The Valuation and Asset Management Service

Information for business tenants

Why does Wandsworth Council own business premises?

Most of our commercial properties are shops on council estates. 

The rents from our commercial properties help to pay for services for the local community.

How is the property managed?

Lambert Smith Hampton are our managing agents.

UK House
180 Oxford Street
London
W1D 1NN

If you do not know the name of the individual surveyor who deals with your property, please enquire at the firm's switchboard.

If the query is about your rent account or payments, please contact:

Ian Cardwell
Lambert Smith Hampton
UK House
180 Oxford Street
London
W1D 1NN

Email: icardwell@lsh.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7198 2337

Who makes decisions about its business property on behalf of the Council?

The Head of the Valuation and Asset Management is the senior officer who makes the final decision on issues such as selecting new tenants, agreeing rent reviews and the terms on which leases are renewed. These decisions are made after he has had advice from Lambert Smith Hampton.

How can I check what I am responsible for as tenant and what the Council is responsible for as landlord?

The position is set out in the lease (or the tenancy-at-will letter) which was issued when the property was let. If you have a simple question about your responsibilities, you may contact the managing agents who will try to help you. If you need advice about a complicated question, for example about legal issues or if you are in dispute us, you should consult your own solicitor or chartered surveyor.

Our staff and agents work on our behalf. Therefore, they are not able to give you legal advice or suggestions for improving your commercial position in relation to the Council.

I cannot find the lease document - how can I get a copy?

You can ask for copies from us in person, over the phone, in writing or online. We will only release copies of leases to the leaseholder or their representative if we have a signed authorisation. We will try to provide a copy of a lease within two working days, as long as we receive the correct fee and authorisation. The current fee is £20 per lease (cheque payable to "Wandsworth Borough Council").

If you want any information, please contact:

The Deeds Clerk
Wandsworth Borough Council
Room 162, The Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
London SW18 2PU

Request a copy online

Rent

How do I know what I should pay?

The managing agents will send you a regular rent demand. This lists the payments you should have made (including service charges), the amounts which they have received and the balance still due.

How can I pay my rent?

Payments are collected by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) and should not be sent to the Town Hall.

You can choose between these two ways of paying:

Standing order from your bank account
Cheque payable to "Wandsworth Borough Council", posted to:

Contact- Mark Butcher
Lambert Smith Hampton
UK House
180 Oxford Street
London
W1D 1NN

Email: mbutcher@lsh.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7198 2168

Who should I speak to if I do not understand the rent statement or want to change payment methods?

Please contact:

Ian Cardwell
Lambert Smith Hampton
UK House
180 Oxford Street
London
W1D 1NN

Email: icardwell@lsh.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7198 2337

What happens if I don't pay my rent on time?

We expect our tenants to pay rent and service charges on time. If an account falls into arrears, it is likely that we will charge interest in accordance with the terms of the lease and it may be necessary for bailiffs to be instructed to collect the amount owed. This procedure involves extra costs for the tenant, so you will save money if you pay the rent when it is due.

If you are having problems paying on time, it is important that you inform the managing agents as soon as possible of the reasons. Then you and they can discuss the way forward. The person to contact is Mark Butcher at Lambert Smith Hampton.

Will my rent go up during the lease?

Most leases originally granted for more than five years include a rent review. This usually means that the rent will increase on the dates set out to reflect any increases in market rents for similar properties. In some cases, the increase is a fixed sum agreed when the lease was first granted. It is important to check your lease to be sure whether there will be a rent review and, if so, how the new rent will be decided.

Service charges

How do I know what services I will have to pay for?

Most leases provide for payment of service charges; where they do, the details are set out in your lease.

How will I know how much to pay?

Details of service charges arising are shown on your rent demands.

Alterations and changes of use

Who should I contact if I want to make alterations to the property?

Contact the managing surveyor at Lambert Smith Hampton, who will advise you of the procedure for seeking our agreement. You will be expected to pay for the costs of considering your proposal. In many cases, we are not under a legal obligation to agree to alterations and will only do so if they are acceptable to us as landlord.

In some cases, you may also need planning permission or building control approval.

If you have planning permission or building control approval for works, that does not also give you our permission in its role as landlord.

Who should I contact if I want to use the property for something that is not allowed by the lease or to make other changes to it?

Contact the managing surveyor at Lambert Smith Hampton, who will advise you of the procedure. You will be expected to pay for the costs of considering your proposal. In many cases, we are not under a legal obligation to agree to changes of use and will only do so if they are acceptable to us as landlord.

Depending on the type of change of use, you may need planning permission

If you have planning permission for a particular use, that does not also give you our permission in its role as landlord.

Moving on

I want to transfer my lease to someone else - do I have to get permission from the Council?

A. Contact the managing surveyor at Lambert Smith Hampton, who will advise you of the procedure. You will be expected to pay for the costs of considering your proposal. If we are to agree to the lease being transferred, we will need to be sure that a new tenant is likely to pay rent and observe the other terms of the lease at least as well as you do.

What happens when my lease comes to an end?

This is a complicated subject on which you should get advice from a solicitor or a chartered surveyor experienced in commercial property management. Although the length of the lease may seem to be clear, the law says that in some circumstances a tenancy will continue after then unless the landlord or the tenant takes specific action to bring it to an end.

Can I hand the premises back to the Council before the lease comes to an end?

Some leases include "break clauses". These can allow a tenant the option to serve a notice bringing the lease to an end before it would otherwise expire. Apart from this possibility, a lease continues for at least as long as it says.

If you do not want to keep the lease any more and it allows you to transfer it to a new tenant, you will need our consent. You would have to find the new tenant and agree financial terms with that person.

We do not normally accept a property back before the lease comes to an end and will only do so if it is in our interests.

Your feedback

How can I make a suggestion to improve the way the Council manages its commercial property?

If the suggestion is about the work done by Lambert Smith Hampton, please contact Naomi Brown email nbrown@lsh.co.uk

If it is about our policy or procedures, please write to the Head of the Valuation and Asset Management Service.

The Town Hall,
Wandsworth High Street,
London, SW18 2PU.

In either case, the person concerned will respond to your suggestion as soon as possible.

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