Leasehold Enfranchisement Team
Tower 52 Queen Anne’s Gate
4 March 2019
SENT BY EMAIL AND POST
Law Commission’s Consultation Paper: Reinvigorating commonhold: the alternative to leasehold ownership
This response to your consultation is on behalf of The Federation of Private Residents’ Associations (FPRA), which as far as we know, is the only national body that represents the voice of leaseholders in England and Wales. We start this response in the same manner as our previous response to your consultations. We have only answered specific questions where we have something to contribute.
We have around 500-member associations representing tens of thousands of individual leaseholders. We have drafted this response on the basis of our regular daily contact with our members who inform us of the problems they encounter in the leasehold sector. This was the subject of discussion at our AGM attended by Prof. N Hopkins & Dr. N. Roberts and detailed discussions between our members.
We have a committee of both leasehold representatives and experts from throughout the sector that have also helped with the preparation of this response. Of these, some have a particular interest in Commonhold.
About half of our member Associations are leaseholder-owned companies which own the freehold of and manage their blocks. For those blocks where the freeholder is separate from and independent of the leaseholders of the individual flats, an enfranchisement would seem to be an essential step.
The Overall impression from our members is: –
1. We need clear, simple & easy to understand change – to much complexity already exists and for essential changes to be effective & fair, the proposals need to be easy to understand and easy to apply.
2. The legislation needs to wipe away numerous separate & superimposed acts, to give a single well draw up place for all rights.
3. The Government needs to tell all Leaseholders of the new changes when finalised, and this needs to be part of basic process of purchasing a home in the first place, so that buying the freehold/extending the Lease is the norm.
4. We have concerns that with the “mass” of consultations from different bodies & organisations, that whilst change is desperately needed, we could end up with a mess of uncoordinated and possibly conflicting legislation.
5. We have a general concern, that most legislation is designed for a separate & independent Freeholder/Leaseholder situation, whilst in reality the Leaseholders have often acquired there Freehold and there is a more cooperative situation which is hindered by legislation and rules not helped by them.
Honorary Vice Chairman on behalf of FPRA
A PDF copy o the FPRA response is available to read and download.PDF Copy >>