Industry comment, updates and news from the Websters team.

Residential service charge audit questions

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 in Residential, Service charge audits

Over the weekend we read an interesting article in The Times in which asks the question

There is no evidence that the annual service charges on our flat have been audited. What are our rights?

The answer, by expert Mark Loveday, states correctly that there are no legal requirements to have audits. 

Most properly presented annual service charge accounts are signed by a managing agent or an accountant to certify their accuracy.

He makes passing reference to this becoming a legal requirement in future.   Naturally, we think that audited accounts are the best possible security for all parties, landlord, tenant and managing agent.

When this does become law, the need for a common format for presentation of the annual service charge statement for residential properties will necessitate changes for many sites.

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Westfield Shopping Centre reduces service charge 7%

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 in Service Charge

It has been reported in Property Week and Retail Week that Westfield Shopping Centre has dropped its service charges for tenants.

The top weighted rate for 2009 of £12.98/sq ft – compared to the original budget projection of £13.94/sq ft that was given to retailers around Christmas 2008.

Driven by ‘unhappy retailers’ who campaigned for a reduction in overheads, it seems this has been achieved by a mixture of cost cutting and streamlining services.

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