GP Surveyors has negotiated some very large rent reimbursement increases for GP surgeries in Northern Ireland over the past year (above the figure calculated by the District Valuer) – with increases being 5 times that of the UK average. The average increase was 56% which amounts to an average annual increase of £6,830 or £20,490 over the 3 year Notional Rent period. The largest increase was 163%.
This news follows reports that GP practices in Northern Ireland need a funding boost of 25% in order to achieve parity with surgeries in the rest of the UK.
Paul Conlan, Managing Surveyor at GP Surveyors, said: “Surgeries in Northern Ireland are in desperate need of a funding increase. Therefore, checking your rent reimbursement may be a very good place to start – given our recent figures.”
Summer Hill Surgery in Warrenpoint received an increase of 27% (above the figure calculated by the District Valuer) for a retrospective rent review in 2007. “This amounted to a total increase of £30,600 over the three year Notional Rent period which will have been paid out retrospectively to the practice as a lump sum,” explains Conlan. “This is a huge increase in income for the practice. We are pleased that Summer Hill Surgery has finally received a fair Notional Rent which was comparable with the reimbursement of similar surgeries in 2007.”
Summer Hill Surgery were very pleased by the end result: “Surprised is an understatement!” commented Damian Fearon – Practice Manager at the surgery. “We were astonished and delighted!
“As a one off payment it is a significant windfall for the owners. Furthermore, it now places a realistic capital value on the premises, and offers a significant increase in rent over mortgage surplus moving forward.” (Click here to read our case studies).
One surgery also benefitted from moving from Cost Rent to Notional Rent. GP Surveyors advised that a transfer to Notional Rent would be financially beneficial and the practice received a reimbursement increase of 163% as a result.
Conlan explains that the process of getting such a good result for these Northern Ireland practices has not been easy: “We have to assist GP practices to ensure that they receive a fair and accurate rental reimbursement that is based upon fact and appropriate valuation methodology. However, despite all the compelling evidence that we put forward to the Health Board representatives, we were met with a lot of resistance to our approach. The process was therefore slower than in other areas of the UK and legal input was required in order to get a fair result.
“I would therefore encourage other doctors’ surgeries in Northern Ireland to seek advice from a specialist surveyor in order to check whether their rental reimbursement is at the correct level.”