Our Services

We have the perfect blend of experience, local expertise and customer service, allowing us to provide much more than written reports. Your property requirements will be handled professionally and to the highest quality.

Being truly multi disciplinary, we provide a full range of property services from a Home Report to a commercial valuation and everything in between. Take a look through our specialist departments and see how we can help you.

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Our Commercial Property Department
at DM Hall is truly multi-disciplined

Alongside our recognised valuation and agency teams, we have a wide range of specialist departments that ensures we can respond to any commercial property enquiry.

In commercial property we stand out from the crowd:

Three vastly experienced and growing regional teams covering the full length and breadth of Scotland

Expertise across all sectors of commercial property

Valuations universally accepted on lenders panels

Over 100 years of history within the property industry

Read more about our commercial services above and see how we can help you.

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Our Commercial Property Valuation
teams across the country
offer a comprehensive
range of commercial services

With our three established regional commercial property valuation teams, we are ideally placed to carry out valuations across the Scottish mainland and the Islands. We offer a comprehensive range of commercial property valuation services for a variety of purposes, including acquisitions, commercial loan security, disposals, dispute resolution and taxation.

Our network of offices enables us to advise our clients from both a national and local perspective and combine company-wide specialist property expertise with genuine local knowledge.

We have vast experience in all property sectors, including:

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Commercial Agency

Our Commercial Agency Team acts for a range of clients from private individuals to major international companies that are involved in the acquisition, letting and disposal of a wide range of commercial properties.

Drawing on our expertise of the market place, we can also advise on future investment strategy, disposal strategy, rent reviews and lease renewals.

Our specialist sectors include office; industrial and warehouse premises; retail; licensed and leisure properties; land; and both investment and development opportunities.

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Business Sales & Valuations

Our Business Sales and Valuations team has long been considered a market leader in trading appraisals and business valuations. Not only that but our experienced team are on hand to provide sellers with honest and well-researched advice on price, marketability and all other factors at every stage.

We have genuine local knowledge and our network of offices enables us to give advice from both a national and local perspective – which is why our opinion is regularly sought by clients on acquisitions, from individual business opportunities to substantial portfolios.

Looking for business premises?

Why not browse our available properties in our property search?

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Building Consultancy

Our Building Consultancy department offers professional and expert advice throughout a property’s lifecycle. We work with a range of clients including investors, funders, landlords, tenants, occupiers and developers, providing a range of residential and commercial specialist Building Consultancy services throughout Scotland.

We provide a full range of tailored building surveys, whether you are acquiring, disposing, developing, leasing or funding a single asset or property portfolio.

Building surveys outline the condition of the property, defects, shortcomings and remedial works recommended to provide you with a commercial advantage, save you money, and mitigate your risks.

If you would like to discuss one of the following services,
please get in touch:

Commercial Building Surveys
Residential Building Surveys
Technical Due Diligence
Vendor Surveys
Defect Analysis
Snagging Inspection

Dilapidations is the term given to breaches of lease agreements, usually relating to the condition of the property, either during the term of the tenancy or at lease expiry. We can act for the landlord or tenant, providing professional advice on liabilities and associated costs whilst providing strategic advice on settling claims.

Schedule of Dilapidations

We are able to prepare Interim or Terminal Schedules of Dilapidations to be served on a tenant detailing breaches of lease agreement, remedial works required and if applicable costs associated with such remedial action.

Dilapidations Audit Report

This provides the landlord or tenant with an estimate of the likely dilapidations at a given point or at the end of a lease. This provides either party with information to assist in negotiating assignations, acquisitions or allows the tenant to plan for a large dilapidations claim at the end of the Lease.

Defending Dilapidation Claims

As a tenant, you may have received a Schedule of Dilapidations. Responding, defending and concluding dilapidation claims is a very complex and specialist area. We have substantial experience of defending landlord’s dilapidation claims and have a proven track record of reducing claims.

A Schedule of Condition is an accurate and thorough record of the condition of the property, which is used to set the benchmark condition of the property. Essentially, the Schedule of Condition forms a reference document to minimise future disputes and provide additional protection to the ingoing tenant.

Prepare a Schedule of Condition

This is commonly prepared on behalf of the tenant and used to allow the appointed solicitor to draft the lease accordingly in order to mitigate the repairing liabilities arising out of the Lease Agreement. The Schedule is vital in controlling and minimising future dilapidation liabilities. Our wealth of experience in dilapidation claims provides a considerable commercial advantage to clients.

