Introducing The TFT Purple Book: A Guide to Dilapidations in the UK

The TFT Purple Book is an important guide that shines a light into dilapidations’ darker recesses, identifying the legal context, best practice, the background to how and why dilapidations is dealt with as it is, and addresses areas of legal uncertainty. It is written by a surveyor for surveyors and will also appeal to anyone else who needs to understand this often-complex subject. This comprehensive guide also highlights important topics which are often overlooked. It aims to serve as a single point of reference from which the reader can develop a solid foundation of knowledge. It even considers cattle, children and ‘chattels-vegetable’ – and not many text books can make that boast.

This is an excellent guide to the law and practice relating to dilapidations in the UK and will be invaluable to the practitioner whether surveyor or solicitor. Of particular assistance is the helpful way the author approaches the thorny issues of how items should be classified (chattel or fixture?) and supersession. This ‘go to’ guide should save clients both time and money.

John de Waal QC – Barrister and Mediator, Hardwicke

The TFT Purple Book will be available online and in store from late October (date tbc) and was written by written by TFT Technical Partner Jon Rowling, a leading dilapidations specialist, independent expert, expert witness, mediator and arbitrator.

To contact or read more about Jon, click here 

TFT Oversees Topping Out Of Cardiff’s Largest Ever Office Development

On Tuesday 12th September, TFT Partner John Newton took part in the topping out ceremony of the 270,000sqft HMRC Government Hub project in Cardiff, signifying promising economic and social growth for the Welsh capital. TFT are project monitoring on behalf of Legal & General Group plc and are proud to see the development reach its top (12th) floor, bringing the scale of the project into perspective. The building represents Wales’ largest ever office development which is to house up to 4000 government staff following projected handover in November 2019.

John says:

I am extremely pleased to be involved and associated with this exemplar project which is being handled and run by a stellar team, namely Rightacres Property and Sir Robert McAlpine, funded and backed by one of the UK’s leading property institutions, Legal and General Group PLC. The development is a real example of “how to construct” in the heart of a vibrant city, the results of which will be felt for years to come in the capital as the centre of town transforms itself into one of the UK’s fastest expanding cities with all the associated economic benefits.

The modern infrastructure is one of 13 new regional hubs being developed for HMRC across the UK.

TFT monitors the New Waverley UK Government hub, Edinburgh

TFT were appointed  by Legal & General 1 year ago, 6-months into construction programme to monitor this great development for the Scottish Capital. This high spec 200,000 sq. ft. Grade A office space will be the UK Government’s cross-departmental flagship Hub in Scotland.

It will function as the Scottish base of several government bodies, including the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Office of the Advocate General, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Office for Statistics Regulation, the Government Actuary’s Department and HM Treasury. Staff from the Health and Safety Executive and the Information Commissioner’s Office will also be based here. Projected date completion: 3 June 2019 for CAT A fit out, with Tenant’s CAT B fit out completing in summer 2020.

Alasdair Balfour, Senior Building Surveyor at TFT, was charged with the project and recounts his personal experience hitherto:

This project was a big learning curve for me personally. It involved working with a new client who was purchasing an existing development project having secured a tenant with particular requirements. This required some intensive catching up but gave me something to do with a broken leg! To all Grad Surveyors, there is no substitute for delving in and absorbing the full project information and processes from the outset.

Whilst the project has been running relatively smoothly, the project team has not had the best of luck. Within 3 months, I broke my leg playing football, the Project Manager broke his arm mountain biking and the Developer’s Quantity Surveyor tore his patellar ligament running down a sand dune separating his knee cap from his shin bone – ouch!

It is a very enjoyable project to be involved with and within TFT, the approachability and support of the wider team dealing with similar projects have been (and continues to be) fantastic.

Over the last year, the development has picked up three awards:

Best regeneration Project – Scottish Property Awards
Best regeneration Project – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Commercial Project of the Year – Herald Property Awards

The developer, Artisan, also won Property Company of the Year at the Scottish Property Awards in 2018.


