New service charge regime – benefit or burden?
New mandatory service charge provisions have been introduced by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors for its members, with the intention of protecting occupiers and businesses from hidden costs.
The changes were implemented from the 1st April 2019 and include nine new requirements.
Stephen Nash, Head of Commercial Management Services at Fenn Wright is in favour of the new provisions commenting “This will help to provide additional financial transparency for both landlords and tenants. Landlords and Property Managers must now provide tenants with a service charge matrix showing the basis for recovery of all maintenance costs. This will help protect tenants from paying any hidden charges but also ensure that they are fully aware of the costs associated with occupation at an early stage, which I believe will assist service charge recovery.
Inevitably tenants will choose properties with well-run service charges over and above those which are non-compliant. It is also the case that service charges on commercial buildings will also be easy to compare and tenants can be confident that landlords who have signed up to meet the RICS requirements will operate their service charge provisions in a compliant manner.”
Full details of the nine requirements can be provided on request.