A review of the RICS Professional Statement on Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)
A review of the RICS Professional Statement on Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A review of the RICS Professional Statement on Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)
  • What is the status of the Statement?
  • Why do lawyers need to be aware of the Statement?
  • Mandatory requirements
  • The core principles
  • Best practice recommendations
  • Appendices
  • A summary of the main differences between the Service Charge Statement and the Service Charge Code

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Professional Statement on Service Charges in Commercial Property, 1st edition (the Service Charge Statement) (1st edition RICS professional statement) is effective for all service charge periods commencing from 1 April 2019. Although it is a first edition professional statement, it supersedes the previous versions of the RICS Code of Practice on Service Charges in Commercial Property (the Service Charge Code), most recent of which was the third edition which was in use since 2014.

The main aims of the Statement are to:

  1. ensure the activities of landlords and their agents are better regulated by improving general standards and promoting best practice, uniformity, fairness and transparency in the management and administration of services charges in commercial property

  2. ensure budgets and year-end certificates are issued in a timely fashion

  3. reduce the causes of disputes and provide guidance on the resolution of any disputes that arise, and

  4. provide guidance to solicitors, their clients (whether owners or occupiers) and managers of service charges in the negotiation, drafting, interpretation, understanding and operation of leases, in accordance with best practice and effective management of services (although it cannot override the terms of a lease)

What is the status of the Statement?

Commercial service charges are not subject to statutory control. However, the Statement contains mandatory requirements for RICS members and firms regulated by RICS, as

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