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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Mohd Nazali Mohd Noor, Michael Pitt, George Hunter and Matthew Tucker

The RICS code of practice “Service Charges in Commercial Property” was introduced in 2007 with the intention to promote best practice guidelines in the provision and…

Abstract

Purpose

The RICS code of practice “Service Charges in Commercial Property” was introduced in 2007 with the intention to promote best practice guidelines in the provision and management of commercial service charges. The paper seeks to review the compliance of the code after two years from its inception.

Design/methodology/approach

The research employs comprehensive literature reviews and documental analysis through a number of publications retrieved from electronic databases, reports, journals, books, and other relevant secondary information. A critical review of the materials gathered is carried out in understanding the key recommendations as set within the RICS code against the current practice.

Findings

Huge gaps are identified between the RICS against existing practice involving several key headings such as transparency, value for money, communication, and responsiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Since the code was only introduced in 2006, limited sources of data available prevents comprehensive results, underlining further discussions on the effectiveness of the code in resolving the critical commercial service charges aspects within the real estate industry.

Practical implications

While the paper intends to raise awareness among the commercial properties stakeholders, recommendations that are made in the paper can be utilised to minimise the gap that exists between the guidelines and the actual implementation by harnessing concerted efforts among the stakeholders in commercial property industry.

Originality/value

This paper provides an in‐depth snapshot of the RICS code of practice to commercial service charges and the progress that has been made towards the application of the guidelines since it was introduced in 2006.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

D.H. Revill

In this paper are set out the arguments and counter‐arguments of the advocates on both sides of the controversy over charging. Each library has to decide where the balance…

Abstract

In this paper are set out the arguments and counter‐arguments of the advocates on both sides of the controversy over charging. Each library has to decide where the balance of advantage lies. In the first part are arranged the relevant arguments covering General arguments; Internal efficiency; Cost savings; Additional costs; Costs: fixed and variable; Effects on the user. The second part illustrates various charging practices.

Details

Program, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Andrew Holt, Timothy Eccles and Peter Bond

The paper examines how accounting practice changes, which forces generate change, and the role of a best practice benchmark within this. It examines this process of change…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper examines how accounting practice changes, which forces generate change, and the role of a best practice benchmark within this. It examines this process of change within service charge accounting in commercial property. The purpose of this paper is to establish that “best” practice is of a low standard and poorly implemented, and then explain this.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are hand‐collected from the original accounting source documents that are routinely provided to commercial leaseholders as part of the service charge management and accountability process. Evidence is generated by directly examining actual service charge budgets and periodic certificates of expenditure incurred to reduce bias, create complete data and ensure authenticity. The findings are then fleshed out and reinterpreted by utilising models created using Laughlin's middle‐range thinking methodology.

Findings

“Best” practice is neither onerous nor “best” when compared with normal accounting practices in other occupations. Whilst the 2006 Code of Practice has improved service charge management, the majority of certificates do not conform to best practice. This suggests that “best” practice is rather less a statement of current good practice and rather more an idealised view of the industry enacted due to wider issues, such as tenant resentment attracting government interest, ideas diffusing into the sector from elsewhere or a profession seeking to improve its occupational control.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of service charge budgets and certificates used in this work represents approximately 6.2 per cent of the total estimated multi‐let office space in England and Wales and covers the period 1998‐2009, with the majority of the buildings being tenanted by organisations within the financial services sector. Content analysis is utilised in order to interpret the data and to test actual practice with that required in the Code of Practice. In certain instances such analysis requires some subjective judgement and interpretation by the researchers.

Originality/value

Data are original and the paper offers a unique benchmarking test. The area of service charge management is unpublished and offers an interesting contrast to the better studied regions of the profession. By shedding light into this backwater, it provides the opportunity for academics and professionals to engage in a discourse that will improve practice, perhaps opening up the discipline to new and better practices. It also illuminates the previously technical literature on the concept of best practice with an original conceptual framework in which to review the construct.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Few issues in recent times have so provoked debate and dissention within the library field as has the concept of fees for user services. The issue has aroused the passions…

Abstract

Few issues in recent times have so provoked debate and dissention within the library field as has the concept of fees for user services. The issue has aroused the passions of our profession precisely because its roots and implications extend far beyond the confines of just one service discipline. Its reflection is mirrored in national debates about the proper spheres of the public and private sectors—in matters of information generation and distribution, certainly, but in a host of other social ramifications as well, amounting virtually to a debate about the most basic values which we have long assumed to constitute the very framework of our democratic and humanistic society.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1992

Deborah Cartmill

Discusses the issue of charging for public library services.Implementing a charge for services is viewed against a background ofincreasing demand for services and falling…

Abstract

Discusses the issue of charging for public library services. Implementing a charge for services is viewed against a background of increasing demand for services and falling budgets. Puts forward arguments both for and against charging for services, and discusses the effect which new technology is having on services, and the debate about charging. Also discusses alternative methods for the library service to raise additional income. Concludes that charging for services is not the only option open to the library to raise money.

Details

Library Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Dulani Halvitigala

Despite the growing diversity of lease structures in different global economies, the existing literature related to property service charge mechanisms has been largely…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growing diversity of lease structures in different global economies, the existing literature related to property service charge mechanisms has been largely confined to the UK property market. This study aims to examine tenants’ perceptions, experiences and satisfaction with being responsible for service charges in New Zealand, where major office submarkets are dominated by alternative forms of leases with different service charge responsibilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a structured survey of 107 major tenants of New Zealand’s listed property trust-owned properties located in Auckland (where net leases dominate) and Wellington (where gross leases dominate) complemented by ten in-depth interviews with senior property managers of tenant organisations. The collected data were analysed using various statistical tests and thematic analysis.