TFT pushes for wellbeing in the workplace with another WELL AP!

TFT’s Sustainability Team added a second WELL accreditation to our belt after Energy & Sustainability Consultant Giulia Mori gained her WELL AP. This credential, defined by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), denotes expertise in the WELL Building StandardTM and a commitment to advancing human health and wellness in buildings and communities.

But what does this mean for TFT and the industry?

According to the IWBI, each year, inhaling particulates causes around 29,000 deaths in the UK and around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, with more linked also to exposure to indoor pollutants. This has a dramatic cost on society that has exceeded more than £20 billion every year.  As we spend 85% of our lifetime indoors, TFT recognise the upmost importance of the design and construction of buildings that seek to address poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and promote the wellbeing and satisfaction of occupants.

Spaces that are well lit, comfortable, stimulating and adaptable, have the right level of noise control, provide high quality potable water, and promote healthy food consumption and an active lifestyle, contribute towards an individual’s wellbeing. Putting people at the centre of design will support initiatives that seek to attract and retain talented employees, improve staff health both mentally and physically, and reduce absenteeism and presentism; people centred design helps people thrive.

WELL-accredited professionals in the industry are growing but still not plentiful. The more who qualify, the more knowledge and ideas shared. By having two WELL APs at TFT, we are be able to action ideas and inspire and help to develop each other’s concepts and designs more proactively and efficiently. We have supported the IWBI to assist their understanding of the European and UK equivalences for the WELL version 2 standard which was developed in the United States. Our clients are asking TFT to review WELL feasibility on the majority of our development projects as there is an increasing demand either direct from tenants entering pre-let agreements, or they see this as a differentiator for speculative shell and core developments.

We are also keen to improve the wellbeing of all the TFT offices and are working towards this for the benefit of us all.

The future of the office environment is looking bright!

Wellbeing in Retirement Living

With a growing and ageing population, it isn’t a surprise that the retirement living sector is expanding to meet this demand. The housing market is already stretched, and this is overlaid by the need to provide housing suitable for an ageing population.

Successful retirement developments address the need to provide an environment that actively encourages wellbeing through social hubs on site; such as clubhouses, restaurants, wellbeing centres and swimming pools, etc. These facilities, which promote social wellbeing, are then combined with onsite health and domiciliary care services and supporting technology.

This technology provides comfort and reassurance through 24-hour alarm call systems, site wide messaging, medicine reminders, appointment and facilities booking, bed sensors and automatic lighting, staff log in, access control and site events calendars. All managed through technology and applications from within the dwelling.

Successful developments should aim to provide a flexible and tailored environment to be able to provide just the right amount of help and support that people not only require now, but will also require as their needs change with age.

David Medcraft, Technical Partner at TFT, is currently part of a team working on all development phases of Great Alne Park, a luxury retirement village in Warwickshire,which has just celebrated the launch of its clubhouse.


TFT are finalists in this year’s EG Awards!

This standout category at this year’s EG Awards celebrates companies and individuals that go beyond ensuring their own success but are also advocates of positive change at the forefront of the UK’s real estate sector. We have been nominated alongside other leading lights of the property industry, who, like us, have worked on some of the most outstanding projects for blue chip clients and delivered thought leadership from the forefront of the market.

This completes a hattrick of other nominations from Property Week in their Property Wellbeing Award and BusinessGreen Leaders Awards in their Energy Efficiency Project of the Year category, which reflects the markets recognition of TFT’s leading role in developing sustainable places.

Welcome to the new TFT website

Our old website has been a good friend and served us well. But TFT is a continually evolving practice, mirroring and often driving social and business change for ourselves and our clients.

To keep pace, and reflect the TFT of today, we have implemented a rebranding exercise. This means a fresh look to many of the things we share with you. And fresh thinking on our structure, approach and overall vision.

Our shop window into these bold new territories is our new website. Come in. Have a look around. Get in touch. We hope you will be a regular visitor!

