residential Personality of the Year – Sean Mulryan - Ballymore Group

Residential Land are big supporters of Property Week and what the RESI conference’s and Award shows have done for the residential market. We are already looking forward to this year’s RESI conference at the Celtic Manor on 7th - 9th September 2015.

See more pictures and video HERE

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Residential Land CEO Bruce Ritchie with Fiona Freeman (left) and Susan Geddes

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Residential Land guests

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Residential Land Sales Consultants Sibel Osman (left) and Vanessa Vaara

Residential Land host the RESI Awards 2015 shortlist party

On the 14th April, more than 120 property professionals gathered in the Residential Land garden at 59-60 Grosvenor Street for the RESI Awards drinks reception which was attended by all the shortlisted nominees. It was a fantastic evening, with much to celebrate for the residential property market.

Here is a short video of how the evening unfolded with short speeches from Bruce Ritchie, CEO of Residential Land and Liz Hamson, Editor of Property Week.

Click on the video to start watching:

resi awards 2015

Below are the names of those who have made the RESI Award’s 2015 shortlist including Residential Land who have been nominated once again for ‘Landlord of the Year.’ Residential Land are headline sponsors of the event and are presenting the award for ‘Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year’ at the awards ceremony on the 14th May at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.

Categories:

Landlord of the Year (Privately Owned) – Sponsored by FirstPort
• Residential Land
• Grainger
• Get Living London
• Wellcome Trust
• RBS Real Estate Management

International Sales Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Accouter Group
• Chestertons
• Knight Frank
• Colliers International
• JLL

UK Sales Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Giles Landscapes CMS
• Savills
• CBRE
• Knight Frank
• Chestertons
• Assetz for Investors
• Strutt & Parker

Letting Agency of the Year
• Countrywide
• Knight Frank
• Chestertons
• Savills
• JLL

Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year – Sponsored by Residential Land
• Knight Frank
• CBRE
• BNP Paribas Real Estate
• EC Harris
• Savills
• Strutt & Parker
• AECOM
• Deloitte Real Estate

Property Manager of the Year – Sponsored by SLC Solicitors
• Rendall and Rittner
• Gordon &Co
• Burlington Estates (London)
• FirstPort
• Warwick Estates
• Savills – Prime Estates
• Ringley Chartered Surveyors

Residential Investment Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Deverell Smith
• Knight Frank
• CBRE
• Knight Knox International
• Savills

Asset Manager of the Year – Sponsored by Yardi Systems
• Grainger
• Inspired Asset Management
• Legal & General
• Knight Frank
• RBS Real Estate

PRS Deal of the Year – Sponsored by Savills
• Fizzy Living
• Grainger
• Muse Developments
• Mill Group
• CBRE
• Royal Bank of Scotland/Apollo Global Management
• Mace

Deal of the Year – Sponsored by Investec Structured Property Finance
• Grainger plc
• M&G Real Estate and HUB
• CBRE
• Essential Living
• Deloitte Real Estate
• JLL

Large Developer of the Year – Sponsored by CBRE
• L&Q
• Redrow Homes
• Hill
• Linden Homes
• The Berkeley Group
• Ballymore Group

Small Developer of the Year – Sponsored by LSL Land & New Homes
• Pocket
• A2Dominion Group
• Alchemi Group
• Mount Anvil
• Mar City Homes
• Regal Homes

Development of the Year – Sponsored by Knight Frank
Banyan Wharf – Regal Homes
Macaulay Walk – Grainger
Royal Wharf – Ballymore and Oxley
South Bank Tower – CIT
The Eagle – Mount Anvil
The Malt House – Mar City Homes

Newcomer of the Year – Sponsored by Mount Anvil
• The Countrywide & Hermes Residential Property Fund (Vista Residential Real Estate Fund )
• Mill Group
• Resonance
• Essential Living
• NEAT Developments
• The Accouter Group
• Greystar Europe Holdings Limited

Landlord of the Year (Registered Social)
• Home Group
• A2Dominion Group
• CityWest Homes
• L&Q
• Nottinghill
• Genesis

