In an article published by RICS it is expressed that rising costs will put pressure on the facilities management sector over the next five years.
The BCIS five-year (3rd quarter 2019 to 3rd quarter 2024) forecasts for the facilities management sector are:
- maintenance costs to rise by 19%
- cleaning costs to rise by 26% and
- energy costs to rise by 6% (based on annual averages 2018 to 2023) *.
Find out more here.
The issue of how remedial works and interim measures will be funded is an emotive and challenging one, with many competing interests at play. Brady Solicitors’ Adam Fotiou reviews the options for freeholders and managing agents seeking to fund these essential works.
Owners and developers who had installed cladding in good faith are refusing to pay for remedial works and many are looking to the leaseholders to fund these works under their service charge, should the leases to the flat permit them to do so.
However, leaseholders are inevitably (and understandably) aggrieved; they purchased their flats in the comfort of knowing the building regulations designed to protect their safety and the certification by local authorities of a building’s compliance with those regulations were both fit for purpose. The individual costs of the remedial works through the service charge will likely be life-changing for many.
Click here to read the full article published by News on The Block.
In December 2018, the Government issued Advice Note 14 (AN14) for anyone responsible for, or advising on, the fire safety of external wall cladding systems on residential buildings over 18m in height that do not incorporate Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), such as that found in Grenfell. The emphasis was on combustible systems such as wood and High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) installations. Although only an Advice Note this document is causing issues in the sale and re-mortgage of leasehold flats in affected buildings as some valuers are returning a £0 value on flats, thereby holding up sales.
ARMA (the Association of Residential Managing Agents) has been very active on the matter, taking the issue up with the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser, MP’s and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). It is a member of the cross industry working group on valuations set up by RICS to address the matter.
Click here to see ARMA’s response to the confusion as detailed in an article published by News on The Block.
The RICS Professional statement – Service charges in commercial property – came into effect on 1 April 2019 with the aim of improving standards, fairness and transparency in the management of service charges and reducing the causes of disputes.
Joanna Crofts of RICS (registered institure of chartered surveyors) explains the benefits of the new rules for both tenants and landlords, what the global property consultancy has seen to-date, and outlines the changes that have become mandatory.
Read more here.
From 1 April 2019, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will introduce their new Service Charge professional statement affecting landlords and tenants of commercial property.
The changes will apply to RICS members and regulated firms throughout the UK. The new service charge requirements are more prescriptive than the current regime and set out mandatory requirements for landlords. And while much of the guidance remains the same as the previous Code of Practice, there are a number of updates that will affect those in the industry.
It will also have the regulatory effect of formalising the Code within the RICS best practice framework.
The new changes are particularly noteworthy for those involved as disputes between landlords and tenants often relate to the level of service charges levied. Therefore both parties — landlords and tenants — will need to be aware of the requirements of the updated service charge regime.
Find out more from this article published by Capital Law.
With the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force on the 25th May 2018 many Residents Associations and Management Companies are asking what this means for them.
In a recent Q&A from News on the Block, Vincent Billings of Bolt Burdon provides his advice on what is required to comply with GDPR in a property business.
The driving aim of the GDPR is to protect individual’s data. Any business cannot deal with personal data simply because it wants to. Every element of data processing must be justified according to the GDPR.
The starting point for dealing with the GDPR in relation to any property business is to establish what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with including if any direct marketing takes place.
To read more click here.
In a recent post from News on the Block Clare Brady of Brady Solicitors highlights 5 factors to be considered before combining service charge and ground rents. She writes;
When acting for an RMC or Right to Manage Company, managing agents will often be told by the freeholder to allow them to deal with the service charge arrears. The benefits of such an approach are clear from the ground rent owner’s perspective, but is it in the best interests of the management company, the leaseholders and the block?
With ground rent recovery increasingly in the spotlight, both managing agents and freeholders must take care to ensure recovery procedures are legal, in line with the terms of the lease and – importantly – in the best interests of the RMC and leaseholders.
Click here to read the full article.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) announced in October 2017 that a fourth edition of the Service Charge Code for Commercial Property was under deliberation.
Ahead of it’s proposed launch on 01 April 2018 Monika Holyst of Freeths Solicitors has provided some insight into the draft fourth edition of the Code.
Read the full article here.
One of the main issues faced by landlords making a repair or replace decision concerns the recovery of such costs through the service charge.
In a recent article Zara Saunders of Shoosmiths comments that Service charge recovery can be a matter fraught with difficulty, even in the sphere of commercial property where no statutory limitation applies. Property owners may only recover costs to the extent permitted by a lease and issues frequently arise regarding whether an item of expenditure is one of repair or improvement and to what extent recovery might be permissible. Tenants will generally expect to pay the cost of repairs but not improvements.
Read the full article here.
Zoe Stollard of Clarke Willmott provides insight into the Construction Industry Scheme and the changes which have been implemented in 2017.
The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is designed to decrease perceived undeclared payments in the construction sector. It requires contractors to register for the scheme and to withhold tax before payments are made to sub-contractors under contracts relating to construction operations. The amount of tax withheld depends on the registration status of the sub-contractor:
- if they are unregistered, 30% must be withheld;
- if they are registered, 20% must be withheld; and
- if they meet certain criteria and register for gross payments, 0% must be withheld.
The contractor must then pass to the HMRC the amounts withheld.
Prior to April 2017, contractors could verify whether sub-contractors were registered and whether they could be paid gross online or by phone. From the 6th of April 2017 sub-contractors must be registered online.
Read the full article here.