We Know you are all tired of completing consultation after consultation but PLEASE do not stop. We need to keep going.
Helping leaseholders take control over the running of their buildings.
The Law Commission are conducting a public consultation on reform of the right to manage: “Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage”.
The consultation period is open until 30 April 2019.
They want to hear from everyone with views on the law and process of RTM – leaseholders, landlords, campaigners, property developers, industry bodies, professionals and academics.
The Consultation Paper is lengthy and technical. Please don’t be put off by this. You do not need to answer every question.
If you are only interested in one part of our consultation, or even if you wish to answer only one question, you can respond to just that part or question.You do not need to complete all of your answers in one go.
You can save and return to the form at any time.The Law Comission have provided guidance and explanations on their website. Please take the time to read them.
Comments may be sent using the online form, accessible here. Where possible, it would be helpful if this form was used.
Alternatively, comments may be sent:
By email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By post to Right to Manage Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen’s Anne Gate, London, SW1H 9AG.
(If you send your comments by post, it would be helpful if, whenever possible, you could also send them electronically.)
There is also a short survey leaseholders can complete.
SHORT SURVEY:They have produced a short survey for leaseholders and directors of RTM companies to complete, to tell us about their experiences of the RTM.You can access it here.
PLEASE SUPPORT EACHOTHER IN TRYING TO DETANGLE OURSELVES FROM THIS LEASEHOLD WEB.
“We trust that the reforms you announced last week are simply interim measures & that the governments full response to our report will demonstrate a more robust approach to tackling the significant problems we found in the leasehold sector.
“We are concerned that the government appears willing to place a significant level of trust in the same industry that created onerous leases in the first place”.
“We hope that the governments full response to our report will reflect a desire to ACT in the interests of leaseholders who have been badly let down and not allow developers & freeholders who created this crisis to be allowed to define solutions”.
The National Leasehold Campaign are yet to find one leaseholder who are happy with the industry ‘pledge’. Read the NLC reponse to the Pledge below…
NLC have prepared the following repsonse to this pledge.
Hot on the heels of the damning Select Committee Inquiry report into the leasehold scandal the developers and freeholders come out fighting like a wounded animal by signing a pledge to behave themselves. This exercise in style over substance demonstrates the increasing influence of the National Leasehold Campaign, with the Facebook Group now approaching 14,000 members.
This pledge is the “as little as they think they can get away with” response that the NLC predicted when asked what we think developers and freeholders will do to try to resolve the leasehold scandal they created, and until recently denied existence of.
The Select Committee Inquiry report noted that “too often leaseholders, particularly in new-build properties, have been treated by developers, freeholders and managing agents, not as homeowners or customers, but as a source of steady profit”. Converting doubling leases to RPI does not solve the problem.
Many thousands of onerous leases with ground rents above 0.1% of property value remain. There is no mention of removing onerous permission fees or taking a more ethical approach on excessively increasing service charges. There is no commitment to end the new and growing fleecehold scandal where new supposedly freehold homes are sold with estate maintenance charges.
It is a sad reflection of our broken housing market that this pledge has to be made at all. It’s time for Government to take a much stronger stance and avoid being taken in like Little Red Riding Hood as the leasehold wolves dress up like Granny.
We’ve seen developers posting obscene profits; they can afford to do the right thing, they choose not to.
Listen to Jo Darbyshire & Clive Betts talk about this announcement on BBC radio 4 You & Yours
“Together we can do this. This campaign has galvanised leaseholders. We have achieved so much already BUT we still have a long way to go. Stay positive & stay focussed. Real change is coming if we stick together”
On behalf of the National Leasehold Campaign we would like to say a huge thank you for your comprehensive report into leasehold reform and your positive recommendations that will be life changing for leaseholders.
Your report is a damning indictment into the leasehold scandal that has affected so many of us in different ways. Since we launched NLC just over two years ago, those of us driving this campaign have faced regular setbacks and a seemingly impenetrable wall as we fight for justice and redress for existing leaseholders against the rich and powerful developers and freeholders with their clever advisors and professional lobbyists.
Your report has given leaseholders hope; it’s made them smile. Thank you so much for listening to us and having the courage to make such strong recommendations. The NLC supports your recommendations and is ready to help in any way we can to make them happen. We will continue to campaign for the abolition of leasehold in England and Wales.
We imagine that you went into politics to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Your report and your recommendations have done, and will do that, for millions of leaseholders. Thank you.
“Reflects a serious cross market failure of oversight of sales practices”
NLC STATEMENT TO THE REPORT
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report into leasehold reform is a damning indictment of the leasehold scandal that has turned the dream of so many homeowners into a living nightmare. We hope that Government will act swiftly on the many recommendations the Committee have put forward, particularly an investigation into mis-selling by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the many legislative changes recommended to protect consumers.
We at the National Leasehold Campaign are hugely proud of the significant contribution that we have made to highlight the multitude of leasehold abuses and mobilise leaseholders to work together to raise awareness and bring about much needed reform. The National Leasehold Campaign will continue to campaign for the abolition of leasehold in England and Wales and we will be watching the Government’s response to this independent committee’s report closely to ensure that this scandal is resolved and the millions trapped by these feudal laws get the fair treatment and redress they deserve.
Katie Kendrick, Cath Williams & Jo Darbyshire
Please do take the time to read the full report.
Many will want to know if this report helps existing leaseholders :
It would be legally possible for the Government to introduce legislation to remove onerous ground rents in existing leases.
Existing ground rents should be limited to 0.1% of the present value of a property, up to a maximum of £250 per year. They should not increase above £250 over time, by RPI or any other mechanism.
