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New simplified arbitration service aims to reduce the cost and stress of rural disputes for both tenants and landlords

ByCharley Williams

Jan 18, 2017

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has developed a low-cost, quick and easy arbitration procedure to help rural landlords and tenants in the North East resolve disputes, such as rent review disagreements, much quicker without incurring expensive bills.

The RICS Simplified Arbitration Service has been developed by the RICS Rural Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Working Party – a group of experienced surveyors and lawyers led by Philip Meade of Davis Meade Property Consultants – and promises to be quick, transparent, even-handed and inexpensive.

“Disputes, particularly over rent can be lengthy and expensive and we wanted to develop a system that makes the process more efficient and cost effective”, said Philip.

Usually, an arbitrator instructed to help with a rural rent dispute will take evidence and inspect the property, and this may be followed by a court hearing with the landlord, tenant and their representatives to decide what the new rent will be. This can frequently mean that the amount of time and money both parties need to spend on the arbitration is unclear and the process can be expensive and very slow.

The RICS Simplified Arbitration Service offers a more informal and efficient process where both parties will know how long it is going to take to get a decision, and how much they will have to pay.

If both parties agree to use the Simplified Arbitration Service, arbitrators will sign up to a fixed timetable and costs regime, with aims to reach a decision within 28 days, at a maximum cost to each party of £2,000.

As long as both parties abide by the Simplified Arbitration Service procedural rules, the arbitrator will only charge for three days work at £1000 per day. If the parties choose to have a hearing/meeting, the arbitrator may charge an additional fee up to £1000. These costs will be shared equally by both parties, regardless of the outcome.

Chair of the RICS North East Rural Land Professional Group, David Coulson of Addison Chartered Surveyors said: “Rural disputes need a different species of arbitration, which often requires a level of informality and conciseness that are not usually seen in commercial and construction arbitrations. RICS’ new Simplified Arbitration Service offers just that, allowing both parties to have their say in a relaxed environment, which is much more beneficial than going down the courts route which can often be long and stressful, not to mention extremely costly.”

Additional details and rules on the new RICS service can be found in the Simplified Arbitration Service Information Guide available to download at www.rics.org/drs Alternatively T: 024 7686 8555 or e: drs@rics.org