Industry comment, updates and news from the Websters team.

Support Websters Lockdown Marathon Relay!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 in News

Websters Lockdown Marathon Relay starts 26 April 2020 at 9.30am……10 Marathons, 2 Teams (262 miles)

Thousands of fundraising events across the UK have been cancelled due to Covid-19 with a devastating impact on charity income that means many charities are facing closure. There are estimates that the UK charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic. The 2019 Virgin London Marathon raised £66.4 million for so many deserving charities, making it the world’s biggest one day annual charity event. However this year, due to the pandemic, it has been postponed until October 2020 and the organisers are promoting the 2.6 Challenge to help save UK charities.

What are Websters doing?

We are supporting the “2.6 Challenge” in our own way with a Websters Lockdown Marathon Relay starting at 9.30am on Sunday 26 April, when the London Marathon was planned to start. We are challenging “Team Birmingham” and “Team London” to complete the combined distance of 262 miles (10 marathons) in 1 hour relay legs. No rivalry obviously, but which team would you like to see win?????

Each relay leg will start from the team member’s home and last 1 hour before (virtually) tagging the next team member. The overall distance covered by each team will be logged and each team finishes when the challenge distance of 131 miles per team is reached.

*The Smallprint: The challenge stays within the #stayathome guidelines with 1 exercise per person per day and will not run through the night with the relay stopping at 8.30pm in the evening and continuing the next day. Social distancing will be practised by all team members.

Who are we supporting?

12 our our team will be spurred on by our five great causes.

Find out more on our Virgin Money Giving page >


We would be so grateful for any sponsorship or any amount that you are able to donate to these wonderful causes which are so desperate for support in these troubling times.

With any sponsorship pledge, please feel free to show your allegiance to Team Birmingham or Team London!!

Thank you for any support that you are able to give Websters to help to save our UK Charities.

Stay Safe

The Websters Team

Websters send our heartfelt gratitude for the bravery, strength and courage of everyone at the NHS and all frontline and key workers helping to keep us safe. We salute you all.

RICS Professional Statement: service charges in commercial property

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 in Commercial, News, Service Charge

Andrew Graham-Smith of Womble Bond Dickson writes about the new RICS Statement, which will come into effect from 1st April 2019.

In September, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (“RICS”) published its latest Professional Statement, entitled “Service Charges in Commercial Property” (the “Statement”). The Statement re-states updates and replaces the existing Service Charge Code (the “Code”), and has the regulatory effect of formalising the Code within the RICS best practice framework. The Statement is effective from 1 April 2019 and will apply to all Service Charges across the UK.

The Statement sets out best practice in the management and administration of service charges in commercial property and provides mandatory obligations that RICS members and regulated firms engaged in this area must comply with or potentially face disciplinary proceedings.

The Statement is not capable of overriding the terms of a lease, however, service charge provisions must be read in conjunction with the Statement to help identify the best interpretation of the lease provisions, and ensure compliance with the Statement as far as possible.

The Statement has increased the regulatory weight of the Service Charge Code, and as such the mandatory requirements and core principles should be carefully considered by professional practitioners who advise on the terms of new commercial leases, or who are involved with service charge provisions in leases.

To read more on the Aims & Objectives, Mandatory requirements, Core Principals & Guidance Click here.

BPF calls for CVA review

Monday, June 18th, 2018 in Commercial, News

In an article published by Shopping Centre the following has been reported;

Following the House of Fraser CVA (company voluntary arrangement) and the collapse of Poundworld and Fabb Sofas into administration, the British Property Federation has called on government to conduct an urgent review.

The property industry body believes the CVA process is now being mis-used, and it highlights a number of faults in the current system including:

  • Lack of transparency
  • Unfair discrimination between different creditors
  • The lack of regulation to ensure CVAs are used appropriately and to drive good practice

To read more click here.

The Service Charge Code – is change on its way?

Thursday, January 11th, 2018 in Commercial, Landlord, Managing Agent, News, Service Charge

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.



Autumn 2017 Budget: key construction announcements

Monday, November 27th, 2017 in Landlord, News, Residential

On the 22nd November 2017 the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament.

The 2017 budget addressed the requirement of increased funding in the construction industry. It was announced that £15.3 billion of new funding would go towards supporting the building of houses over the next five years. This is with the aim to achieve a target of 300,000 new homes a year. In addition to this £34 million has been set aside to support the teaching of construction skills.

Thomas Reuters Practical Law have highlighted the implications that the new budget has on the construction industry – Read the full article here.

Major changes ahead for private sector landlords and their agents

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 in Landlord, News, Residential

Adele Nicol of Anderson Strathern LLP reports that new legislation, concerning Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, creates a new form of residential tenancy known as the Private Residential Tenancy (“PRT”). Once the Act is in force it will not be possible to create new Assured or Short Assured Tenancies; existing leases will be phased out, for example a tenant inheriting an Assured or a Short Tenancy will acquire a PRT instead. The ability of a landlord to bring a PRT to an end is more limited than for a Short Assured Tenancy.

The new legislation also contains related provisions including on rent review, and on rent control (in “pressure zones”)

The changes in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 have not yet been brought into force. The Scottish Government has indicated that this will happen in December 2017.

Read more here.

Are litigation costs a service charge?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 in Commercial, Landlord, Managing Agent, News, Residential, Service charge audits

Eversheds has reported that, whilst there is no hard rule that use of general words in a service charge clause prevents recovery of related legal costs, in order to be certain, an obligation to pay solicitors’ costs under the service charge provision should be clearly spelt out. If those solicitors’ costs are to include litigation costs then that should equally be made clear.
Remember that, even where the lease makes provision for recovery of costs as part of the service charge, this can be overridden by the provisions of s20C of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
This was clarified in the recent case Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) LTD v Avon Estates (London) LTD.

Read the full article here

Are you a seller/landlord? Why replies to property enquiries must be accurate and up to-date

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 in Commercial, Landlord, Managing Agent, News, Residential, Service Charge

In an article by Mills and Reeve, a tenant of part of a building had some concerns regarding the service charge. Due to these concerns, payment of the service charge was withheld by the tenant. There was correspondence between the tenant and the landlord’s managing agent’s solicitor regarding this matter and a service charge dispute had arisen on at least five occasions. In readiness for a sale of the property, draft replies to commercial property standard enquiries were prepared and the replies said that there were no disputes outstanding, likely or in the past and that there were no service charge arrears. The buyer’s solicitors asked for further information in relation to the service charge accounts and collection period. This information was not provided. Consequently, the court decided that the buyer was entitled to terminate the sale contract, have the deposit returned and to receive damages for deceit.

Read the full article here

Repairs: Landlords at risk in mixed-use buildings

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 in Commercial, Landlord, Managing Agent, News, Residential

Samantha Bell of Gordons has reported that, in the recent case of Queensbridge Investments Ltd v Lodge, a landlord owned a property which had been let to residential and commercial tenants. The tenants claimed that the disrepair to the property was causing safety issues. Due to the landlord’s failure to carry out repairs, the residential tenants applied to the First-Tier Tribunal for a management order under Section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. In other words, the tenants wanted the Court to take management of the building out of the landlord’s hands.

Read the full article here

Long awaited decision on Ft-T Rule 13 costs released

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 in Commercial, Landlord, Managing Agent, News, Service Charge

Hardwicke’s report that the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has now published its long awaited decision concerning the proper interpretation of the power to award costs for unreasonable conduct of proceedings. The decision, determining 3 conjoined appeals in which in every case the appellant had had an order for costs made against it, will be of interest to all who appear in the Tribunal on residential property cases…

Read the full article here

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