Towards the end of 2010 the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors issued a revised code of practice for consultation. The consultation ended on 21 January and the result is due to be published on 1 May. The new code will update the original and supersede the 2006 version. It follows a different format but retains the original's goals and is the due to come into effect in October 2011.
The code sets out "best practice" in respect of service charges with the stated objectives of "removing service charges as an area of conflict, encouraging transparency and communications between owners, occupiers and managing agents and delivering a clear and forecastable budget to occupiers".
Whilst it is unlikely that the goal of removing service charges as an area of conflict will be achieved -many leases do not require the landlord to adhere to the code - this will nevertheless continue to be a significant influence in negotiations between landlords and tenants.
Surveyors acting for landlords are likely to be governed by it where the relevant lease does not require them to ignore its provisions.