I once had a lumbar puncture done by someone who had never done one unsupervised before. Let’s just say it was excruciating. There’s always that moment, when someone is trained, possesses all of the physical/ technical skills and the knowledge, but just doesn’t have any experience yet. It’s called learning, and yes, sometimes it’s painful!
We’re in a similar situation with the ECC 2017. I’m not talking about the Operator agent’s here. The one’s I’ve dealt with so far aren’t sending out correct information so it’s clear that they don’t have the knowledge yet. I’m actually talking about my fellow Landlord agents. There are a lot of very good, very knowledgeable surveyors out there who I know aren’t doing the work. The Operators have sent their silly letters out and caused a lot of consternation, in fact so much consternation that most agents haven’t even justified it with a response. This is fine. Everyone is hoping that someone else will be the first to take the other to the Land’s Tribunal. Everyone is waiting for the precedents to land. Not going to happen. Even if the Operators pressed ‘go’ on that now it would take months for the first case to end up in, and get through, the process. So they have no experience. They have the skills and the knowledge but no deals yet.
The reason for this? Principle. The Operators are behaving quite badly, and the Landlord surveyors want to make them pay for it. Fair enough, but most Landowners are not opposed to the masts, they just want a fair rent for them. Stalling the deals isn’t helping anyone, as to make a convincing case at the Tribunal both parties will need to show that negotiations have broken down. In most cases they haven’t even started yet. The Tribunal is supposed to be the last recourse, not the first.
So what’s my actual advice? Choose a surveyor who is actually doing deals under the ECC 2017. There are ways and means to encourage the Operators to engage, and should the negotiations break down whilst a sensible deal from the Landlord is on the table, this can only help the Landlord’s case should the Operator be foolish enough to instigate proceedings.
We have a play book that we’ve developed since before the ratification of the ECC 2017 which allows Operators to incorporate their Code rights into a Lease document. This gives them their statutory rights and provides a framework for the Landlord to charge the Operator the ‘no scheme’ valuation/ compensation for those rights but to charge closer to the open market valuation for the additional Lease rights, such as exclusive possession and the right to erect a secure compound. Don’t just take our word for it, it’s the very same approach being advocated by the specialists delivering the RICS CPD seminars on the subject.
We’re actively engaged in deals, both Code Operator side on a small Government Project and Landlord side for our major clients. We have deals at various stages including in legals and completing, which are as described above, and that are at, or near to, market value - does your surveyor?
To find out more please call 08455 195 295 or email Laura@specrealestate.com for an informal chat.