Our Services

With commercial property centres in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow DM Hall has one of the strongest commercial property teams in Scotland and an unrivalled expertise in this market.

We have a number of specialist departments who can assist with business for sale, commercial property valuation, property management as well as rating, and planning and development. Speak directly to one of our commercial property teams or read about our many services below.

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.


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:


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.


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?


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.


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
Prepared Preventative Maintenance Schedules(PPM)
Defect Analysis


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.


Non Domestic Energy

DM Hall Energy is our dedicated energy department providing the full range of non-domestic energy services across Scotland.

Energy is high on the agenda of many businesses, be they property owners or tenants. In addition the Scottish Government is continuing its efforts to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions with a target to cut total carbon emissions by 66% by 2032. Undoubtedly, commercial property will be expected to share in the task of achieving this goal.

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

DM Hall provides a consultancy service to SMEs, exploring the opportunities available to clients by which they can improve their energy efficiency of their properties and reap the benefits of reduced energy bills and assist in making necessary improvements.

We take the information contained in energy assessments, such as EPCs and advise on what can be done to achieve cost savings through improved energy efficiency. We also manage the change process as well with our panel of approved installers who carry out agreed work.

With energy costs likely to rise and cost of improvements falling, now is the time to come and speak to DM Hall Energy. We can drive occupier energy costs down, while at the same time are aware of the needs to landlords to attract tenants and know that energy costs can be a serious factor in making a property attractive on the market

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

Why an EPC from DM Hall Energy?

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.

At DM Hall Energy, 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.

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.

On 1st September 2016, the Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-Domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations came into force.

Originating from Section 63 of the Climate Change (S) Act 2009, these regulations serve to impose further statutory obligations on proprietors, who have non-domestic properties which they intend to let to a new tenant or to sell. The new regulations may result in owners taking action to physically improve property in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from their properties.

The need for a Section 63 assessment applies only to certain properties. It does not replace the need for an EPC – EPCs are still required to be prepared or in some cases updated. However, Action Plans will be required to be prepared for some buildings and implemented.

As qualified Section 63 advisors, we can provide expert advice and guidance through this process.

DECs are a relatively new addition to the Scottish energy efficiency scene. DECs are operational assessments for property, based on actual annual energy use. These assessments can be used to defer implementing improvements identified in Energy Action Plans related to Section 63 assessments or prepared on a voluntary basis to help businesses and property owners understand their energy use. A DEC can be accompanied by an Advisory Report, which can assist occupiers to improve their energy use and reduce costs.

Every new built domestic dwelling in the UK requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before being sold or let. We have our own On Construction Domestic Energy Assessor who has the skills and knowledge to complete energy calculations using Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) software to produce a new build EPC.

The On Construction market is currently seeing sustained growth reinforced by the government’s promise to build a large amount of new energy efficient homes. We have the appropriate tools and preparation to produce accurate energy efficient assessments for these new build properties; fully supported by a professional accreditation body.


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

As 2017 drew to a close, the housing market in Dunfermline and the surrounding areas is still weighted in favour of sellers, with prices back to, and sometimes exceeding, pre-recession levels.

However, as is the case in many provincial towns across Scotland, changes in the market affect different sectors in different ways. What we are seeing in Dunfermline is something of a Goldilocks scenario: that is, the properties in the middle are just right – at the moment.

Let’s look at the outer ends of the market first. There has been no excitement whatsoever in the sub-£100,000 sector, largely flats, for a variety of very understandable reasons.

Buy-to-let investors, who traditionally are the most active in this arena, have been taking flak across a number of fronts. There is the 3% added charge on second homes; tax relief on interest paid has been lost; and all private rental accommodation must now be substantially upgraded.

Add to this the fact that a landlord’s automatic right to recover possession under a Short Assured Tenancy by giving two months’ notice has been removed, with the aim of giving private tenants similar rights to those in social housing.

This effectively transfers control of the length of the lease to the tenant, which is not an issue for landlords in the case of good tenants but can cause interminable problems with those who are not so amenable.

A tribunal is being established to intervene in – and rule on – disputes and some landlords are taking the view that the game is no longer worth the candle and are exiting the market. However, buy to let as an investment will continue to produce returns, so landlords should take stock and see how the market settles down.

The upper end of the market – in Dunfermline that probably means homes priced in excess of £450,000 – has its own challenges, with Land and Buildings Transaction Tax continuing to have a major impact on sales.

Purchasers of a £500,000 property have to find an extra £23,350 to meet the tax bill; a £750,000 home would attract a charge of £48,350; and a £1million house, rare as they are in Scotland, would be hit for £78,350. It’s enough to give even top end buyers pause for thought.

However, in the middle of the market, it’s a very different story indeed. Buyers in the £325,000 range and below benefit significantly from the current LBTT regime and house builders have had a good year in areas such as Duloch, still aided by Help to Buy schemes.

Even existing estates are doing well. Pitcorthie, a 1970s Wimpey estate, is something of a barometer for the Dunfermline area. A three-bedroom semi-detached home there plunged from £150,000 to £155,000 pre-recession to around £110,000 to £115,000 in 2009/10. It would now be back to 2007 levels.

The Bridge Effect – Edinburgh commuters seeing the North Shore of the Forth as a viable prospect following the completion of the new crossing – is ever more evident. More modern homes have not just hit pre-crash levels but are sprinting past them.

There was something of a hiccup when the existing road bridge was closed for weeks last winter, but the added security of the new crossing – which will be up to motorway standard – has eased many concerns.

And of course there has been the recent small increase in interest rates. Will this have a negative impact on the market? Probably not, but the market will almost certainly factor it in as indication of the direction of travel.

Focus on new build is shifting inexorably from the Eastern Development around Duloch towards the north of the town around the Wellwood district, an attractive area with schools, a golf club and a country park close by. Persimmon Homes have started to build on land there previously owned by I & H Brown.

Developers are looking east and west too. Taylor Wimpey is looking at proposals towards Halbeath; Stewart Milne is considering 200 homes at Crossford; and Avant is building high end homes at Cairneyhill.

All these changes will inevitably put pressures on provision for school places and other services, but they are also very strong signals that the Dunfermline property market is, in general, hale and hearty.

Alasdair Seaton is partner in the Dunfermline office of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors.

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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: