Meeting: Service charges and property law

Meeting: Service charges and property law

Date: May 20, 2014

The Charities FM Group will be discussing legal issues relating to service charges and property at a breakfast meeting.

The Charities FM Group will be discussing legal issues relating to service charges and property at a forthcoming meeting. The keynote presentation will be a discussion of how to get the best from service charge negotiations, delivered by the author of the updated RICS Code of Practice on Service Charges.Charities FM Group meeting logo

The law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) is kindly hosting a networking breakfast before meeting at their offices in Central London. This will be followed by presentations from three speakers and an open discussion session.

Meeting report:

BWB hosted a generous breakfast which allowed participants to catch up on news and meet BWB staff. We then gathered for formal presentations followed by a lively question-and-answer session.

Programme

The first presentation looked at how to get the best from service charges. The speaker was Peter Forrester, who wrote the updated RICS Code of Practice on Service Charges. The RICS published the Third Edition of the  Code of Practice in February.  Forrester introduced the Code and discussed what information should be included in service charges and how it should be set out. Forrester, who is also Director of Service Charge Consultancy at Savills,  also discussed how charities can seek to improve the terms and how to use the Code of Practice on Service Charges in negotiations.

The next presentation was by Lesley Robinson, Head of the Property Dispute Resolution Department at Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB). She discussed leases, and looked at the key lease terms to improve the terms of occupation. These included break rights, notice periods, and repairs and reinstatement. She also discussed some other relevant factors to raise during negotiations on the heads of terms.

The final presentation was by Nick Ivey, Co-Head of Property at BWB. In a wide-ranging talk, he reviewed a range of topics which may have an impact on charities who own property, or plan to convert, let or sell property. His presentation was followed by a length question-and-answer session during which participants ranged a wide variety of issues relating to property transactions.

Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions and a range of topics were discussed, including alterations, letting and issues relating to tax.