Hattrick of shortlists for TFT in 2018

This year, we have been named finalist for the Property Awards, the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards and the EG Awards. They come about following our dedicated effort to deliver better buildings, and happier, healthy occupants, creating the BPF Aftercare Guide and providing leading energy and sustainability advice to some of the biggest commercial property investors, respectively. TFT has been acknowledged as a candidate for providing the UK’s leading sustainability advisor. We believe this is a result of us hiring the best people; working on the biggest projects for blue chip clients and delivering market leading thought leadership.

With the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards right around the corner and the EG Awards in September, we look forward to meeting up with our fellow nominees and hearing about success stories from all corners of the commercial property market.

The BusinessGreen Leaders Awards takes place Wednesday 27th June at The Brewery London. To find out more, click here. The EG Awards takes place 19 September at Grosvenor House Hotel. To find out more, click here.

TFT dilapidations expert on tour

Paul Spaven, dilapidations specialist

Keen to keep up-to-date on the latest changes from L&T, valuation, dilapidations and planning? Paul Spaven, one of our resident dilapidations specialists, joins property’s other leading lights on tour and will be covering ‘Dilapidations – pressures, pitfalls and opportunities’.

Run by Pro Conferences, the well-attended Current Property Issues 2018 has spots left at their remaining dates across the country, find yours here.

David Mann runs the Paris marathon for LandAid

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored and helped me raise more than £5,000 so far. I am going to continue fundraising until my 50th birthday on 22nd June by which time I hope to achieve my £10,000 target. Needless to say, any further help would be really appreciated. You can visit my fundraising page here.

On the walk to the start, I was resplendent in my new ‘Marathon de Paris’ T -shirt with the tag-line ‘RUNNING IS LIFE’. I would beg to differ with this sentiment at the moment!

It was a fantastic experience and Paris was so beautiful on a lovely sunny morning. Seeing 55,000 runners mustered along the Champs-Elysees at the start was quite an emotional sight – as was the queue for the toilets!

My favourite part was running along the Seine at 15 – 16 miles and I even managed to accidentally pocket phone my sister to both of our surprises but got some welcome encouragement!

Less enjoyable was the seemingly endless and monotonous pounding of my running shoes on the tarmac and cobbles. This was only equalled by the thump thump thump of the banging house music streamed from my SoundCloud App, which maintained a steady rhythm and has often been my only companion on those long cold training sessions. Today was in fact the first time I’d only worn shorts and a singlet in the last few months.

It was lovely to see so much support for all the runners – so many expectant faces waiting to see their loved ones, a friend or even a complete stranger. The Brits were particularly supportive to me. At times I forgot I had my name and GBR on my bib and wondered why so many people were shouting ‘Allez David’.

Little things make you laugh en route like someone holding up a piece of cardboard and hand written on it: ‘MOTIVATIONAL SIGN’. I was also particularly proud of my ‘Eiffel Tower hat’ selfie at 18 miles. Looking down the route at the ant-like procession, it felt a little like a less flamboyant Gay Pride march, considerably less diverse with much worse personal hygiene!

I have a slight confession to make now: my Brighton Half Marathon was the longest training run I completed! So when I reached the half way mark it felt like I was entering unknown territory. I have to admit that I was carrying a Metro ticket in my bum-bag just in case. That said, at no time did I feel like giving up and letting down everyone who has helped and supported me.

The last 8 kilometres were very painful, mainly in my hip flexors. Around me it became a bit of a ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ as the task at hand took its toll. On a serious note, it was awful to see so many people being helped by paramedics and connected to saline drips. Victims of dehydration. It made me appreciate that you shouldn’t take on a Marathon lightly.

A huge thank you to my wonderful partner Glen for his patience during training and enthusiasm on the day. Seeing his face periodically through the crowd was a huge boost.

I finished in 04:34:41. I guess a personal best for my first and last marathon … probably!