Reviewing a Schedule of Condition

Usually a landlord is requested to agree to a Schedule prepared on behalf of the tenant. We can work with the landlord to inspect the property and outline re-drafting where required to ensure that the Schedule factually represents the property. This ensures the landlord’s position is not weakened in this negotiation.

We are heavily involved in overseeing, managing and directing refurbishment, new build and extension projects for a range of clients over the commercial, residential, industrial and leisure sectors. Tasks include preparing Scopes of Work, Specifications, Contract Preliminaries, and Tender Documents. Tendering these works on a competitive or negotiated tender basis to contractors in order to seek best price and best resourced suppliers. Works are then diligently managed over the construction phase of the project by the Project Manager/Contract Administrator.

Feasibility

When the client is unsure how to proceed with a project we often undertake feasibility studies to determine the change of use or redevelopment of buildings or sites in line with Planning, Building Warrant, Conservation Area Consents and all Local Authority approvals which would be needed for such a change. We also detail potential works and costs to give the client a good understanding of the options available to them.

Project Management/Contract Administration

We undertake the project coordination and management of refurbishment; new build or extension projects which will include preparing tender documentation, reporting back on competitive tenders received prior to works commencing on site. We would then manage the project undertaking regular site inspections to monitor progress and quality, issuing Certificates for Payment, undertaking Contract Instructions and Practical Completion of the project on behalf of the client in line with their timescale and budgetary requirements.

In addition to building surveys, dilapidations, Schedules of Condition and Projects, we also offer the following expertise:

Reinstatement Cost Assessments
Expert Witness
Arbitration
Mediation
Prepared Preventative Maintenance Schedules(PPM)
Defect Analysis

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Property Management

Our established and growing Property Management team delivers services to property owners all over Scotland.  We currently manage a mixed portfolio of properties including residential portfolios, shopping centres, multi-let offices, industrial estates and single occupier properties. Our clients over the years include: KPMG LLP, Clydesdale Bank, Capita Life & Pensions and Hornbuckle Mitchell.

From our centrally based Livingston location, you can trust us to manage your properties. We provide the following services, and we tailor our approach to each client.

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Non Domestic EPCs

Energy is high on the agenda of many businesses, be they property owners or tenants. At DM Hall we are ideally placed to provide expert advice on the energy efficiency of commercial properties, why energy efficiency matters and how it can be improved. With 26 offices throughout Scotland, we have a team of trained and qualified surveyors to carry out these inspections.

Need further information on an EPC?  Use the contact details on the right hand side of this page to get in touch.

A Non Domestic EPC is required when a property is intended to be made available for sale or let, whether or not formal marketing takes place. An EPC will also be required where the construction of a building has been completed. During marketing of the property, an EPC must be made available to all prospective tenants or purchasers, and on completion of a sale the EPC must be passed to the new proprietor. Certain properties are exempt from requiring an EPC. These are detailed below.

Buildings which are wholly detached with a total useful floor area of less than 50m².

Properties which are of a temporary nature with an intended lifespan of 2 years or less.

Non-residential agricultural buildings and workshops with a low energy demand.

Additionally, buildings soon to be demolished and the proprietor has relevant planning/conservation consents may be exempted, but this is not always the case.

Failure to adhere to the legislation can lead to fines between £500 and £5000 based on the rateable value of the building.

As legislation increases and statutory targets tighten in relation to energy use and energy ratings for buildings, institutional lenders are becoming increasingly aware of energy ratings and the potential risks a poor energy rating might bring with it for any particular property.

Energy ratings have undoubtedly moved on to the radar of lenders and are becoming a significant factor in the lending decision process. We have long established relationships with the majority of commercial lenders and have assisted in shaping the policies of banks in relation to minimum energy ratings and the perceived risks attached to poorer energy ratings, particularly within a Scottish context. With our dual role as expert commercial valuers and energy assessors, we are well placed to guide clients through this ever-changing legislative landscape.

While there are many EPC providers in Scotland, it is becoming more important that a trusted and experienced firm is selected to give you peace of mind that the EPC is accurate and meets a high standard.

