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Ahead of the game on service charge implementation

PROPERTY agent Scotts has placed itself at the forefront of planned new measures which will ensure a gold standard in the management and administration of commercial service charges.

Ahead of the game on service charge implementation

A new code of practice covering commercial service charges has been drafted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS), supported by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and the Law Society.

For the first time, this updated fourth-edition of the code sets out mandatory requirements for RICS professionals and firms in this specific area of commercial property work.

RICS believes that, by introducing this edition as a professional statement with mandatory requirements, the industry will take a significant step forward in trying to stamp out ‘rogue’ landlords and managing agents. 

Such people will use unscrupulous methods to make as much money as possible from service charges.

However, from this month, agents must ensure they adhere to the tougher new practice code, which focuses on transparency of service costs, not profiting from the provision of services and ensuring value for money.
It also highlights the need for the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve disputes.

In making these changes, RICS said it is striving to ensure that those engaged to manage service charges are doing so with ‘professionalism, scrupulousness, diligence, integrity and impartiality’.

Anticipating the onset of this new code of practice, Scotts Property, which has offices in Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Hull, has already implemented all the changes outlined on behalf of all its management clients.

Partner Lawrence Brown explained how the team at Scotts recognised that the implementation of this planned new code was ‘a necessary step to ensure good practice’.

“There should be full support for this new code from everyone within the industry. There is simply no room for those who enter this profession with the aim of simply making as much money as possible, by whatever means necessary,” said Mr Brown.

“In seeing what was planned, we had no hesitation in taking steps straight away to adhere to the points of action in the draft code – whether it was implemented or not. We want to ensure that all is being done to ensure best practice,” he added.

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