Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

It is not compulsory to instruct a surveyor to deal with the rent review and many landlords prefer to have a go at negotiating rent reviews direct with their tenants, particularly local traders and small businesses. The basis for negotiation may not be as technical as the lease envisages, but that’s of no consequence where the tenant is none the wiser.

When dealing with a local trader/small business having no experience of rent review then likely the tenant’s response to the landlord’s proposal would be based on affordability. Having exhausted negotiations and reached the point at which the tenant’s highest offer is less than the figure the landlord is minded to accept, it’s only then that the landlord would instruct a surveyor, presumably in the hope that a technical approach would result in extracting a better offer from the tenant.

Frequently, it’s at that stage where things go wrong for the landlord, a situation that could be avoided by having an understanding of the technicalities.

Technically, there may be a difference, often substantial, between how much the tenant is offering on affordability and the market rent as defined by the lease. Affordability is subjective, market rent is objective. To ascertain whether there is a difference and if so then how substantial it could be, rather than the landlord dive straight into the deep end and expect the surveyor to work wonders when there might not be anything more to go for, it would make more sense surely for the landlord to instruct a surveyor to provide the landlord with a second opinion as to the market rent per the lease, before deciding whether to reject the tenant’s offer.

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To dive into the deep end and expect the surveyor to pick up where the landlord left off presupposes that the tenant would not retaliate and also instruct a surveyor. Surveyor-to-surveyor negotiation is based on technicality and evidence. Generally, reasoning that cannot be supported technically and with evidence cuts no ice, but simply hardens resistance. No tenant having been put to the expense of instructing a surveyor is likely to ignore that surveyor’s advice.  The outcome is normally a battle of wits, often incurring the extra costs of the dispute procedure, with no certainty of the landlord getting as much as could have extracted from the tenant before surveyors were involved.

Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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