Introduce legislation to restrict onerous permission fees in existingleases.
Where leaseholders have paid unreasonable permission fees or ground rents over the course of their leases so far, they should have those refunded by freeholders with interest. In such circumstances the government should establish a clear and easily accessible route to compensation for affected leaseholders
Other recommendations include:
Introduce low-interest loans—a Help to Buy scheme for leaseholders—so that leaseholders who want to enfranchise or extend their leases, but cannot afford to or obtain the necessary finance, have the opportunity to do so.
Invite, and fund, the Law Commission to conduct a more comprehensive review of leasehold legislation.
Ensure that commonhold becomes the primary model of ownership of flats in England and Wales, as it is in many other countries.
CMA to investigate mis-selling in the leasehold sector and make recommendations for appropriate compensation.
More appropriate to refer to this tenure as ‘Lease-rental’.
Alternative the government should establish a compensation scheme for the mis-sale of onerous ground rents, funded by the relevant developers and the purchasers’ solicitors.
We would like to thank each and everyone one of you for your continued support. We got this Select Committee Inquiry because leaseholders galvanised together. It is a true illustration of People Power at its best. This is not the end of our fight, this really is a David V’s Goliath Battle. But it is a battle we will win. The momentum is there, it is up to leaseholders nationally to ensure we continue to keep the pressure on and make as much noise as possible. WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW….
We would like everyone to contact your local MP with a copy of the report. Ask them to continue to raise this in the Chamber. Ask them to write to James Brokenshire supporting the Select Committees recommendations. We need these recommendations to be actioned. Words are not enough, we need Action.
The success of the National Leasehold Campaign is PEOPLE POWER & SOLIDARITY.
Leaseholders have been abused and will continue to be abused unless ALL leaseholders unite together to have their voices heard.
The message we want to get across is irrespective of if you are a leaseholder of a flat or a house we are all victims of this horrific feudal outdated & abusive system. Commonhold is a viable alternative and should be mandatory.
We appreciate the consultation is difficult to understand. EVERYONE can complete it by filling in their personal details and going straight to Additional Comments at the end of the consultation if you don’t feel able to answer any of the technical questions. The final comments box says “If you have any further comments on issues raised in our Consultation Paper, please share them with us”
This is your opportunity to say that Commonhold should be mandatory moving forward. Explain your situation to them. You may want to identify here that if Commonhold was an option when you purchased your property you would of chosen this option. Because it wasn’t you are now left in this awful position. REALLY HELPFUL SUMMARY CAN BE FOUND HERE
Commonhold is an alternative form of property ownership which allows homeowners to own the freehold of their flats. The Law Commissions commonhold project looks at aspects of the law of commonhold which may be preventing its uptake.
You do not need to answer all the questions if they are only interested in some aspects of the consultation.
We have highlight some important questions to answer are Q1 Q93, Q94, Q105 Q1 Consultation Question 1 (para 3.31):
In order to protect freeholders, we provisionally propose that it should only be possible to convert to commonhold if either:
* the freeholder consents; or
* the leaseholders satisfy the qualifying criteria for collective enfranchisement, and acquire the freehold as part of the process of converting to commonhold.
You may want to say that keeping the 25% rule on non-residential premises is wrong. Mixed use schemes are common in the city centres. This would exclude so many leaseholders from moving to a better system. Q94 Consultation Question 94 (para 16.9):
What advantages do you think commonhold could offer over leasehold?
Consultation Question 105 (para 16.43):
Which of the following statements best reflects your views on the provisional proposals in this Consultation Paper?
If these proposals are adopted, then developers will be willing to use commonhold for a substantial number of developments.
Even if these proposals are adopted, developers will not be willing to use commonhold unless Government introduces financial incentives for them to do so, either directly by offering financial incentives for the developers, or indirectly, by offering incentives for purchasers of commonhold units.
Even if these proposals are adopted, and financial incentives are given, developers will not use commonhold for developments unless they are prohibited from selling flats on a leasehold basis and they are thus forced to use commonhold.
Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have provided some excellent video guidance on completing the consultation.
We would like to see the list of “ethical builders” grow.
“I’ve been a leaseholder and seen the problems that the outdated leasehold system causes. We’re building a commonhold development because we want to give our buyers real ownership and real control of their homes – not just a right to live there which is controlled by someone else. We’re selling homes, not leases.” Stewart Moxon, Hopton Build (Yorkshire) Limited Leeds
How is commonhold different from leasehold?
Commonhold provides an opportunity to think afresh and provide a specifically-designed democratic system for managing buildings. Commonhold contains bespoke provisions which cover every aspect of management. For example, leasehold owners pay a service charge set by their landlord towards the cost of managing and maintaining the building. Service charges are based on the assumption that the landlord of the building is an external party. In commonhold, however, there is no external landlord. Shared services are funded through commonhold contributions, which, importantly, the unit owners control themselves
WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE COMMONHOLD WORK. PLEASE SUPPORT COMMONHOLD. IT CAN WORK. WE DO NOT NEED STEWARDSHIP.
Even if you only answer the “Additional Comments” box to say Commonhold should be mandatory please do so.
Every Single submission counts.
“Two years and almost 13,000 members later, her National Leasehold Campaign group on Facebook is galvanising record responses to a raft of official consultations that could finally reform leasehold law. Yet powerful freeholders have already threatened judicial review to the government, which risks facing compensation claims of billions of pounds. It is a pivotal moment for the feudal practices that still control at least a fifth of homes in England and Wales” The Home Front, By Martina Lees