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COMMERCIAL

Policy Statements

Policy Statements

We have published a series of policy documents that set out our philosophy and help clarify the complexities of commercial occupation. Click on each arrow below to see the relevant policy statement

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Our objective is to acquire, own and develop buildings which offer well designed, functional and actively managed spaces in which our occupiers can create their own individual environments to suit their business needs. We aim to be at the forefront of best practice in our sector; to deliver the accommodation that we offer at competitive occupancy costs without compromising on quality; and to build strong and lasting relationships with our occupiers.

We also intend to deliver the highest possible returns to our shareholders relative to the risk profile of our business.

The buildings we invest in will be carefully selected, and we will ensure that, through the acquisition and management of our buildings, we can afford to meet both the aspirations of our occupiers and the expectations of our shareholders.

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Code of Practice

Commercial Lease Code of Practice

Dorrington is a supporter of the voluntary Commercial Lease Code of Practice, which has been prepared by a working group representing all sides of the property industry.

The Code makes detailed recommendations in relation to the main issues which businesses should consider when agreeing a commercial lease in England and Wales.

One of the most important recommendations of the Code is that, wherever possible, building owners should be prepared to offer occupiers a price adjusted choice in relation to the length of lease that they take. Like many of the Code's recommendations, this was common practice at Dorrington long before the Lease Code was issued.

A full copy of the Code, together with other helpful information can be found through the Code's dedicated website at http://www.leasingbusinesspremises.co.uk.

The organisations that helped to produce and support the Code include: The Association of British Insurers, Association of Property Bankers, British Council for Offices, British Chambers of Commerce, British Property Federation; British Retail Consortium, Confederation of British Industry, Council for Licensed Conveyances, Federation of Small Businesses, Forum of Private Business, Law Society, National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (UK Chapter), Property Market Reform Group and the Small Business Bureau.

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Anti-Gazumping Policy

Anti-Gazumping Policy

Dorrington has a policy of honouring terms agreed, subject to contract.

Anyone taking premises or buying a property from us will have an exclusive period in which to exchange contracts. We will not accept an offer from an alternative bidder before a clearly stated 'cut-off date', nor will we seek to alter the terms agreed within that time frame.

What you need to do:

You, as a potential occupier or purchaser should make sure that you are aware of the cut-off date which is given in the Heads of Terms issued by our agent (and occasionally by ourselves) to you, your agent or your solicitor. You should ensure that you exchange contracts within that date.

If you fail to exchange contracts on or before the 'cut-off date', we reserve the right to revise the terms, which were agreed with you, or to withdraw from the transaction.

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Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction

Dorrington is committed to ensuring that a quality service is provided to its occupiers. We can only achieve this if we are made aware of any problems that you encounter with our team or our managing agents.

If you are unhappy with the service you are receiving we want you to tell us about it. We will take your complaint seriously and deal with it properly and as quickly as possible. If we have made a mistake we will apologise and try to put things right.

To make sure that your complaints are brought to the attention of the right people we have established a complaints procedure.

What you need to do:

The best way to make a complaint is in writing. Please tell us what you are unhappy about, what you have done so far to deal with the problem, and what you would like done to sort it out. It will help if you can give us copies of letters and emails you may have written to us or to our managing agents or, if the matter was dealt with on the telephone, the name of the person you spoke to and when the conversation took place.

We will contact you as soon as possible, investigate your complaint, and try to let you have an immediate response. If the matter requires further investigation we will keep you informed as we go along.

In the first instance complaints should be addressed to:

The Managing Director
Dorrington Properties plc
14 Hans Road
London
SW3 1RT

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Licence for Alterations

Licence for Alterations

Dorrington's policy is to make the process of occupiers' alterations as straight forward as possible.

Your lease will have a detailed clause dealing with alterations. As a general rule most commercial leases are drafted on the basis that absolutely no alterations can be carried out by an occupier without the building owner's consent, and the owner is generally obliged to be reasonable and to respond quickly when considering an application. There are occasional exceptions to this rule, whereby occupiers are allowed to do certain things without reference to the building owner.

Dorrington will have no objection in principle to any improvements you may wish to make, providing they have been properly considered and are compliant with all statutory controls. We will consider all applications carefully and make a decision as quickly as possible after seeking the opinion of our professional advisers where appropriate.

What you need to do:

  • If you wish to make alterations you should write to the managing agents in the first instance, briefly outlining the nature of the proposed works. They will advise you as to whether consent is necessary and, if it is not, you may proceed with the work.
  • If the managing agents believe that consent will be required, they will let you know the steps you need to take in order to formalise our consent, and give recommendations as to the best way to present the information to us.
  • If you believe that your lease allows you to carry out alterations without consent we still advise you to contact the managing agents in the first instance so that they can confirm that your interpretation is correct.

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Rent Collection

Rent Collection

Dorrington's policy is to act as a responsible property owner and to deal fairly with our occupiers. Your rent will be due as defined by your lease which is almost always on a quarterly-in-advance basis. Generally, you will receive a demand at least 21 days before the rent falls due to be paid (although technically your rent is payable whether demanded or not). If you expect to have difficulties with payment please ensure that you contact the managing agents well in advance of the due date.

If rent is outstanding we will have to take action. This can result in our taking possession of your premises, although this is an eventuality that we seek to avoid.

What you need to do:

  • Check your lease and be aware of the dates that your rent is due and how much you have to pay.
  • Ensure that you pay the rent due to the managing agent or as otherwise directed. Many tenants find it is easier to arrange payments by standing order and we encourage this method.
  • Do not ignore reminders or letters advising you that we intend to take recovery action.
  • Do not arbitrarily withhold your payments. If you have a query about your account raise it in writing with our managing agents, but your payments must always be made.

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Service Charges

Service Charges

Dorrington has a policy of information transparency in relation to service charge matters. We operate service charges so as to provide best value to the occupiers of our buildings.

The service charge is the mechanism through which the areas which are not specifically controlled by one individual occupier are properly maintained, repaired and presented. It is administered by the building owner, and is recharged, on an apportioned basis, to the occupiers. The expenses within the service charge will relate to the structure, the exterior and all of the shared internal areas and services.

Some service charges will include a sinking fund, which is an allowance, accumulated over time, for major items of expenditure - such as external repairs and decoration - which are necessary for the long term maintenance of a building. This helps to avoid large variations in occupational costs from year to year.

Dorrington makes no profit from service charge administration. There is a fee payable to the managing agents, and part of their job is to ensure that the right balance of quality of service and workmanship, and economy of cost, is provided.

We set out below the standard procedure for commercial service charge administration. Some leases are constructed differently and you will need to refer to your own lease if you wish to be sure that it is drafted in accordance with standard practice. In most cases it will be.

As near as possible to the beginning of a new service charge year you will receive a budget which estimates your total contribution for the forthcoming year. This estimated amount will be demanded in four, equal quarterly "on account" payments.

As soon as the service charge year comes to an end, the accounts will be independently audited and issued. You will need to make a balancing payment if your "on account" payments are less than the amount actually spent. Your account will be credited if your "on account" payments exceed the actual expenditure.

The punctual settlement of your "on account " payments helps to ensure the efficient administration of the building. It is accepted that following receipt of the audited accounts occupiers will wish to consider the information sent to them and may wish to raise questions in relation to certain items. To allow for this process, interest is not charged on year end balancing payments for at least 28 days after they become due.

Buildings are never identical, and their idiosyncrasies are often reflected in the service charge.

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