May 29, 2024

London Assembly prepares evidence for leasehold report

The London Assembly report into the woes of leaseholders is shaping up to create a rift with central government, and particularly Housing Minister Grant Schapps.
The Assembly is still gathering evidence, but what it has accumulated so far is pretty damning.
With more than 90 written detailed written submissions there has never been such a response to such a London Assembly inquiry.
So far the Assembly has found:
– complaints about leasehold issues have increased 35 per cent between 2005 and 2010.
– Leaseholders pay at least half a billion pounds a year to freeholders in ground rents and service charges.
– Right to Manage does not work in many London developments because it cannot be exercised where more then 25 per cent of the floor space is non-residential.
The Assembly notes that although the Association of Residential Managers (ARMA) supports tighter regulation, its maximum censure is a £2,500, which took six months to oppose.
No member of ARMA has ever been barred from membership for misconduct.
The inquiry is questioning whether LEASE, the leasehold advisory service, should adopt a role of actively supporting the interests of leaseholders, rather than attempting to remain solely an impartial advisory service.
The Assembly’s inquiry shows signs of being an unusually hard-hitting report.
It opens up the possibility of Boris Johnson championing the cause of ripped-off leaseholders, in the face of Grant Schapps’ vote-losing complacency.
Read our account of the LA meeting on Monday afternoon on this website.
The inquiry is still taking evidence and those London leaseholders who have been ripped off should share their experiences. Contact:
Read the relevant paper here – it is a printable pdf: