Promoting and enhancing best practice and technical expertise

Service Charge Heads Up: Where Is Best Practice?

CPT has been running training events on service charges since 1994. In those days, best practice was defined by a non-compulsory service charge code, agreed upon and promoted in unison by a number of property bodies. In 2019 it emerged as an RICS Professional Statement, which was mandatory and since it was accepted across the service charge industry, anyone – whether a RICS member or not – was going to be judged by whether they followed it. It had teeth in as much as anyone who was non-compliant had the threat of sanctions and public humiliation. Is it any wonder why it’s one of the top free downloads from the RICS website?

Module Duration: 2 hours 54 minutes

Date Recorded: 15/05/2024

Areas covered

The Typical Causes of Service Charge Disputes

  • Unrealistic tenants 
  • Inflexible/Uncommunicative landlords
  • Delay in property management processes
  • Errors in accounting
  • Lease drafting
  • Basically - not following the RICS professional statement

How the RICS Professional Statement Should help to Prevent or Resolve Most Disputes

  • What is best practice?
  • Mandatory requirements
  • Core principles underpinning the mandatory requirements
  • Practical guidance to achieving best practice and avoiding disputes
  • Common pitfalls and poor practice to be avoided

Practical Dispute Resolution Options

  • Resolution options
  • With the lease silent on resolving disputes, are the Courts the right place to resolve disputes?

Account Reporting Standards Imposed

Short Takeaway Points from Recent Case Law

  • What are the courts doing with Service Charges? 
  • The demand and expectation by the Courts to use ADR
  • Using the Courts or an independent expert for rulings
  • Making effective use of Calderbanks to minimise or avoid costs

Legal Round Up


  • Mark Shelton, Commercial Property Management Law Trainer, CPM Law Training Limited and Author of 'A Practical Guide to the Law of Dilapidations' and 'A Practical Guide to Applications for Landlords' Consent and Variation of Leases'
  • Peter Forrester FRICS, Chartered Surveyor; Chair of RICS Service Charge Professional Group
  • Jonathan Lovejoy BSc (Hons) MRICS, Head of Commercial Surveying, British Land PLC