Service charges and alteration consents have emerged as retailers’ key landlord relationship concerns.

Less than five per cent of tenants believe that service charge arrangements have improved within the last year, the Occupier Satisfaction Survey 2010 showed, and more than 75% have challenged their service charge account.

Only three per cent of tenants think that the process for obtaining landlord consent for alterations has improved over the period.

British Retail Consortium head of property Elizabeth Hinde said the findings show that “greater consistency in basic property management is needed”.

She said: “Retailers are willing to work with their landlords to achieve improvements that will bring mutual benefits. There are some simple steps landlords can take to bring immediate and long-lasting benefits. Improving communication and service charge transparency are two prime examples.

The study was conducted by the Property industry Alliance and CoreNet Global. It can be downloaded at