At DM Hall, we have a fully qualified and experienced team of Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEAs) covering the whole of Scotland. We use advanced 3D building modelling software to accurately represent an assessed property, in order to generate EPCs which you, prospective purchasers and/or occupiers and, indeed, commercial lenders can rely upon.

Our fully qualified and experienced team of NEAs have been preparing commercial EPCs since 2009 and during the intervening period, have accumulated a depth of technical knowledge and legal understanding of this specialised area, which makes us the market leader and well placed to provide clients with professional and partial advice.

The assessors within our in-house team – we don’t sub-contract – are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). You can therefore be assured of a robust , consistent and professional approach to the preparation of commercial Energy Performance Certificates.

Read our latest Non Domestic EPC blog: Scottish property owners face double whammy over differences in Energy Certificates

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides owners and occupiers of buildings information about the carbon dioxide emissions from their buildings and the building they occupy. The EPC will include an Energy Efficiency Rating and letter banding. It will also offer guidance on how to make the property more energy efficient and will illustrate how energy efficient a building could be by implementing cost effective recommendations, advising on how much carbon emissions can be reduced.

How long is an EPC valid for?

An EPC is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issue. However, where significant modifications to the extent of a property are carried out, a new EPC will be required.

Do all buildings require EPCs?

Yes, subject to certain exemptions. The intention of the legislation was to be inclusive in terms of its scope. It is worth noting that where a property is not conditioned, i.e. it has no formal heating of its interior, does not mean the property is exempt. The presumption is that where a building is normally expected to be occupied by people that building would be expected to be heated, and thus would require an EPC to be prepared.

Unlike the position in England and Wales, religious buildings also require and EPC if they are being made available for sale or for let.

Who can produce an EPC?

Non Domestic EPCs can only be prepared by a suitably qualified and accredited Non Domestic Energy Assessor. We have a team of qualified Level 3 & 4 Non Domestic Energy Assessors who are located throughout Scotland and who can provide EPCs under the standards set out by Elmhurst Energy.

How much does a Non Domestic EPC cost?

Our fees to undertake the preparation of a Non Domestic EPC is dependent on a variety of factors. Our fee reflects the time required to accurately inspect, reference and model the building. The property’s complexity will determine the cost, not necessarily its size. Our fees are quoted on an individual basis. Please contact us to discuss your requirements - we would be delighted to provide a competitive quote. 

What happens if I do not have an EPC?

The regulations governing EPCs has provision for penalties for non-compliance. This is implemented by local government. In practice, not having an EPC will in all probability prevent or delay a transaction being concluded. Our experience is that purchasers’ or tenants’ legal representatives will insist on an EPC being delivered.

What do I do next?

Simply complete our enquiry form or give us a call on 0141 332 8615.

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Planning & Development

Our Planning and Development Team at DM Hall is designed to help you in all your property and land use planning requirements. We have over 15 years’ experience in the planning and development industry both in Scotland and England.

The planning system has become increasingly complex over the years and the future will bring more changes, which makes it more important than ever to have a Chartered Town Planning professional to help you navigate through the system.

Following instruction by a client to prepare and submit a Section 42 Planning Application for the renewal of planning permission for a 56 house residential scheme, the Council’s Education Service sought a financial contribution which amounted to approximately £360,000. We considered that this proposition was fundamentally flawed and set about a thorough review of school’s capacity. After a considerable amount of research and vigorous argument the Council stepped back from the position thereby resulting in a saving of £360K on behalf of our clients.

We were instructed by our clients who had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress by another agent on their planning application for residential housing plots on The Black Isle – planning applications had been with the Council for 18 months. As a result of engaging and challenging the planners, we were successful in achieving planning permission in principle.

Glenshee Craft Distillers Ltd

We achieved planning permission for change of use from a redundant steading to gin distillery with retail and office at Bridge of Cally. Client Simon Harrison was delighted with our input and successful planning application.

MBM Commercial LLP

We acted as Expert Witness and MBM were very satisfied with our professional planning input in this matter.

“Your work during the Falkirk planning application case was very helpful and if we have any other cases involving planning applications then you will definitely be our expert of choice.”

Liina Tulk, Senior Solicitor MBM Commercial LLP

The Afton Group

We advised on the proposed alterations and improvements to an existing shop front within one of Edinburgh’s conservation areas. Following refusal by planners successfully achieved planning through Local Review Body

“With a detailed understanding of the planning process and how a particular application can be advantageously presented, James's experience and detailed knowledge assisted this Company is achieving planning consent which, by reference to the Development Guidelines, initially appeared an unlikely outcome.”

