Arch property management – Q&A

Arches property management team standing in front of map illustration

You may not be aware that TfL is a property owner, manager and developer as well as being a public transport authority. We caught up with Inderpal, Dominic and Opportune in the Arches Property Management team to discuss their role in supporting small businesses across London. 🛍 

What do the Arches team do?

We sit in the TfL Property Management team which looks after over 2,000 properties. As the name suggests, we manage a special type of property – railway arches. These are the units you can find under operational Tube, Overground and DLR tracks. 🚇

We have hundreds of tenants who we work with. We help them with choosing the right location for their customers, their business challenges and also look after their property maintenance. 🔧 

Man standing behind a bar in an arch property.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Inderpal and Dominic: Our roles day-to-day are very varied. We carry out the regular work of MRICS Chartered Surveyors working in property management. This means we deal with lease renewals, rent reviews and maintenance issues. In addition to that, we talk to our tenants daily about their future plans and how we can assist in helping to expand their businesses. This could involve additional premises or alterations to their existing ones to better suit their business needs. 

Opportune: As a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors candidate, I am on a two-year scheme to prepare for my Assessment of Professional Competence and pass my chartered qualification. This means that I am able to work with my own portfolio and get to know tenants personally. Additionally, it means I get to experience the rest of the property side of TfL.  

What kind of businesses can we expect to find in the arches?  

93% of our tenants are small and medium businesses. This means we offer one of the most diverse and varied portfolios in London. We have tenants ranging from independent gin distilleries and MOT stations, to local cafes and world-recognised artists.😍

What’s great about having a business located in one of our arches is that you’re always only a Tube ride away! 

Inside a coffee shop and barbers in one of the arch properties.

Why are the arch properties ideal for small businesses?

Our portfolio includes a large number of generally small to medium sized units spread across Greater London and centred around the transport network. 🚉 

This means that as a small business grows and develops, we can assist with offering additional units. These are either in the same location or in similar locations across the network. Our estate also offers huge flexibility; from businesses wanting to test a new idea for an hour or two at their local station, to growing businesses wanting to expand across the City with the ease of working with one landlord. 

How have you been supporting your tenants throughout the pandemic? 

Over the past 18 months we have been working hard to improve our service to our tenants. They have benefitted from us working in partnership and also sharing the impact of the pandemic. This included rent credits to all from March to September 2020. We will continue to help our customers, accompanying them in the journey towards a recovery for London. 

We know that businesses across our portfolio have been severely impacted by the pandemic. That’s why we’ve targeted our support to be specific to individual tenants’ needs. Part of our decision-making was based on how the support would help our tenants to maintain, reopen and recover their businesses for the long-term. This just goes to show the important role that surveyors play in guiding the recovery of London and other cities across the world. 

Do you have a favourite arch business? Let us know in the comments below 👇 

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