Commercial Estate


The Asset Management team is the commercial property arm of the University, providing professional services, management and advice to the University in respect of its commercial, residential and agricultural holdings.  Its aim is to achieve a commercial return whilst supporting the University’s core objectives. 

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the below. Please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk or call 01869 (2) 80808.

Acquisitions and disposals

The Asset Management team is responsible for:

  • The purchase of land and residential, agricultural and commercial buildings
  • Surveys, valuations and appraisals for different uses ie offices, student accommodation or a house that a department or the University may be purchasing
  • The appraisal and valuation of assets on behalf of a department or the University before disposal
  • Advising on the best method of selling property

Recent acquisition examples include the purchase of the Co-Op site on Osney Mead and acquisition of the Park Hospital, which will enable further development of the Old Road Campus in Headington.

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Leasing space from third parties

The decision to lease a property for use by an academic or service department, when space needs cannot be provided from within the University’s estate, is part of the space allocation process.  All leases must be completed in the name of the University and require sanction by the Buildings & Estates Sub Committee, the Capital Steering Group and the Planning Resources Allocation Committee,  and in some cases Congregation.

Once a decision is approved, the Asset Management team is responsible for handling all aspects of leasing space from outside the University, using external property consultants where necessary. It also handles subsequent lease renewals: providing professional advice to ensure new terms reflect current market conditions; negotiating more favourable terms wherever possible, such as rent free periods and landlord contributions for fit out.

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Letting space to third parties

The University lets or rents out property within its estate for a commercial return, until such time as it is required for the functional estate (for teaching, learning, research or administration).  The Asset Management team:

  • provides comprehensive advice to the University on the letting of commercial buildings and residential properties to achieve the best return and uplift
  • handles the collection of rents
  • ensures compliance with all statutory obligations
  • handles day to day management issues relating to residential accommodation, including inspections and repairs and maintenance
  • manages refurbishments and repairs to property within the commercial estate
  • arranges leases and licences for departments wishing to share space with an external third party; third party lettings are discouraged due to the demand for space within the University and  usually apply only when there is a close relationship eg a University spin-off company or an organisation with shared research objectives

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Planning and development

Estates Services has a robust planning procedures in place for all major developments, including public consultation procedures, under the direct responsibility of the Director of Asset & Space Management.

The Asset Management team deals with all planning permissions for the development of parcels of land or for changes of use.

For further information please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Business rates

All the accommodation occupied by the University is subject to rates being paid to the relevant authorities. Because the amounts vary depending on the accommodation and its use, it is important that departments inform Estates Services of any changes in occupation, in order to establish if additional costs or savings apply.  

As a charity, the University is subject to very specific regulation in respect of business rates.  Estates Services has appointed an external specialist rating adviser to act for the University in negotiations with the authorities and to identify opportunities for savings.  Departments in receipt of a query from the Valuation Office Agency should contact the Asset Management team before making a request.

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Hospital Trusts

The team undertakes a range of work on the various Oxford hospital sites in support of the Medical Sciences Division. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) is a world renowned centre of clinical excellence and one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK.   It comprises four hospitals: the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Churchill Hospital and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, all located in Oxford, and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Working with the Capital Projects team, Asset Management identifies sites and space on Trust sites for University use and negotiates terms. Work also includes obtaining consents to alter Trust buildings occupied by the University, negotiating rents and service charges and undertaking general management tasks relating to the University’s use of space on these sites. 

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Professorial accommodation

The University provides residential accommodation for professorial appointments, when it has not been possible for new appointees to find accommodation before taking up their post. The accommodation is let commercially when not used for professorial requirements.

For further information or enquiries relating to any of the above please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

General Advice

As well as providing general advice and guidance on all aspects of land and property management, the team also handles and advises on:

  • telecoms agreements
  • compensation provision for land take
  • setting up farm business tenancies
  • wayleave and easement agreements
  • fishing rights
  • property and asset valuations, including those requested by the Insurance team (Finance Division)
  • establishing facilities agreements (for departments wishing to share owned specialist equipment with a third party, but not to create a tenancy)

Please contact us at assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk if there is anything you are unable to find.