On Tuesday 27 March our Associate Director Nigel White took part in a panel discussion at the RICS Service Charges in commercial properties event held immediately following the Landlord and Tenant Essential Update event at the Holiday Inn, Kensington.
Peter Forrester spoke on the forthcoming RICS Professional Statement on Service Charge in Commercial Property quoting Property Solutions’ own SCOR reports when commenting upon the industry’s poor compliance with the existing Code of Practice, now in its Third Edition.
Robert Wood of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP gave a summary of many of the relevant legal cases regarding the topic, most if not all of which lead to the same conclusion as ever – namely that the lease is king, and occupiers and landlords alike have to be mindful of the exact wording they sign up to when finalising their lease terms.
There are times in panel debates when questions from the floor are not forthcoming and pre-prepared questions are put to the speakers – this was not the case on this particular day! Many audience members had questions both from occupiers, managing agents and property owners.
Question topics included funds (both sinking and reserve and how they should be handled), certain costs in shopping centres and whether or not they are recoverable through the service charge and several questions regarding particular cases and how they should be handled.
What was clear from the questions was that there are still issues which trouble all stakeholders within the industry and that assistance is required in certain circumstance.
If you have a question regarding any service-charge related matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.