PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: tlyfe tenant App becomes a big win for tenants | BDO (Binder Dijker Otte) finds efficient & sustainable office buildings attract higher service charges

Andrew Stanton’s daily PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking and News Now.

Tlyfe App ends the rental lottery for tenants

Adam Pigott CEO asks tenants, ‘Are you queuing for a viewing? Fed up with the rental lottery? Then it is time to get acquainted with tlyfe, the smart App that simplifies your renting experience and sets you apart from the crowd.’

Adam further comments, that if tenants download tlyfe, they get to, ‘Fast track to the front of the queue with the pre-qualification feature. Build a positive credit history by linking their rental payments to the Apps credit score builder. View and manage their TDS protected tenancy deposit for maximum piece of mind. Also tenants can store their important documents in the vault and access helpful supporting guidance via the information hub’.

Going into more detail Adam explains that tlyfe is a tenant centric way to navigate the increasingly choppy rental waters, where scarcity of inventory is making it even harder for tenants to find that next home to live in. Though the App is for tenants, it also was built very much to satisfy the needs of landlords and letting agents in the sense that serves as a trusted way of proving a tenant is ready and able to take up a tenancy, which of course cuts down on the administration and profiling of potential tenants.

Prior to developing tlyfe with Openbrix founder Shahad Choudhury (pictured), Adam spent many years in the lettings industry first in corporate agency then looking after and building his own lettings ’empire’ so he and the team fully understand what ‘excellent’ looks like and needs to be when designing the tlyfe App. Adam further comments,

‘Since its launch on the App store and the Google Play site we have been amazed at the huge uptake, we had always hoped that we had developed something that was really useful, easy to use and had value. Of course our close relationship with TDS also ensures that all stakeholders know it is a trusted and industry recognised service which we hope in time will be universally adopted.’

BDO report finds efficient and sustainable office buildings attract higher than average service charges

Office buildings with the highest efficiency and sustainability ratings tend to have higher than average service charges, a report from accountancy and business advisory firm Binder Dijker Otte BDO has found. Analysis in the report shows Office service charges rise 10% year-on-year amid hike in costs for ‘soft services.’ Central London office service charges 86% higher than in rest of the United Kingdom and the least efficient buildings have highest service charges

The firm’s latest benchmarking report identified that offices with an ‘outstanding’ or ‘excellent’ Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) certification had total service charge costs that were 26% higher than the other offices it surveyed. Meanwhile, total service charge costs were 6% higher for offices with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or B compared to all other offices.

The new figures come from BDO’s latest PropCost benchmarking report, developed in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which reviewed £352m of service charge data for 408 office buildings for the three-year period to 2023.

Based on median data, the report found that overall service charge costs were split between soft services like cleaning and security (30%) and hard services like mechanical and electrical services (30%). This was followed by management costs (21%), utilities (18%) and insurance (1%).

While the report revealed service charges are higher on average for more efficient buildings, the highest costs overall were seen in the least efficient offices (those with an EPC rating of E to G). Overall, BDO found that service charges for office accommodation rose by an average of 10% year-on-year in 2023 amid a significant hike in ‘soft’ service costs such as cleaning and sustainability services which rose at a greater rate than other costs such as security.

However, the increase in costs was less pronounced in smaller offices, with the most significant increase in costs seen in the largest offices. This may be because smaller offices were not as impacted by lower occupation during the pandemic, whereas larger offices invested most in amenities as part of the return to ‘normal’ office working. Unsurprisingly, service charge costs were higher in London than in other regions. On average, office service charge costs in central London were 86% higher than for those located elsewhere in the UK.

Andrea Hunt, BDO’s Lead Partner for Service Charge Accounting comments, ‘One of the more illuminating findings from our report is that office assets with the highest efficiency and sustainability ratings tend to have higher service charge costs. This is likely to be because the most efficient buildings tend to be newer with a more modern design, larger common areas and a higher standard of amenities.’  

‘These findings build on previous industry research which has identified the growing relationship between efficiency & sustainability ratings with the capital or rental value of a building asset. This benchmarking report also highlights where inflation has had the biggest impact on service charge costs, and what differences we are seeing in costs across different types of office accommodation.’

‘As the UK economy faces the strain of limited growth, business leaders will need prioritise reviewing costs as they monitor and adapt their strategies. As such, this report should be particularly useful for both property managers and prospective tenants.’

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP provides integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world. The organisations they work with are Britain’s economic engine –entrepreneurially-spirited, high-growth businesses that fuel the economy. 

They understand the ambitions and entrepreneurial mindset of those we work with and have the global reach, integrity and expertise to help people and businesses succeed. BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 7,500 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO international network.

BDO’s global network provides business advisory services in 164 countries and territories, with 111,300 people working out of 1,803 offices worldwide. It has revenues of US$12.8bn. 

Andrew Stanton’s PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking & News Now publications. #proptech #property #realestate #digitaltransformation #startups

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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