Michael Tasker Managing Director

One hesitates to talk about a boom, since such a statement is the classic hostage to fortune, but it is fair to say that the housing market in Inverness and its surrounding towns is as buoyant as it has been for many a long year.

Close to this time last year it was increasingly clear that a tipping point was approaching, after which sellers would be in their strongest position since any time since 2008.

While it would stretch a point to say that we are now in a raging seller’s market, many of the signs are pointing in that direction.

For instance, a number of properties are now, going to a closing dates, a scenario we have not witnessed since the sunlit days before the recession. This is a sure indication of two things: that there is not enough property on the market and that serious demand is out there.

The confidence in the market is palpable. The Highland Solicitors’ Property Centre revealed recently that it has sold 40% more properties in January of this year (2017) than it did in the same period last year.

Another indicator of the accelerating pace of the market is in Home Reports. These have a 12-week shelf life from a Lenders point of view and if a home is not sold within that period, the report has to be re-commissioned and updated.

Until recently, that was a substantial part of our business, indicating the length of time that houses were taking to sell once the decision had been made to place them on the market. That work is evaporating, suggesting that most houses are moving within three months.

Another marker which stacks up on the boom side of the scales is that out-of-town volume builders have now rediscovered their appetite and are moving back into new-build in the Inverness area.

This sector has been sustained over the years by local construction firms such as Tulloch and Robertson who have, as it were, kept the faith. Tulloch has just announced a development at Ness Side of 800 homes, 25% of which are aimed at local buyers.

UK giant Barratt now has a development of 315 homes at Ness Castle, again on the south side of the city and Kirkwood Homes of Inverurie has a development at Slackbuie and another, smaller, one at Essich.

It is worth noting that, at Essich, all 15 high-end, strongly priced houses sold off-plan, before a sod was ever turned. That, in itself, indicates a real hunger for quality properties.

Much of the activity on the south side has been catalysed by the soon-to-be-completed £55 million Inverness West Link road joining the A82 to the west with the west most end of the Southern Ditributor Road at. Part of the £315 million Inverness City Region deal, the scheme is opening up land along its length.

In the city itself, prices are rising at a satisfying rate after years of little growth. A one-bedroom city centre flat is now commanding up to £100,000, showing a healthy increase over the last 2 year period.

A three-bedroom mass market semi is now likely to sell for in the region of £200,000 to £220,000, significantly up from £175,000 to £180,000 from two year ago. I cannot help but reflect that my first house when I moved to Inverness in 1996 – a three-bedroom detached property – set me back just £71,000.

What makes the healthy situation in Inverness and its hinterland more remarkable is that there has been so much general uncertainty over the past year, what with Brexit, the continuing rumbling about Indyref2, the North Sea’s troubles and the impact of property transaction taxes.

But the fact is that this area tends to fly under the radar as far as wider national issues are concerned. Inverness people have an admirable tendency just to get on with it and deal with whatever is in front of them.

Certainly, the first Scottish independence referendum caused significant local concerns and Brexit, when it happened, gave pause for thought but all the indications are that these concerns have been shrugged off.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, the Scottish government’s punitive imposition on higher-value homes, has been a factor, but is has not brought the market in that sector shuddering to a halt as it has in the Central Belt. On like-for-like properties, the numbers are just so vastly different.

So, as the Inverness market ventures into 2017, there are many reasons to be optimistic. Long may it continue.

Graham Forbes is director of the Inverness office of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors.

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Rating

Given business rates represent one of the largest overheads for businesses, our established rating department can help reduce your rates and recover overpaid bills.

We combine our rating experience with the market knowledge we have through our agency and rent review activity. As a result, we offer clear and trusted advice when it comes to rating, across all sectors in Scotland.

The landscape for business rates in Scotland is in a state of flux at the moment – not only has there been a two year delay to the revaluation of rateable values (now expected in April 2017), but in December 2015 John Swinney announced plans for a review of business rates to ensure Scotland’s system “minimises the barrier to investment”. We will monitor with interest as this situation develops.

If you need support on any of the following areas, please get in touch and we would be delighted to help:

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