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 residential reports to commercial services and everything in between. Take a look through our specialist departments and see how we can help you.

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Specialist

At DM Hall, we offer a lot more than just Home Reports and Commercial Valuations. Our expertise covers the full range of property services and we can help whatever your enquiry.

Building Consultancy

We offer professional and expert advice throughout a property’s lifecycle. We work with a range of clients including investors, funders, landlords, tenants, occupiers and developers.

Legal Searches and Property Services

We help you identify any legal, building control, planning and environmental issues at every stage of your property transaction.

Planning & Development

Our Planning and Development Team at DM Hall is designed to help you in all your property and land use planning requirements.

Property Management

We deliver property management services to over 380 properties all over Scotland, collecting over £6.5million in rent and service charges each year.

Rural

We offer the complete rural property service – from land valuations and country estate agency to planning and renewable energy advice.

Energy

Energy is a hot topic and we all want to improve our energy efficiency to save money. At DM Hall, we have Energy experts across the country to undertake Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and they are carried out by accredited Energy Assessors.

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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Legal Searches
and Property Services

With DM Hall’s specialist Legal Search and Property Services team, we help you identify any legal, building control, planning and environmental issues at every stage of your property transaction, so you end up with a complete picture that helps avoid the risk of the sale of your property falling through.

With our established and growing team in conjunction with our improved online service designed to allow a seamless online ordering system, we are well positioned to meet our clients’ needs.

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

At a cursory glance, there is no shortage of reasons to be apprehensive about the state of the Commercial Property market in Scotland, but it has to be remembered that superficial analysis never put a shilling in anyone’s pocket.

Looking under the top layer of woes regarding the constantly-changing political environment and ever greater financial tax impositions, the fact is that the reasons for solid optimism outweigh natural gloom quite handsomely.

In Edinburgh and the east of Scotland, where I have my base of operations, the market – particularly in the capital – currently is very healthy. Transactional activity is slightly down, but that is not due to investor sentiment or a lack of funding but entirely down to shortage in stock.

The appetite for owning commercial property has rarely been more voracious. Investors simply cannot source or secure the opportunities sought. Properties which are openly marketed that have the right attributes of financially strong tenants, long unexpired leases, passing off at a fair rental with medium term rental growth in proven locations are attracting healthy levels of interests which results in multiple offers being received at closing dates.

The supply of opportunities under the £3 million price bracket in the Capital is somewhat limited and is heavily outweighed by investment demand. The interest in property as an asset class is there for three simple reasons: the real returns on offer relative to other investment classes; sustained historically low interest rates with low returns being offered on bank deposits notwithstanding the comparatively cheap cost of finance and it’s a tangible asset which you can physically improve.

There is a significant pool of cash rich investors seeking to deploy their money more efficiently and to get it working all seeking the Vanilla Assets.

The lack of availability in the Capital is consequently having a positive knock-on effect in the regions. Investors who are not able to get a bite in the city centres are being forced to look further afield to find a home for their money.

Every region is different and successful marketing still depends very largely on the fundamental criteria of the right property in the right location, priced correctly.

Investors are unique though and they all have differing attitudes to risk. Some simply want long dry secure income for 10-15 year term certain offering low risk and lower returns. Others actively seek shorter term leases which present active asset management opportunities yielding greater returns.

Against the back drop of Indyref 2 and Brexit, some might err on the side of caution, but my view is that there are unparalleled opportunities for the optimist.

The Scottish Government has also finally tried to help rather than hobble the market, certainly at the lower end, with an increase in the 100% small business bonus rates relief threshold from £10,000 to £15,000. It has also lifted the level at which a supplement is payable from £35,000 to £51,000 whilst reducing the uniform business rate (UBR). These welcomed enhancements reduces the cost burden on tenants which will assist and should increase letting activity in the secondary market and cannot be anything else but a fillip to the wider commercial environment.

The industrial sector, however, is still going through a slight transition following the removal of 100% empty property relief. There is the possibility that demolition will increase as an alternative to paying for a non-productive building whilst some are offering enhanced lease terms to mitigate vacant holding costs.

But in line with the theme of optimism, this may bring a healthy dose of natural selection to the industrial side with the laws of supply and demand facilitating reasonable rental growth prospects in the medium term.

The root of the matter is this: those who have weathered the storm since 2008 have almost certainly refinanced on fairly competitive terms and are not going to realise the value of their assets unless they have other more lucrative investment mediums in which to park their capital.

They are not going to sell and have their money languish in the bank – and while that scenario remains, so will the current lull in transactional activity.

Ross Wilson is Director and Head of East Agency at the Edinburgh commercial department of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors.

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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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Rural Property Specialists.
Welcome to Baird Lumsden.

We offer the complete rural property services, through our subsidiary Baird Lumsden which was launched in 2000. Baird Lumsden provides property services to country property owners, tenants, purchasers, sellers, developers and associated professional advisors including lawyers, accountants and financial advisors.

At Baird Lumsden, we specialise in the valuation of farms, country estates and rural properties located all over Scotland for a variety of purposes including valuations for lending security, dispute resolution and taxation. As part of the DM Hall group, we are panel valuers for all of the main lending institutions.

We also carry out a range of wayleave and compensation work, which involves representing clients and protecting their interests in respect of a range of civil works carried out by developers and utility companies.

Baird Lumsden is a specialist town and country estate agent. Our sales include cottages, farmhouses, individual suburban homes, small holdings, farms, farm land, country estates, castles, plots, development land, golf courses and equestrian businesses.

Operating Scotland-wide, we act for private clients, land owners, charities, local councils and financial institutions.

We are members of The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

For a full selection of our properties, please click the link.

The challenges and opportunities of life with rural property do not always end with valuations or sales.

As a rounded professional property practice, we guide our clients through the complexities of leases and rent reviews, compensation claims, telecoms and utilities, or valuation disputes. We negotiate complex structured sale agreements, for development and other purposes. Property types range from farms and estates to wind farms, golf property or fish farms.

Sometimes our clients just need to talk, to help them through property decisions. When disputes occur we represent their interests, in a thoroughly professional, well researched and resolute fashion. When agreements cannot be reached, then we appear in court, or at a tribunal, to give expert opinion.

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Energy Efficiency

Energy is a hot topic and we all want to improve our energy efficiency to save money. Therefore, at DM Hall, we have Energy experts across the country to undertake Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and they are carried out by accredited Energy Assessors.
Whether you need an Energy Report for domestic or non-domestic purposes, we can provide an EPC. This provides an Energy Efficiency Rating and an Environmental Impact Rating to determine exactly where you stand. Furthermore, it offers guidance on how to make the property more energy efficient.
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