Findings

The results identify that tenants who are directly responsible for service charges are significantly more dissatisfied with their operating expenses (OPEX) responsibilities than tenants who do not have direct service charge responsibilities. They are dissatisfied with the interpreting, budgeting, calculating, accounting, allocating and auditing processes in the service charge management process. Tenants who are directly responsible for service charges are significantly more dissatisfied with the operation and maintenance procedures of their buildings and have weaker relationship strengths with landlords. Tenant perceptions of being responsible for service charges vary with their power relationship with the landlord, lease expectations and priorities, financial constraints, willingness to take part in the management of the premises and trust in the landlord.

Originality/value

This research highlights the importance of understanding the complexity of service charge mechanisms in countries where there are no regulations or codes of practice governing them and their impact on tenant leasing behaviours, experiences and satisfaction. Here, the importance of developing more widely applicable codes of practice representing countries with different lease environments is highlighted. The findings also emphasise the importance of understanding the dynamics of key market agents that actively create lease environments and how they interact and behave within these contexts.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

N. Bernard Buzzy Basch and Judy McQueen

Most libraries use a combination of three methods for acquiring serials: purchase through subscription agencies and other vendors, purchase direct from publishers, and the…

Abstract

Most libraries use a combination of three methods for acquiring serials: purchase through subscription agencies and other vendors, purchase direct from publishers, and the exchange of materials with other institutions. Subscription agencies and vendors dominate serial acquisitions, handling between half and two‐thirds of the annual serial expenditures of U.S. libraries. Subscription agents can avail themselves of economies of scale, discounts from publishers, and sophisticated automated systems, to provide basic subscription services — order placement and renewal, publisher prepayment, and support for the claiming of missing issues. Beyond these basics, agents offer a variety of ad‐ditional services ranging from printed catalogs and customized invoices to online files of serial pricing data, and electronic messaging systems. Although some agencies offer discounts on certain types of publications and services, they usually levy service or handling fees to cover the cost of service provision.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Kevin Doughty

Most local authorities now offer a telecare service to people who are eligible for community services under Fair Access to Care Services (FACS). Others also offer telecare…

Abstract

Most local authorities now offer a telecare service to people who are eligible for community services under Fair Access to Care Services (FACS). Others also offer telecare in a prevention mode to people with lower levels of risk alongside traditional social (or community) alarm systems. A survey of local authorities, mainly members of the Centre for Usable Home Technologies (CUHTec), was performed to gauge the service provision options available and the charging strategies that have been adopted. Results from 39 authorities across the UK indicate significant differences between English shire counties and the unitary authorities elsewhere in the country in terms of eligibility and provision. The majority of authorities have yet to confirm a charging policy, using the principle of ‘pilot project’ to delay a decision until their Preventative Technology Grant (PTG) or telecare grants have run out. Some authorities with more mature services have chosen to make telecare free to particular groups on the grounds that they will reduce costs elsewhere in the health and/or social care economy. Most are introducing charges in the range of £5 to £10 per week indicating a generous subsidy from the council.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 27 October 2020

Timothy Stephen Eccles

The paper provides a snapshot analysis on the state of service charge management at the point in which its regulatory framework by RICS changed from a voluntary code of…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper provides a snapshot analysis on the state of service charge management at the point in which its regulatory framework by RICS changed from a voluntary code of practice to a mandatory professional statement.

Design/methodology/approach

The data consist of a unique eight-year longitudinal study of service charge statements and practice (2010–2017). Because of the confidential nature of such business-sensitive information, this is a priceless study of real-world practice over such a long period and is able to illustrate both annual compliance and the year-on-year changes. Given this, it is recognised that data are skewed in favour of compliance because they are derived from an actively managed portfolio.

Findings

The results continue to illustrate long-running problems of non-compliance with “required” metrics. Given the inherent bias in the data, this is especially difficult to excuse. The paper also analyses the results in the light of the new RICS professional statement, which requires mandatory compliance. Whilst some of the metrics are advisory, there remain questions over how RICS might realistically enforce so many practitioners to change their existing performance and how willing the institution might be to actually prosecute failure. It also revisits the issue of institutionalised benchmarking of standards. Intriguingly, there are islands of almost perfect compliance, which offers an interesting contrast and raises further research questions on why some practitioners provide such exemplary work.

Research limitations/implications

The data are derived from the clients of a UK property management consultancy. This does preclude any randomness to the sampling. However, the richness of the data and the methodology adopted provide valid data.

Originality/value

This work offers both unique data and an eight-year longitudinal analysis, but also a timely comparison with the requirements within a new RICS professional statement. This shift in regulatory regime reinforces the value of the work.

Details

Property Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1997

JIM GRISENTHWAITE

This article outlines the process leading to the introduction of a charging system for records management services in a local authority context. It examines the…

Abstract

This article outlines the process leading to the introduction of a charging system for records management services in a local authority context. It examines the circumstances which caused the Cumbria Archive Services to consider charging in 1993/94, the research that was undertaken to support the introduction of charging and the difficulties that were encountered in the run‐up to implementation in 1996.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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