03/04/2002

RICS urges businesses to "wake up" to property issues

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a new tool aimed at helping UK business to ensure their property arrangements work harder for the bottom line.

“Property Solutions” is a web based device designed by RICS to help the UK’s 3.7 million small and medium sized firms make sure their property arrangements are a springboard to success, not a bear trap.

Launching the initiative at a breakfast seminar attended by the UK's Small Business Minister Nigel Griffiths, RICS president Peter Faulkner said: "A well managed business and great market prospects can be completely negated by the wrong property strategy. Finding the right premises, the decision to buy or lease, negotiating rent reviews, service charges and break clauses are all key to business success."

RICS advises businesses to consider that property is second only to staff as a business overhead, so signing a fifteen year lease can be likened to signing a stack of post dated cheques. Therefore, the right property strategy makes the difference between a business that flourishes and one that folds, especially during an economic downturn.

Some of the issues covered by “Property Solutions” include matters related to taking a lease; surveys and maintenance; valuations; planning permissions; keeping records; and tax allowances.

Endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chambers of Commerce, the information is freely available on the RICS website at: www.rics.org

(CL)

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