Issue - meetings

Marketing of Industrial Units

Meeting: 09/09/2020 - Performance Monitoring Panel (Item 26)

26 Marketing of Industrial Units pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To set out the methodology for using commercial agents to provide targeted and additional resource to support the letting and management of commercial property (Report of the Interim Property Asset Services Manager enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Property Asset Services Manager setting out the rationale and methodology for using external letting agents to provide targeted and additional resource to support the letting of vacant industrial units. In addition, the use of external commercial property resource to support the Council with the management of its five industrial estates. .

 

Members considered the update and the following issues were

raised:

 

  • The Chairman suggested that Parish Council notice boards be utilised to display the availability of locally available vacant industrial units. The Executive Manager – Property & Development welcomed this suggestion and would look how best to take this forward as units become available.
  • The Chairman commented on the marketing process flow-chart regarding the notice given and process when a let property was about to become vacant in particular how officers plan to deal with ensuring the unit is returned in a decent condition ready for a new tenant.  The Executive Manager Property & Development advised that the process would typically be an inspection around 2months prior to the end of the lease, a schedule prepared and served on the tenant confirming works needing to be done and then close to the end of the lease a further inspection to determine whether this had been completed. In the event that it hadn’t the tenant on vacation would be recharged for the works outstanding.  It was confirmed that this would be covered in a new standard form of lease and noted in the new Lettings Policy. The Chairman commented that this was welcome news regarding the new agreements, however the arrangements for vacating under the existing and hence older style agreements needed to be monitored effectively.
  • Members raised concerns regarding industrial units being used for storage rather than for businesses use. The Executive Manager – Property & Development confirmed that he was already aware of this concern and was monitoring proposed new lettings closely. Under the proposed new Lettings Policy officers will be given greater flexibility to let to a wider range of uses and consider a range of matters that would ensure that the right uses for what are effectively business use units. However it was important to note that the Council relied on the income from these units and if storage was the only potential letting use at that time this would need to be taken into account.

·         Members asked whether Covid-19 has affected lettings or tenants’ ability to pay rent, and were advised that thanks to the availability of grants administered by the Council and regular communications with tenants, there has been so far very little apparent impact.

  • Members asked whether there were opportunities to regain properties if tenants were not adhering to the letting agreement criteria, and were advised that the new lease agreement would specifically deal with this. Through effective estate management, new lease terms and by building good working relations with tenants the Council was looking to have effectively managed and operated estates.
  • Members commented on whether the ability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26