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20 Apr 2020

Property Management Advice During Lockdown

Do you need to manage your empty office property – short term?

Does your office building need much management input whilst there are no tenant companies using them?
The answer is an emphatic YES!
The immediate response from occupiers’ businesses was to ask how savings could be made whilst maintaining the office services – the air conditioning the water supplies, drainage and the safety of the lifts, security and life safety systems.
But how does an owner reduce costs whilst maintaining the building and its services?
It’s a balance – we have to make sure the investment is:
• safe to occupy,
• maintained for the long term
• secure and
• properly insured
Even though it might appear there is nobody in the building, from day to day there will be the barest minimum of essential visits by occupier businesses to their offices and we need to make sure they are both comfortable and safe.
You must keep up statutory testing of water services, lifts, plant and machinery; you might think you can save money with short term shut downs of plant including hot water, heating, air conditioning, ventilation – or put off maintenance visits for access systems, smoke vents and automatic doors and gates - but the recommissioning costs and disruption to occupiers could put the costs much higher than the perceived savings. Failing to maintain can also void warranties and/or breach contracts.
So which areas can you make cost savings? In the short term, a thorough review of all of the planned expenditure is essential.
Consider where you can save money:
• reduce daily cleaning
• reduce the refuse collections – after you have emptied the bins!
• review the energy contracts for potential savings as the market changes
• defer capital projects OR bring them forward; if cost savings can be made when offices are empty shortening contractor hours and reducing out of hour working and the project is essential.
Do not put lives at risk and make sure you protect your investment with thoughtful and appropriate property management.

For further information contact Quentin Thompson MRICS Direct line: 01737 230777


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