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RICS Building Surveying Consultancy

Our experience safeguards your decision-making process

Unlike most of our independent competitors, SMC Brownill Vickers has inhouse building surveyors that are able to provide specialist advice to the team and our clients. As expert building surveying consultants, we work with commercial property at all stages of its lifecycle.

Who We Help

SMC Brownill Vickers has a multi-disciplinary building surveying consultancy providing specialist technical advice, which is enhanced by the broader knowledge and experience of the wider team. We offer specialist advice on a wide range of commercial property to:

  • Landlords or tenants
  • Property investors
  • Lawyers who need a Building Surveyor’s input for property repairs disputes
  • Property owners who need defects looking at or assistance with planning development work
  • Property Managers who may need expert technical input

Keep reading for more information on what Brownill Vickers can do for you, and the high professional standards we must work to. If you can’t see what you need, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Why Choose Us?

Our aim is to build a trusting, long-term, friendly relationship with our clients and professional associates, providing flexibility in the amount of help required. We have a concise reporting method that gets to the heart of the matter, bringing confidence to our clients and accomplishment to our people.

  • Friendly Experts – Our team of Building Surveyors combine years of experience with knowledge to give you the help and advice you need.
  • Tailored Advice – We are not your typical, run-of-the-mill Surveyors, we provide specialist advice on larger or heritage buildings, as well as a range of ‘typical’ commercial properties.
  • Wide Range of Knowledge – Last year Brownill Vickers joined forces with SMC Chartered Surveyors to expand our knowledge base and offer a wider range of specialist services. 
  • Our Building Surveyors work with our Valuation Agency, Property Managers and Lease Advisory teams to provide all-round advice for our clients.
Read more
  • What our Building Surveying Consultancy Offers
  • Pre-purchase or Pre-Lease Building Surveys
  • RICS Home Surveys
  • Property Maintenance Surveys & Budgeting
  • Landlords Property Inspections
  • Re-building Cost Assessments
  • Dilapidations Advice & Negotiation – Landlords or Tenants
  • Schedules of Condition
  • Design & Contract Administration – Construction & Repairs
  • Older & Historic Buildings
  • Building Defects Advice
  • Development Monitoring
  • Building Compliance Advice
  • Start Your Journey with SMC Brownill Vickers

What our Building Surveying Consultancy Offers

We support clients in Sheffield and across the North of the UK on most aspects of property maintenance and management:

  • Pre-purchase and Pre-lease Building Surveys
  • Planned Maintenance Surveys and Budget Planning
  • Landlords Inspections and Estate Management Surveys
  • Re-building Cost Assessments for Insurance
  • Dilapidations Advice & Negotiation – Landlords or Tenants
  • Schedules of Condition
  • Design & Contract Administration – Repairs, Reconstruction, Alterations
  • Historic Buildings Advice
  • Building Defects Advice
  • Development Monitoring – Initial Appraisal & Interim Inspections
  • Property related Statutory Compliance matters – Energy Efficiency, Accessibility, Asbestos Management, Building Fabric Fire Risk Assessments, Property Management & Maintenance Site Log Books
  • Building Surveyors Expert Witness Reports
  • Development Appraisals

Pre-purchase or Pre-Lease Building Surveys

This is a detailed survey advising on the condition of a building, identifying defects that may influence your decision to buy, or the terms of your new lease.

The report recommends where further investigation is required, such as the opening up of inaccessible areas. It will also include outlined details of significant work that would need to be planned, and can include budget estimates if required.

Sometimes, reports are prepared on behalf of a vendor so that the condition of the building is pre-disclosed to potential buyers to minimise delays to the sale and avoid purchasers chipping away at the asking price.

RICS Home Surveys

Our Building Surveyors primarily work in commercial property but we do offer a residential surveying service for clients who may be investing in larger, more complex or heritage.

For residential property, the three levels of reports that may be offered by surveying practices are:

Level 1 – RICS Home Condition Survey

The lowest price report, only suitable for small or new build homes that are generally in a good condition.  The report is presented in a simple ‘traffic light’ (red, amber, green) rating format to indicate the condition of each element.  Due to the very basic nature we do not recommend this level of report.

Level 2 – RICS Homebuyer Report

Includes the features of a RICS Home Condition Report with additional details provided of defects found and recommendations for further investigation if necessary.  Most suitable for a post 1945 home that is generally in reasonable condition, and which has not been substantially altered.  Optionally this can include a market valuation, and/or an insurance rebuild cost if required by you or your lender.

Level 3 – RICS Building Survey Report

This is the most detailed report on the condition of the property, and includes details of defects found and repair options. This is suitable for all buildings, including listed buildings, heritage buildings, run-down buildings and those that have undergone substantial alteration.  The input of other specialists, such as a Mechanical & Electrical Engineer or a Structural Engineer, may be recommended to supplement the report to provide a full picture.

At SMC Brownill Vickers our Chartered Building Surveyors only offer a Level 3 Home Survey service for larger or heritage property, or for our property investment clients.  If you are looking for a residential survey for a typical home purchase and need some advice, get in touch and we can point you in the right direction.

Property Maintenance Surveys & Budgeting

This type of survey identifies what repairs and maintenance work that may be required over the course of the next year, 5 years or 10 years for financial budgeting. This can be an overview or done on a detailed room-by-room basis.

