STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Inequalities in time spent by Professionals
Compulsory Purchase is not always as fair as it could be or should be. Acquiring authorities will normally appoint a Chartered Surveyor to represent them. That Surveyor may be tasked with buying 50 or 100 properties. Much of the research they undertake will aid their duties in respect of a large number of properties. From their involvement, they are likely to know details of all agreed sales on the scheme, many if not all of which are not in the public domain.
Other professionals working for or with the acquiring authority will be able to spend considerable time developing the scheme, designing it in a way which they hopefully believe works for everyone.
This is of course only reasonable.
Schemes should be well planned out and acquiring authorities should be well represented. However, so should homeowners.
Homeowners appointed Chartered Surveyors
For homeowners, there is a legal entitlement to professional representation from a Chartered Surveyor. The costs for this quite rightly have to be at a reasonable level. The problem is that a reasonable level may not afford the time that the acquiring authority are able to pay for. Where a large number of Chartered Surveyors are appointed by homeowners, there will be a lot of duplication of their service and each are unlikely to know the background to deals that are reached by others. They may not know for example that a property sold cheaply because it was in a really poor condition or that the owners were motived by financial problems or a marriage break up.
Where lots of homeowners appoint the same firm of Chartered Surveyors, there is less duplication of time being spent. That firm of Chartered Surveyors are then able to spend the extra time that they can reasonably charge for, providing other services. For example, where we represent large numbers of homeowners, we are able to –
-Provide a more tailored service
-Advise more on relocating
-Advise more on the CPO process
-Negotiate scheme concessions where possible
We can also then spend more time researching market evidence and negotiating.
Sawyer Fieldings’ approach
We pride ourselves on our complete service. We do far more for our clients than most Chartered Surveyors. That has helped build our reputation as by far the most experienced Chartered Surveyors in the UK when it comes to representing homeowners.
Combined with a shortage of professional advisors working in the niche area of Compulsory Purchase, this has placed considerable demand on our service. We are therefore fortunate enough that we can pick and choose the work we get involved with, far more than most firms are able to.
We favour Compulsory Purchase schemes where there is a strong community spirit, where homeowners are willing to work together and instruct us in large numbers. If you are considering approaching us to ask if we can help, we are far more likely to say yes if you can persuade others to join you.
We also regularly engage with residents groups and are used to presenting to large numbers of homeowners.
Strength in numbers
By teaming up with your neighbours and fellow homeowners and appointing the same Chartered Surveyor to represent you, the process becomes much more fair.
We are used to representing large numbers of homeowners on individual estates. We often represent 50+ or 100+ homeowners on an individual Council estate.
It is extremely rare that we ever come across other Chartered Surveyors representing more than two or three homeowners.