Frequently asked questions
If you have any questions about The Foundry, please see below. Alternatively, please contact us.
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What are the criteria for renting office space at The Foundry?
The Foundry’s policy is to let space to Social Justice Organisations. These could be non-profit organisations or social enterprises. By 'social justice organisations' we mean organisations that aim to reduce structural injustice, abuses of human rights, inequality or unequal distribution of resources in the UK or further afield. Their work may be related to social transformation, empowerment, equality of access, redistribution of resources, or addressing injustice and protecting rights at individual, local, national or international level. We recognise that your work may undoubtedly deliver social benefits however and Ethical Property, as managing agents on behalf of The Foundry Board, would welcome you applying to be a tenant in one of their other London based centres, should we have space that meets your needs. Please visit the Ethical Property website for further details.
We provide advocacy work for those in poverty – can we have a discount?
Unfortunately not. The Foundry is an example of Mission Related Investment and the investors are expecting a modest return on their investments, to demonstrate that it is possible to receive a sustainable income from an ethical source, providing important services for valuable social change organisations. A discount for one organisation would mean that other groups would have to pay more, and that wouldn’t be fair.
The leases are outside the Landlord and Tenant Act – why?
The Landlord and Tenant Act provisions were enacted at a time when office accommodation was in short supply relative to demand and the average length of leases was much longer than it is now. The provisions sought to protect tenants in market conditions which favoured landlords and the burden placed on landlords was relatively low because renewal of leases was less frequent. The current market, where there is an abundance of office space and leases are shorter means that the provisions are less relevant today than they have been in the past. For a landlord such as Ethical Property Company, which has a large number of tenants to whom we offer a relatively high degree of flexibility, the provisions are particularly inappropriate and burdensome. To comply fully with the Landlord and Tenant Act requires a significant bureaucratic burden, which, Ethical Property Company has never fully assumed (to the Company’s detriment rather than tenants) as it was seen as unnecessary by tenants. In order for us to comply fully with the LTA, we would need to recruit someone full-time to perform this work and that extra expense would produce no perceived benefit to anyone. Rather than remove security of tenure from our tenants, in reality, we do not believe this to be the case. We envisage renewing all leases where tenants wish them to be renewed, except in exceptional circumstances. We are in the business of letting property and we are committed to continuing to fill space more effectively than the sector as a whole.
Can you explain how rent for Office Space in The Foundry is calculated?
The overall cost is made up of two parts: rent and a budgeted service charge, which is based on our expectations of what the utilities, internet, cleaning etc will cost from our experiences at our other London centres. Items that can be charged to the service charge are listed in Schedule 1 of our standard lease and include electricity, gas, water, cleaning of communal areas and your office, staff management costs, hire of machinery, use of contractors. Service charges are calculated on the basis of the predicted and actual costs of the services provided, including relevant staff costs. We compare the charges with the actual and forecast costs twice a year and increase the service charge if we forecast a shortfall in income compared with expenditure. If income exceeds expenditure, we will usually carry the surplus forward to set against the next year’s service costs (and reduce the service charge if appropriate) or issue a refund if the tenant is moving out. All of our leases for The Foundry have an annual rent review clause, but capping this review at RPI + 3%, as with the leases for all Ethical Property Company buildings. The reason behind this is twofold: on our behalf, we need the flexibility to adjust rent levels to reflect changing valuations of our buildings or to recover changes to our management or maintenance costs; for our tenants, we introduced the cap of RPI + 3% to provide peace of mind that, should property prices shoot up in that area, their leases are not going to change dramatically. This also provides protection to tenants and enables tenants to plan for future financial years. We believe this reflects our mission to act as an ethical landlord.
I’m a local artist and I heard you have exhibition space – how can I get involved?
Exhibition space with The Foundry is available to be booked by everyone and we would particularly encourage members of the local community to get involved - for more information and to enquire, please click here.
What is the relationship between the Ethical Property Company and The Foundry?
Ethical Property Company is a leading investor in the Social Justice and Human Rights Centre Limited (the company behind The Foundry project), a member of its Board and also hold the contract to manage the building. For more details of the investors involved in the project, please click here. For more information on how to invest, please click here.
Can you tell me more about The Foundry's internet connectivity?
Broadband at The Foundry is communal and is a 100Mb Fibre Leased Line provided by Virgin. Capacity is sufficient for the building for general internet usage but there is no guaranteed bandwidth as it is a communal resource. The line is a Leased Line so comes with a 24x7 Service Level Agreement from the Internet Service Provider. Each tenant is allocated their own VLAN, and the Firewall is an Astaro Security Gateway ASG220. Each data point within tenant spaces connects to a phone handset (which is supplied) with a PC data line plugged into the back.
If hot-desking, can users’ direct dial extension number follow them wherever they sit?
Yes the phones are IP phones and have a log in and out function so people can hotdesk.
Can I migrate my existing phone lines to my desk at The Foundry?
Unfortunately not - due to the complexity of the building, it is not possible to bring your phone numbers with you. We recommend you set up a call-forwarding system and can give you advice in how best to arrange this.
Are the external roof terraces available for late-night conference and meeting bookings?
As part of our mission to be good neighbours, we can unfortunately not hold functions outside of the building (including the upper floor terraces) after 7pm.
Is there a smoking policy at The Foundry?
The Foundry is no-smoking throughout, including outside on the external terraces.