The report is usually presented as a Planned Maintenance Schedule and includes cost estimates. We carry these out for individual buildings or as part of an estate management strategy on portfolios. At SMC Brownill Vickers, we are equipped with iPads and GoReport software, which are perfectly suited for stock surveys and consistent reporting.

This service is useful for Landlords planning work that may be rechargeable to tenants under a service charge, or for tenants who want to maintain their leasehold building to minimise their Dilapidations liability at the lease end.

Landlords Property Inspections

An inspection of leasehold property carried out on behalf of Landlords to identify any repairs that the tenant or landlord needs to do to keep the building in repair and decorated to meet the lease requirements.

This survey is a proactive way to reduce risk by making sure your buildings are properly maintained by the tenant during the lease term, rather than relying on end-of-term Dilapidation claims, which are increasingly being successfully challenged. Proper maintenance helps to ensure your buildings remain profitable in the future.

We will provide a bespoke service and tailored reporting to target your specific needs.

Re-building Cost Assessments

For commercial property, the onus for determining the level of Buildings Insurance cover required usually lies with the owner. With access to the Building Cost Information Service Online Renew, we are able to provide up-to-date Rebuilding Cost Estimates for insurance purposes.

If a building is underinsured, there is a danger of the insurer not paying out the full cost of rebuilding. If over-insured, then higher premiums than necessary may be incurred.

As building costs fluctuate and buildings are altered over time, it is advisable to periodically review the level of cover needed, usually every 3-5 years taking in an inspection of the building and  supplemented by an annual desk-top valuation.

At SMC Brownill Vickers, we can provide this service alongside our periodic Asset Valuation service to keep costs competitive.

Dilapidations Advice & Negotiation – Landlords or Tenants

Leases have obligations for tenants to keep the building in good condition during the term and when handing it back to the landlord. There might also be a requirement to reverse any alterations made during occupancy. If the tenant does not comply with these obligations, the Landlord can serve a legal Dilapidations claim.

We provide specialist advice to both landlords and tenants in preparing for a claim or responding to one.

Negotiating a claim should be straightforward, but in practice, it can be complicated needing legal, valuation and technical expertise to create a tactical plan of action. We believe settlements should be fair to both parties, efficiently and transparently dealt with and without exaggerations that can lead to lengthy and costly arguments.

Schedules of Condition

Before taking a new lease, you might want to consider having a Schedule of Condition prepared to append to the new lease. This document records the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.

Depending on the wording in the lease, it can help protect a tenant from having to hand the property back to the landlord in a better condition than when they took it on. For a landlord, a Schedule of Condition can help to ensure the tenant hands the property back in the same or better condition. Such a document makes it clearer what is expected at the lease end.

Design & Contract Administration – Construction & Repairs

Building Surveyors, like Project Managers, can help with the design of construction work and the administration of construction contracts. We are able to manage repairs, renovations or alterations from start to finish on your behalf

Specialist advice might include:

  • Planning and building regulations
  • Appointment of appropriate specialists
  • What to expect during the work & obtaining competitive prices
  • What form of contract to use, or what insurance is required
  • How to deal with payments, defects, or claims for additional costs.

Older & Historic Buildings

Older and historic buildings are what Building Surveyors are trained for. Good maintenance and sympathetic repair of historic buildings is fundamental to their preservation.

Good maintenance is cost-effective, and time and money spent on routine care, regular surveys and prompt attention to defects protects the value of the building and prevents more serious problems and potentially costly repair bills.

We can advise on the conservation of historic buildings, provide condition assessments, and recommend suitable maintenance and repair options.

Building Defects Advice

Few buildings are free of defects and they can be present during any stage of development or completion. Some defects are simply inconvenient, while others can affect the value of a property and some may develop into something potentially hazardous or even catastrophic.

We can help you identify the extent of the defect and the likely risk and then recommend appropriate repair options.

Development Monitoring

Independent monitoring services can provide reassurance for any party that has a direct interest in the successful completion of a construction project but who has no direct control over its delivery.

Our services include both Initial Appraisal Reports and ongoing Progress Reports:

Initial Report – to identify construction-related risks before the project has started, which may affect a decision to support the development. This also examines if the budget is adequate, and have potential financial risks addressed. 

Progress Reports – once the development has commenced, to verify expenditure and approval of drawdowns, and the adequacy of the remaining undrawn loan to cover the forecast cost to complete. Examines progress against plan, checks that key milestones are on target, and the contractor is proactively managing their responsibilities

We are also able to review distressed developments and recommend possible recovery strategies. The service is tailored to our client’s needs.

Building Compliance Advice

Commercial and residential buildings are subject to various regulations, and building owners and occupiers have responsibilities to manage statutory compliance and keep buildings risk free. As Building Surveyors & Property Managers, we can advise on building compliance matters including:

  • Fire risk assessments
  • Energy efficiency regulations
  • Accessibility
  • Statutory inspections
  • Record keeping
  • Log Books 

Start Your Journey with SMC Brownill Vickers

Whether you’re buying or selling, SMC Brownill Vickers can help you make informed choices about properties. Our expert team has tailored advice to guide you at every step of the journey. Contact us today to find out more about our services and building surveys in Sheffield and beyond.

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