isurv Commercial property what's new?

Autumn/winter 2020-21

As part of RICS' response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the built environment, each isurv channel has moved to a rolling update cycle to ensure content is as up to date as possible. This page will be updated with new updates to reflect the changing situation as it develops.

RICS has also released guidance in the form of our Beyond COVID-19 guides, available on isurv here:


Health and safety responsibilities

An entirely new section on COVID-19 guidance has been added, with subsections including Health and safety implications for commercial property advisorsBeyond COVID-19: inspections and visits for non-domestic properties and Beyond COVID-19: Reopening of commercial buildings providing commentary on RICS guidance material.


There have been comprehensive updates throughout this section in line with the RICS Code for leasing business premises 1st edition, which came into force on 1 September 2020.

Residential and commercial dispute resolution

This section has seen a lot of new material added due to the effects of COVID-19. See the page on Negotiation for information on the government's Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic, information on the effects of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, and the RICS COVID-19 Commercial Rental Independent Evaluation Service.


Commercial empty property rates

Empty property rates have come under increased scrutiny as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates here include recent case law and government plans for a major overhaul of the business rates system.

Commercial property insurance 

An entirely new page, Business interruption, has been added to the insurance case law. This discusses in detail the effect of the Financial Conduct Authority's test case to establish precedent concerning the coverage of losses suffered by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data and technology

Author Andrew Knight has written a new section for this update, Technology and the global pandemic: Getting back to the future.

Disability discrimination in property

New material in this section includes information on a proposed new Bill and government guidance regarding the provision of toilets.

Easements in freehold property

A number of recent case decisions feature in the update to this section, including on the topics of rights of light and changing the dominant tenement.

Expert evidence and advocacy rules and skills

This section has been amended throughout in line with the RICS practice statement and guidance note Surveyors acting as expert witnesses, 4th edition, amended August 2020, as well as the professional statement Surveyors acting as advocates (2nd edition) and its accompanying guidance note (3rd edition). Also, Requirements of an expert witness contains a new subsection on independence, and there is a discussion of several relevant recent cases in Single joint expert.

Lease renewal

New cases from 2020 have been added to this section

Mixed use development

Commentary on a number of court cases from 2020 has been included in this update. Also, Leasehold enfranchisement (residential) includes a new section on recent Law Commission reports into leasehold ownership.

Rent reviews and disputes

In this update, detailed discussion of two new cases has been added to Review to market rent.

Stamp duty land tax

This section has been updated to reflect the government's declaration of a stamp duty 'holiday' for some residential properties.

Consultation drafts

See iConsult to review the latest RICS standards and guidance drafts.