Fire Insurance Valuations

Do you own your property or have a long lease with full repairing liability? If you do you will require a Fire Insurance Valuation.  This is the figure provided to your insurance company to confirm the sum insured under the Building Insurance.  It will be your responsibility as the owner to ensure the building is adequately insured.

It is essential to have adequate building insurance for your property to provide cover should you need to claim.  Should your property be damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, collapse, explosion or subsidence, many insurers will require an up-to-date valuation of the cost of rebuilding.  This will be compared to the sum insured under your policy. If the cover is insufficient the insurer may reduce the amount of cover accordingly.  This can be the case even if a small claim is made. It is therefore essential to ensure you have the right cover from the outset and that this is regularly reviewed.  If you are over-insured, the premiums paid will be too high although this will not mean that you will receive a higher sum in the event of a claim. You may simply be over-paying on high premiums.

Example: if your property is insured for half the true sum then in the event of a claim the insurance company may only pay out 50% of any claim.  If the cost of rebuilding your premises was £300,000, you would only be paid £150,000 should a total loss claim be made. Even if you make a smaller claim, at say £50,000 then the same percentage adjustment would be applied and you may only receive £25,000 for a valid claim.  This may leave you with a significant amount of money to find simply to return your property back to its original condition.

It is your responsibility, as the owner, to insure the building for the correct amount.  This is something that Meridian Surveyors can assist with and provide a Valuation for insurance purposes. We undertake Reinstatement Costs Assessments for both domestic and commercial premises for your home or your workplace.

Reinstatement Cost Assessment will be made by reference to current figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Building Cost Information Service (RICS BCIS). Where this is not appropriate, for example in the case of a Listed or non-standard building, it may only be possible to assess the reconstruction cost by the preparation of approximate building quantities and costing them. In such cases the method of assessment will be agreed beforehand with you.

We would also bring to your attention the need to notify your insurance company/broker if your property becomes vacant or if you are undertaking any building works or alterations to avoid possible issues should a claim need to be made.  Failure to notify in these circumstances could invalidate your policy.

Schedules of Dilapidations

“Are you able to ensure properties are handed back in good condition at the end of a Lease?”

Dilapidation is a term used to describe disrepair for buildings following non-compliance of responsibilities under repairing liabilities of leasehold properties. They are normally prepared during or at the end of the lease term, often leading to dispute situations.

We are able to undertake detailed inspections of both residential and commercial properties in order to prepare Schedules of Dilapidations. Also, for tenants or lessees we can negotiate/defend Schedules prepared by the freeholder or landlord to potentially reduce your liability in having to undertake repairs outside your liability.

We have extensive knowledge in preparing and negotiating Schedules of Dilapidations allowing us to provide invaluable advice to both landlords trying to maintain their properties and tenants responding to claims made under the terms of the lease. Dilapidations claims are generally resolved by negotiation and can often include financial payments in order to discharge liabilities.

Survey-Icon.170 RICS Consumer Guide to Dilapidations

Schedules of Condition

“Anyone thinking of entering into a Lease agreement should protect themselves with a full written and photographic Schedule of Condition…”

Schedules of Condition are a powerful tool to accurately record the condition of all property types for legal and contractual reasons, including Lease and Tenancy Agreements. We regularly prepare both written and photographic Schedules of Condition for lessees prior to commencement of Lease agreements to ensure your repairing liability does not extend to existing or inherent defects by negotiating the inclusion of the Schedule within the Lease agreement.

Schedules of Condition are also often relevant to protect you if you are planning to undertake building works close to an adjoining property. We can provide full schedules to record the condition at the outset ensuring any existing defects or problems are recorded prior to building works starting and avoiding costly claims after works have been completed.

Contract Administration & Schedules of Works

“We can help take the stress out of dealing with Contractors…”

We regularly accept instructions to deal with Building projects. This can range from preparation of full detailed Specifications and Schedule of Works. A Specification will allow the property owner to obtain competitive estimates from contractors and builders, ensuring they are all estimating for the same work. We can also assist in running projects on site including acting as Contract Administrators to organise works, monitor these for compliance and authorising stage payments and agreeing contractor’s final accounts. This will protect the building owner from paying for sub-standard work or works which have not been completed.

As part of the Contract Administration role we typically include the following:

  • Formerly appoint successful contractors under a JCT/similar Contract
  • Organise and attend pre-contract meetings on site
  • Monitor works once commenced on site and prepare and submit progress reports to client
  • Carry out monthly payment assessments and prepare and submit payment certificates with contractors’ invoices to client for payment
  • Issue and submit completion certificate
  • Evaluate and certify contractors’ variations and final account breakdown
  • Undertake a defects inspection at the end of the Rectification Period and ensure works are completed before issue of Completion of Making Good certificate

For all building projects, including small alterations, extensions, building repair and maintenance contracts and any other building works, you can trust Meridian to take away the stress of dealing with day to day issues and to help run projects on site.

Asbestos Surveys

“More than 90% of buildings are likely to contain some form of Asbestos”

UK law places a legal duty on anyone who maintains commercial premises to investigate whether asbestos is present in their building, monitor its condition, put controls in place and notify anyone who might be a risk. Under Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work regulations 2012, this falls to the Duty Holder. This could be a building owner, tenant or even the landlord of commercially run housing premises.

Every commercial premises in the UK should have undertaken an asbestos survey report and taken measures to manage any materials on the premises found to contain asbestos. Failure to do so could result in prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. With asbestos-related diseases killing around 3500 people every year in the UK, asbestos surveys are essential.

There are three levels of asbestos survey report which can be produced by asbestos surveying, namely Type 1, 2 or 3. Each one fits a relevant situation, the most commonly carried out by an asbestos surveyor is a Type 2 survey whereby in addition to a complete visual survey of the building any suspect materials are tested in a laboratory to determine the presence of asbestos.

Meridian can arrange to inspect your building. Contact us today and one of our consultant asbestos surveyors will call or visit you and give you a quotation for carrying out the relevant survey to your situation.