August 18, 2019

Speakers at next week’s MPs meeting on leasehold

The line-up of speakers at next Tuesday’s Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation  meeting at Westminster for MPs and Lords, which is being hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley (right), MP for Worthing West, has been finalised.

They will include the authors of three key reports on leasehold which have been published this year.

The event, which is to be chaired by Sebastian O’Kelly, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation chairman and director of LKP, is anticipated to attract about 20 MPs or Lords who have an interest in this sector.

The speakers include:

Chris Paterson, of the think tank CentreForum, whose much publicised report ‘A New Lease of Life’ was published in August. It urges a £2 a leaseholder levy to fund an independent regulator – unconnected with any of the existing trade bodies.

Steve O’Connell, a member of the London Assembly, who chaired the report ‘Highly Charged’, which was published in March this year. It stated that 500,000 London leaseholders pay more than half a billion a year in service charges. Leasehold complaints have risen sharply and with many more leasehold properties likely to be built, there is going to be growing pressure for reform.

Mark Spall, of AgeUK, is a long standing advisor on retirement residential issues. He will discuss the charity’s report ‘Making It Work For Us: A residents’ inquiry into sheltered and retirement housing’, which is to be published on October 31.

Martin Boyd, of Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP, is a leaseholder at Charter Quay in Kingston, Surrey, who has orchestrated four Leasehold Valuation Tribunal victories against his landlord, winning back more than £500,000 in over-paid service charges. The cases amount to devastating criticism of current leasehold practices.

Robert Plumb, chief executive HML Holdings plc, an LKP accredited managing agent, who has been conspicuous for calling for higher ethical standards in the leasehold sector. Plumb has stated that leaseholders must be informed if managing agents have joint ownership with their freeholder.

Sir Peter Bottomley and Baroness Gardner of Parkes, who have instigated the three debates in Parliament on leasehold this year will also address the meeting.

The event will include a representative of the British Property Federation. The BPF have announced to LKP that:

“We support the view that s152 (regular statement of accounts) and s156 (holding monies in separate accounts) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 should be implemented as soon as possible and are keen to work with Government and other stakeholders to achieve that. We support what the clauses seek to achieve. It is important, however, that there is a sufficient lead in period, so that managing agents are prepared.”

A Ministry of Justice official will be present, as it will take over responsibility of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal / Property Tribunal service next year

Owing to the venue size, the event is unfortunately not open to the public, although it will be reported in full on the Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP websites

Members of the media who would like to attend should contact admin@carlex.co

BUT …

DCLG officials are ‘too busy’ to attend

Sir Peter Bottomley is hosting the meeting the LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation meeting; Baroness Gardner is speaking; as are representatives of three organisations that have written important reports on leasehold.

Around 20 MPs and Lords are attending. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and LKP readers – the sites have 60,000 page views a month – have urged their MPs to attend.

But officials at the Department of Communities and Local Government, who were invited on October 11, are too busy.

“I am afraid that due to prior commitments that will not be possible on this occasion.” an official writes. They then somehow forget to ask us to let them know what happened at the meeting afterwards.

Might that not be rather embarrassing if Housing Minister Mark Prisk decides to turn up, accepting Sir Peter’s invitation?

Please keep writing to your MPs to urge them to attend.

 

Comments

  1. I hope many more than 20 MP’s turn up–this is a national scandal–I have personally met three MP’s over it.
    An independent regulator would be good as with the best will in the world of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal’s years of involvement – they admit constantly that they are very much limited on what they are able to achieve as they for one don’t have any enforcement powers.

  2. It would be very useful if Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation published the names of the MPs and Lords who attended, please.

  3. Michael Hollands writes:

    Is it possible to video or at least record the meeting so that the Dept of Communities and other MP`s can view it in their own time.
    It would also give us campaigners a chance to see what went on.

    Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation does not have a well resourced audio-visual department, but we are looking into this and will see what can be improvised.

  4. MICHAEL HOLLANDS says

    I hope that the subject of Exit Fees gets mentioned at the briefing.
    These can range from 1% to 10% plus of the selling price.
    The OFT has stated they are unfair but – amazingling – has agreed that they can continue.
    Nobody seems to be able to explain what the charges are for, so one can only assume they are an easy way of profiting from the elderly. So they should be banned.

Skip to toolbar