The BKL Property Summit

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Property Summit on 23 March 2021.

In partnership with Re-Leased, award-winning provider of property management software, we brought together experts from across the property & construction sector for a series of Zoom discussions exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

Our speakers

There were insights from BKL’s property and tax specialists:

  • Myfanwy Neville, Head of Property & Construction
  • Jason Appel, Property Partner
  • Andrew Levene, Senior Property Tax Consultant
  • Simon Levine, Senior Property Tax Consultant

We also welcomed property experts from:

  • Memery Crystal, solicitors
  • Hanover Green, property consultants
  • OakNorth Bank
  • Planning Potential, property consultants
  • Brotherton Real Estate, debt and equity advisers

What we discussed

  • How to support the property sector amidst the pandemic
  • Property and The Cloud
  • Property sector panel discussion: surviving or thriving in a pandemic?
  • Flexible floorspace – Emerging legislation, policies, and trends
  • Tax and VAT planning for the property sector

Watch the recordings

Recordings of all five BKL Property Summit sessions are available to watch here.

Property portfolio tips

If you have a mixed or commercial property portfolio which you’d like to boost, each of our BKL Property Summit speakers has shared a top tip.

You can read them below or in this guide (pdf) from Re-Leased.

1. Data is king

Digital transformation requires a growth mindset in your business. Therefore, alongside a digitisation strategy, be sure to develop a change management strategy for your team.

High quality, live data is king in the modern working world. Don’t operate your business without it.

Grace Thomson, Re-Leased


2. Flexibility is key

We are about to enter a new property world where the flexibility of use, leases and environment will be key to securing tenants and creating value.

David Cuthbert, Hanover Green


3. Changing spaces

Be aware of the increasing need for warehousing (due to online shopping) but also a move away from mono-use to multi-use spaces.

Helen Cuthbert, Planning Potential


4. Collaborate

In 2020 we learnt the importance of collaborative rather than adversarial relationships between landlords and tenants. Keeping discussions open, and remaining flexible, is key.

Business rates reform is needed. The current state is causing a significant burden of expenses on the landlord as vacant costs fall back on them.

Myfanwy Neville, BKL


5. Planning changes

Looking forward, a big-picture prediction for the sector is that incoming planning changes will have a significant effect on the high street and post-pandemic areas that are traditionally good growth areas, e.g. Central London, will rise in value.

Jason Appel, BKL


6. Preserving assets

Future asset preservation partly depends on how the Government phase out the moratorium preventing forfeiture, insolvency action and commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR). Currently, there is no extension to serving statutory demands or issuing winding-up petitions, but it is questionable whether that relaxation (if it happens) will cause a wave of insolvency action.

Adam Gross, Memery Crystal


7. Difficulties in the market

There is widespread frustration with the speed of planning applications being determined and the uncertainty that comes with it. Changes are needed.

An interesting suggestion is to make planning policies zonal.

Nicola Kravitz, Memery Crystal


8. Resilience

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the property sector has shown great resilience and creativity over the past year.

With the increase in property developments across residential, commercial and retirement villages in more regional areas, it’s evident that the industry is committed to being a central part of the UK’s economic recovery.

Ben Barbanel, OakNorth Bank


9. Find the right lender

Despite a turbulent year, the real estate finance market has proved to be extremely resilient. The lending market is now so fragmented that while there is, justifiably, a nervousness about what the future holds for certain asset classes, we are not seeing the distress that we might have expected. Partnering with the right lender and structuring the right debt package has never been so important.

Dan Uzan, Brotherton Real Estate


10. Tax opportunities

The UK Government are in tax-raising mode – corporation tax rate is going up; 2% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge for non-residents and there is undoubtedly more coming.

Nonetheless, there are tax opportunities too – the new super-deductions could be a valuable tax break. It’s not entirely clear how these will apply to landlords but keep watching the space for further developments.

Also, don’t forget about the SDLT reliefs.

Andrew Levene, BKL


11. Double-check VAT

Always check to see if the 5% reduced VAT rate applies to your development.

Make sure you only pay the correct rate of VAT on supplier invoices.

Simon Levine, BKL


For more information about how our property and tax experts can help you, please get in touch with us using our enquiry form.



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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