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Service Charge Consultant - Gloucestershire

Car Allowance - Property
Ref: 555 Date Posted: Wednesday 05 Sep 2018
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This is an important and senior role within the organisation.  The primary focus will be to give consultancy advice to our clients and lead building commissions for Landlords or Tenants.  This is aimed at ensuring compliance with lease terms and value for money.  The role will be client facing and will involve considerable interaction with the Consultancy and Portfolio Services Team.  There will also be engagement with Landlord / Tenant advisors who may be asset managers, technical consultants, accountants or lawyers.

Service charges embrace a diverse range of cost issues set against the backdrop of lease provisions, client objectives and the management of relationships and risk. 

The role will be based at the company’s Aztec West offices, Bristol but will involve travel throughout the UK. 

Line reporting will be directly to the Managing Director and in addition to undertaking distinct building commissions, there will be key account responsibility and potentially some engagement at Group level. 

Service charge is a specialised area of commercial property which remains contentious and which embraces legal, technical and property issues.  The Company will provide internal and external training and support to ensure the development of the right candidate to fulfil this role. 

Outline of the Operational Role

Typically, this will comprise the following:

  • Review service charge budgets, certificates, sinking funds and apportionments. Ensure those are produced in accordance with the RICS Code of Service Charges in Commercial Property.
  • Read and analyse leases to determine liability for costs and advise on lease compliance.
  • Investigate anomalies and high costs.  Advise clients on relevant issues and consult on ways to reduce apparent high costs.
  • Working as part of the Consultancy Services Team, to review the operational costs of common parts services in multi-tenanted commercial buildings throughout the UK.
  • With in-house technical assistance, advise on repairs and refurbishment proposals, including sinking funds and lifecycle plans in relation to both building fabric and mechanical and electrical services (with specialist support).
  • Advise on service charge liability / recoverability having regard to lease provisions.
  • Negotiate with Landlords and their Agents / Experts to ensure lease compliance and service charge value for money.  Negotiate cost reductions and steps to achieve compliance on our client’s behalf. 
  • Establish contact with potential clients and participate in sales initiatives to offer consultancy services.
  • Participate in presentations to both clients and prospective clients.
  • Provide a day to day contact point for designated clients and attend client meetings as appropriate.
  • Analyse building operational costs, supplier contracts, terms and conditions.  To be able to comment on SLAs and KPIs.  To understand client’s operational requirements relative to service delivery. 
  • If required, undertake a forensic review of major costs, vouchers, invoices etc, to ensure compliance with service contracts.
  • If appropriate review accounting practices and procurement methods adopted by managing agents. 
  • Review and advise on Planned Preventative Maintenance Programmes, Lifecycle Costs and Funds (sinking, reserve, depreciation funds, etc).
  • Participate in team meetings and client meetings.
  • Participate and contribute to dispute resolution, mediations, etc.

Knowledge & Experience Required

The successful candidate should be highly motivated with the ability to work on his / her own initiative, but also as part of a team.  An ability to manage, negotiate and represent client interests in complex and sometimes contentious circumstances, whilst at all time maintaining a professional and objective outlook.  Candidates are expected to be analytical and extremely numerate.    

The candidate must be capable of providing quality consultancy. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will be an experienced property professional with excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing, together with the ability to assess technical information, contracts, etc and to negotiate contentious matters on a client’s behalf.  A good property / lease knowledge is desirable and experience of acting as an expert / expert witness would be advantageous but is not essential.  The candidate should have a knowledge of contracts, procurement and project management.  Some experience of claim / dispute resolution is desirable. 

The role will ideally suit a Chartered Surveyor (BS, QS or Management Surveyor) or a Senior Facilities Manager with appropriate experience, although alternative professional disciplines will be considered. 

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