Have you got it Covered?

Roof structures and the repairs required to them are often highly technical and generally expensive. If your Landlord wants to repair or replace the roof of the building you occupy, there are many points to consider in checking if you are liable for the whole cost. We have experts on hand to review condition reports and tender documents to ensure that occupiers contribute no more than their lease terms require.  Here are a couple of recent examples of our involvement in roof repairs…

1.  Improving a Roof System – Shopping Centre South Wales

Our clients occupy a small shopping centre in South Wales. The Landlord replaced the roof of the Centre at a cost of £379,000. When we reviewed the surveyors report, we noted that the roofing system the Landlord was using was an improved version to that being replaced. Improvements were excluded under our client’s lease terms and therefore the costs associated with the enhanced roof were not recoverable from the occupier. Following detailed discussions, the Landlord agreed that the Felt Roofing system used was an improvement over the original Single Ply membrane it was replacing.  We were able to establish the value of the improved roof over the original roof system was £29,000 and our client was refunded their share of this additional cost.

2.  Energy Efficient Roof – Shopping Centre Scotland

Our client occupied a small shopping centre in Scotland and were liable for 53% of the service charge. The roof needed recovering and the Landlord obtained quotes to overlay the existing roof with a new waterproof membrane.  One quote was for a non-insulated membrane at £145,000 inc fees and another quote for an insulated membrane at £235,000 inc fees. Our client’s share of these costs equated to £76,500 and £124,500 respectively. Both systems attracted 15 year warranty. The Landlord opted for the insulated roof to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, to improve the energy efficiency rating of the development and to improve the opportunities for letting vacant units. We successfully argued that part L of the Building Regulations did not apply as the roof was only being re-covered and as such did not need to have additional insulation applied. The Landlord sought legal advice and eventually agreed to write off £48,000, which equated to our client’s share of the non-recoverable costs, in short our client’s share of the difference between two roofing systems quoted for.  

Significant savings were achieved for our clients in these cases because we were able to identify that either the lease terms or regulatory matters had not been correctly interpreted by the Landlord.   Who’s checking what you are paying towards the roof over your business?

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