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  • Leasehold Property

    Law Commission on leasehold reform

    any thoughts on the proposals on leaseholders?

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    It's been open on a tab all day, not had a chance to have a read. Do we have a summary yet?

    Whatever it is has to be better!

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    _________________________________________________________________________


    My posts are not financial advice, just a rambling guy passing time on a coffee break.
    The team at Bespoke Finance offers advice, including Limited Company Buy-to-Let , HMO Conversion and Cheap Life Insurance.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    The Law Commission has unveiled its long-awaited consultation on leasehold reform, admitting that achieving consensus between landlords and leaseholders will be impossible.

    The Government last year asked the Law Commission to review the enfranchisement process for houses and flats to make it simpler, easier, quicker and more cost-effective.

    Its consultation proposes removing the requirement that leaseholders wait two years before looking to purchase their lease and extends the criteria, allowing those on housing estates to purchase theirs either collectively or individually.

    The Law Commission has proposed more rights for leaseholders, such as standardised form for claims and new rules that a notice will have been deemed to have been served on a landlord if posted to a previously specified address.

    This means leaseholders will not have to take time-consuming and costly steps to locate their landlord where they have not been provided with up-to-date contact details and will not be faced with assertions that landlords have not been properly served.

    The document also outlines ways to reduce the costs of leasehold extensions and freehold purchases, including introducing a fixed costs regime for non-litigation fees, and providing a simplified formula for valuations of the premium charged on the transaction, with an online calculator to support valuations.

    The Law Commission warns that any formula couldn’t be one size fits all as the professional costs may outweigh the premium, suggesting there could be a different regime for lower value claims.

    In a nod to rights of freeholders, the Law Commission says it will develop a human rights analysis of the valuation options, warning changes could impinge on the right to peaceful enjoyment of property.

    The document said: “The interests of landlords and leaseholders are diametrically opposed, and establishing consensus between the two interest groups in relation to valuation but also in relation to many of the other issues we are considering will be impossible.”

    Full/source article 

    Mark Chick, ALEP Director, and Partner and Bishop & Sewell commented: 

    "The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) has reviewed the Law Commission’s consultation paper ‘Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease’ published on 20th September.

    “Leasehold enfranchisement has been in the spotlight now for many months, and with the furore surrounding this issue it is crucial that leaseholders are well informed and educated. ALEP welcomes the opportunity for sector-wide reform and clarification as set out in the Law Commission’s paper.

    “Specifically, the proposal to remove limitations on the right to enfranchise, including the requirement that leaseholders must have owned their property for two years before making a claim. This will help to reduce the delay and costs for leaseholders.

    “ALEP was established to uphold and promote high standards and best practice for those working in the leasehold enfranchisement sector. All members are fully vetted before joining to ensure they have the requisite expertise, and membership acts as a badge of assurance to clients that ALEP firms serve.

    “Representatives of ALEP member firms were heavily involved in this consultation process with the Law Commission, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with the Government to provide technical expertise and advice regarding the complexities of leasehold enfranchisement for future consultations.

    “Enfranchisement law is complicated, with differing legislation and acts that have come into force over the last 50 years. Whilst this latest report is another step forward in providing awareness, I would like to stress that as further changes in legislation occur, it is vital that anyone seeking representation on leasehold matters appoints a fully knowledgeable and reputable leasehold expert. Membership of ALEP acts as a kitemark to ensure all member firms work to an agreed level of professionalism and have the required expertise. 

    "ALEP looks forward to the final report due to be published in 2019.”

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    The National Association of Estate Agents has given broad support for radical proposals from the Law Commission to end leasehold abuse following a string of controversial cases.

    Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive, says he hopes the proposals - released in the form of a consultation document - “will result in a robust solution for all those affected and who are unable to sell their homes.”

    Meanwhile .... “The government is committed to banning leaseholds for almost all new build houses and restricting ground rents to a peppercorn. It’s also unacceptable for leaseholders who want to buy their freehold or extend their lease to be faced with overly complicated processes and disproportionate costs” says housing minister Heather Wheeler.

    The consultation runs until November 20 and you can see it here.

    Full/source article

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    Not sure if I posted it in the right place, but at
    https://www.propertytribes.com/law-commi...36494.html
    I posted a question about how best a leaseholder landlord could fill in the consultation response form that's available till November 20th.

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    COMMUNITIES SECRETARY CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION TO END BROKEN LEASEHOLD MARKET

    Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has called on the Competition and Markets Authority to take immediate action to help around 100,000 tenants trapped in exploitative and unfair leasehold arrangements.

    The government is committed to making the housing market work for everyone. Yet thousands of over-stretched buyers are mis-sold homes each year, saddling owners with an increasingly expensive – and ultimately unsellable – property.

    In the worst cases, home-owners are trapped in the ‘Doubling Clause’, which results in ground-rents soaring exponentially over a short period of time. This can see an annual £300 ground-rent rocket to £4,800 after 40 years – hitting tenants in the back pocket and leaving a financial millstone around their necks.

    And to clamp down on mis-selling in the first place, the Communities Secretary has also written to the Solicitors Regulation Authority to ask them to use all powers at their disposal to crack-down on solicitors who have mis-sold properties with onerous ground-rents attached.

    Speaking in the House today the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

    “Unfair leasehold practices have no place in a modern housing market, neither do excessive ground rents which exploit consumers.

    “I am very conscious of some of the bad practices that we have seen in the leasehold market which is why I will be meeting with the industry later this week to underline the need for redress, and for solutions to be offered to people who frankly have been mis-sold in a number of cases.

    “I have also written to the Competition Markets Authority and the Solicitors Regulation Authority knowing there are issues and questions that have seriously been made about some of the practices and to ensure we are taking action on a number of fronts.”

    Today’s call-to-action comes ahead of a round-table meeting with property developers later this week, during which the Secretary of State will make clear that further support is needed to help the thousands of tenants trapped in unfair leasehold arrangements.

    This builds upon comprehensive measures taken by Ministers to fix the broken leasehold market, including:

    • New proposals to sell the vast majority of new-build houses as freehold and to cap ground-rents in new leases at just £10 – ending the unscrupulous practice of unnecessary leaseholds;
    • New measures to make it easier for leaseholders to get tenant associations formally recognised and protect consumer interests;
    • Helping existing leaseholders who want to buy their freehold by working with the Law Commission to make this process faster, fairer and cheaper, and ensuring tenants are not hit by unfair rental costs.
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    This leasehold reform is about 50 years overdue, unfortunately I’m not holding my breath until the most powerful freeholders in this land have seats in the House of Lords and wine and dine with the Queen.

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    Yes looks like it, have been approached by a company that said they can deal with a claim for me but can not see much about this anywhere


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    Precious little is said about managing agents regulation, why are they devoid of any when estate agents get more regulations every year.  Managing agents should have to answer to leaseholders not bully them into submission with extortionate charges and shoddy (if any) service.

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