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Hot Topic Highlight - 4 More for Summer 2019!

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What is today's blog about?

This week, we take a look at 4 more hot topics for Summer 2019. Essential reading for AssocRICS and RICS APC candidates.

You can also listen to our CPD podcast on Anchor for more free AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.

1. New RICS Conflicts of Interest Supporting Material

RICS have carried out a review into the effectiveness of the Professional Statement, Conflicts of Interest (1st Edition).

This focusses on how Members and Firms are implementing the mandatory guidance, which came into effect on 1 January 2018.

The RICS found that:

  • ‘RICS professionals and regulated firms value the professional statement primarily because it adds to the confidence and trust that clients have in their firms

  • 93% of responders believe the management of conflicts of interest is either 'critically important' or 'very important' to their work

  • 87% of firms believe staff are quite familiar with the professional statement

  • The process for identifying, managing and informing clients about conflicts of interest varies significantly across firms. Some firms have a less formal approach in place, which may result in inadequate record keeping or management of conflicts of interest

  • Firms stressed the need for maximum clarity and for RICS to provide more supporting guidance, as identifying and managing conflicts of interest comprehensively can be complex and challenging for professional services firms’.

The RICS have published supporting materials, which do not constitute formal guidance, to address the above concerns.

You can download the review and supporting information on the RICS website.

2. New Septic Tank General Binding Rules

From 1 January 2020, new General Binding Rules published by the Environment Agency come into force.

You will want to know about the changes if you are a residential surveyor, valuer or property owner.

The new rules mean that if a property discharges waste water into a watercourse, the system must be replaced or upgraded by the earlier of when the property is sold or 1 January 2020.

Key ways to comply with the new rules will be to install a micro sewage treatment plant, connect into mains sewage if possible or to introduce a drainage field or soakaway.

Failure to comply could delay a potential sale, so the issue should be identified as early on as possible.

3. New RICS Guidance Note, Valuation of Rural Property (3rd Edition, July 2019)

RICS have published their latest Guidance Note for rural Registered Valuers, which supplements existing Global and UK Red Book guidance.

The purpose of the new guidance is to highlight matters of concern when valuing rural property, as well as taking account of the fact that there is often a very diverse client base for rural property valuations, e.g. estates, farmers, landowners, lenders, developers and investors.

The guidance note identifies five main rural use categories, as well as one evolving category.

These are:

  • Primary agricultural production

  • Leisure/amenity

  • Commercial

  • Residential

  • Renewable energy

  • Ecosystem services (evolving)

The guidance goes onto discuss inspection considerations, material considerations, enquiries, assumptions and special assumptions.

We recommend reviewing the guidance if you are involved in any rural valuation work to ensure you are providing the highest standard of reasoned advice to your clients, as well as ensuring your due diligence is sufficiently comprehensive.

You can read the full Guidance Note on the RICS website.

4. New Bahrain Valuation Standard (BVS)

If you are a valuer in Bahrain, then you will want to know about and ensure compliance with the Bahrain Valuation Standard (BVS).

This has been published by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and incorporates the latest International Valuation Standards (IVS 2017), RICS Red Book and specific Bahrain laws.

The RERA is governed by Law No. 27 of 2017, which came into effect on 1 March 2018 and relates to regulation of the real estate sector in Bahrain.

Specifically, all brokers, sales agents and developers have had to hold a RERA licence since 31 August 2018. Penalties are imposed for non-compliance, including licence suspension or cancellation, a violation registered against Commercial Registration and/or closure of the firm.

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Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal or financial advice.