Residential Financier of the Year – Sponsored by Colliers International
• Barclays Real Estate
• Investec Bank
• Omni Capital
• Pluto Finance
• The Royal Bank of Scotland
• Urban Exposure

Student Accommodation Operator of the Year – Sponsored by Roomservice by CORT
• iQ Student Accommodation
• The Student Housing Company
• Scape Student Living
• CRM Students
• The Nido Collection
• Vita Student
• McLaren Property
• Unite Students

Residential Personality of the Year – Sponsored by Chestertons
• To be announced on the evening

Residential Land seals landmark debt deal and launches £650m fund

Residential Land was recently featured in a Property Week article detailing the backing received by HSBC and their new venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Read the full article below:

Bruce Ritchie article 27th Feb 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has secured one of the largest refinancing deals ever in the UK private rented sector and embarked on a fresh £650m push into prime central London

Residential Land066

HSBC has backed Residential Land with a five-year £320m facility at a loan-to-value of 55%, with the debt secured against homes held in Residential Land’s four funds with Canadian pension giant Ivanhoé Cambridge and Apollo Global Management.

The deal marks the first time Residential Land has sourced external debt for the four funds, which have invested or committed £800m since 2012. The refinancing demonstrates the strong appetite among lenders for debt on rented holdings, with HSBC fighting off competition from 13 rivals, including shortlisted lenders Met Life and Crédit Agricole, to secure the deal.

Ritchie has also embarked on a new venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge, which will see the Canadians investing in a fifth fund with investment firepower of £650m. Ivanhoé will work directly with Residential Land, rather than through Apollo, for the first time.

Ivanhoé has committed to an initial three tranches of £90m of equity, coupled with equivalent debt, alongside investments from Residential Land and Apollo’s head of real estate in Europe Roger Orf, who is personally investing in the new fund. Each tranche is likely to be invested over six months and Ivanhoé has indicated its willingness to commit to additional tranches.

The new fund will invest in a much broader area of prime central London, taking in areas like the South Bank, parts of north and east London and the Isle of Dogs. It has already bought Circus Apartments, a 40,000 sq ft building attached to the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, from City & Docklands, for £31.5m. The building has 45 existing apartments let to serviced apartment operator BridgeStreet until March this year, when Residential Land is open to a new operator coming on board.

Residential Land has also increased its upper price point for investment from £1,500/sq ft to £1,650/sq ft, and plans to invest in areas where there are opportunities to benefit from the ripple effect of prime central London moving outwards.

Ritchie told Property Week: “We are pleased that finally there is a successful example of long-term PRS investment in central London by an institution that shows with the right level of returns it can be as profitable as any commercial equivalent.”

 

 

 

 

What should I consider when renting a commercial unit?

 

Sibel Osman - Comercial Consultant

Sibel Osman – Comercial Consultant

 

There are a few areas of focus here, the main being location and demand for your type of business in that location.

It is very important to know you’re demographic in order to ensure that you are trading in an area that will work for your business. Research the area, other retail outlets and footfall to get an understanding of what current trade is like before committing. Often what we may think is a great area to live in, may not necessarily be the perfect area for a business, as the considerations are different.

The ‘usage’ type of your business may affect where you locate, as not every site may permit every kind of business use, for example; some mixed use developments may not permit  A3 usage (restaurants, pubs, cafes etc) due to the ventilation factor in order to eliminate food smells that may affect the residential units above.

Once you have established a desired area and researched its compatibility to your business in every way, your search for a retail unit can start. This process is much like the one you would apply for a residential research; the differences begin again at point of agreeing the terms.

The lease term, rent review and rent increases, Tenant improvements, sub leases and assignments, service charges, insurance contributions, business rates, size of unit and ITZA are all areas of discussion from the onset. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what you are signing up for, what is required of you and what your legal obligations are as a retail tenant.

Most retail leases are long term and may have an upward only rent review which means the rent can never go down. Therefore it is imperative to make informed decisions and do your number crunching before signing on the dotted line.

Related articles: 

What is attracting buyers and tenants to Mayfair?

Welcome to Lexham Gardens

What specification should I focus on while renovating my flat to suit corporate tenants?

Read more: London Property Magazine