Our Services

At DM Hall we’re more than just home reports and business for sale we also offer a wide range of essential specialist services tailored for the demanding needs of our many clients.

With offices in 26 towns and cities across Scotland no one understands the diverse nature and local requirements better than DM Hall. Read about our specialist services below or contact us directly to speak to one of our team.

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 here to help you in all your property and land use planning requirements. We have over 25 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 with a new Planning Bill in 2018, which makes it more important than ever to have a Chartered Town Planning professional to help you navigate through the system.

Planning permission in principle granted for housing and commercial development at Perth Airport, Scone.

Planning permission granted for the conversion of a listed building to apartments in Stirlingshire.

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

In terms of macroeconomic mood music, it is tempting at the moment to put your hands over your ears. Scotland faces political instability at home, in the wider UK and in Europe and the economic outlook still fails to inspire confidence.

However, to lighten the gloom, it is worth taking into account a remarkable surge in the performance of the leisure and hospitality sector. It is heartening across the country, but north of the Highland Fault Line, it has been something of a gold rush.

The last time there was as much excitement in the Highlands, the Redcoats were chasing Prince Charlie round the glens. The roads and ferries have never been busier, the hotels fuller or the pubs and restaurants more crowded.

A typical client with say a 12-bedroom hotel on the West Coast reports 100% occupancy, a rate which is sustained over an enormously extended season and tails off only slightly in the shoulders.

Room rates, also, have gone through the roof. A very unremarkable B&B which might have charged £70 a night two years ago is now typically holding its hand out for £120. A decent bed in Skye can fetch £250 – more than central Edinburgh.

The same applies to most of the other Western Isles, notably Mull and Islay, and the businesses along the remote single tracks of what has become one of the world’s iconic drives, the North Coast 500.

VisitScotland, often much maligned, has to be congratulated for the success of many of its campaigns. Scotland the Set brings film fans flocking to the locations of Outlander and Harry Potter, and castles and lochs are an enduring draw.

Road Equivalent Tariff has also made access to the Islands much more accessible and there is no doubt that, in a continent troubled by various geopolitical issues, Scotland is seen as a safe haven, as well as one of the last great wildernesses.

How does this affect commercial property? Well, the market values are intrinsically linked to businesses’ ability to generate profit and virtually all enterprises in the sector are having to put fans beside the cash registers to cool them down.

It’s not just the high end hospitality outlets which are benefiting from the convoys of coaches, cars and campervans heading north, but also businesses in out-of-the-way places many of which, frankly, should have dusted down their offering a long time ago.

As revenues climb, hospitality and leisure businesses should be perceived as a much better risk and lenders should be looking at this bonanza and wagging their tails. But at the moment on the whole they seem to remain pretty much behind the curve. Nor have valuations yet been greatly affected.

What we are seeing is a cautious element of self-funding. There is no great appetite for the heavy investment required for new building, which is often, anyway, bedevilled by planning issues.

Instead, owners are adopting more bespoke ways of getting heads onto beds – such as building annexes and extensions, or establishing chalets in often extensive grounds. Others are exploring eco and camping pods, or huts and lodges.

Owners of a West Highland hotel doubled their turnover with the simple expedient of an extension which allowed them to repurpose the restaurant capacity and also increase bed space. The investment was small compared to the immediate return.

Another aspect which might ring alarm bells with lenders is that many business owners are funding new investment out of cash flow rather than taking on potentially expensive new debt.

It is to be expected that lenders will eventually wake up to what is an unusually positive time for the Scottish property sector in leisure and hospitality, and as transaction activity grows an improvement in valuations will inevitably follow.

Meantime, the P&L graph across large parts of the sector remains on a satisfyingly upward curve regardless.

Alan Gordon is Principal Commercial Partner in the Glasgow North office 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 Institution 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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