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My Week: Bricks and mortar

23rd Feb 2019
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Hello folks.  It was a busy and stressful week. There were a variety of issues that I had to address.


As I mentioned in Any Answers, FT Practice Ltd, has an office lease of 999 years. It is a retail unit.

Until recently, I had no idea how much control the Freeholder has and how difficult Freeholder can be.

She refused permission for us to install an air conditioner (AC). I needed her okay since a small unit would be placed on the outside back wall.

I even offered to put in writing that I will take full liability and all the risks should anything go wrong with the outside unit. It was still a firm NO from her.

She also refused to change the door numbering since the flat and our office have the same door number!

Freehold Purchase

I intended to buy the freehold as an investment and for me to have control. It includes our office and two flats. The quoted price was twice above the valuation the agent gave me. The purchase would not be a good investment at the current price.

Unfortunately, I am stuck with a Freeholder who is not allowing me AC. Warmer summers will be hell in the all-glass frontage office. Fans don't do it.


I am sure you know, after building a client base, other headaches for a small practice owner are staff and IT. I had to address IT.

Q's desktop is now outdated and slow. The new desktop, to replace Q's computer, was delivered over the week. Sorting this out took me nearly a day.

Once I installed most of the software, I noticed the new desktop was slow. I spoke to the supplier and decided to return it. Time was taken up in resetting the desktop and packing it up for the return.

Tax investigation work

I completed our part on a full enquiry tax investigation on a landlord client. We are awaiting further information from a client before sending all the information to HMRC.

By their nature investigations cannot be planned into the annual cycle. They take up my time and steal time from activities that add value to the practice.

And Finally

I recently came across iOS app - Blinkist for non-fiction books. I love listening to self-help/management bite-sized books.

Replies (3)

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By dbowleracca
27th Feb 2019 21:55

FT why don’t you look at outsourcing all of your IT support to someone who will take that off your plate, so you can focus on the chargeable work?

Thanks (1)
Replying to dbowleracca:
By FirstTab
28th Feb 2019 12:37

Hi dbowleracca


I looked into this last year. Bearing in mind we are a micro practice, our IT issues tend to be simple.

The fees charged by an outsourced provider did not justify the return.

Thanks (0)
Replying to FirstTab:
By dbowleracca
01st Mar 2019 22:35

You should be able to get support for about £40 a month for you and Q, maybe less, so would be worth shopping around.

At least then you don’t have to worry and you would only have to work for about 30 minutes on chargeable work to cover the cost :)

Thanks (1)