Office occupiers don't get a raw deal delegates at the Offices 08 agreed, following a heated debate.
Following speeches for the motion this morning - 'This house believes that occupiers get a raw deal' - from corporate real estate experts such as Lloyds head of property, Nigel Waring, and speeches opposing the motion led by Gerald Kay, development director of Helical Bar, delegates at the conference voted with the opposers.
Waring said: 'We represent corporates whose business is not property. Offices are a resource. It's an imperfect market and if we removed those imperfections, it would be better for everyone.'
However, Kay said that office occupiers were getting, in real terms, the best deals they'd ever had.
He said: 'Building costs have gone up three fold over the last 20 years. Rents have stayed the same. The quality of buildings is much better and the services have improved. From our viewpoint, occupiers are getting a good deal and it is us poor developers who are getting a raw deal.'
He was backed up by William Hill, head of property at Schroders, and John Forrester, deputy chairman of DTZ in the UK, who said that office occupiers had never had it so good.
Hill said: 'Management is the perennial whinge of tenants but it has improved considerably. At Chiswick Park, we call our tenants "guests."'
All sides agreed that ultimately more effort was needed from both sides to build the relationship.
Robin Harris, president of CoreNet, said: 'We acknowledge the market and that we both need to improve.'