The Land Registry is seeking views on the removal of leasehold restrictions such as the need for conveyancers to get a certificate of compliance from a management company or landlord when changing property details or checking if clauses have been followed.
The Conveyancing Association (CA) is working with the Land Registry to see how burdensome these restrictions in leaseholds can be.
Some leaseholds may have an entry or restriction, for example, that a management company or landlord must be informed of changes such as when someone purchases a property.
But conveyancers warn that management companies and landlords can charge high fees for a certificate of compliance to show they have been informed and often take a long time to respond or don’t at all, which can slow down and stop sales going through.
Instead, the CA is working with the Land Registry to promote a survey looking at the positives and negatives of these sorts of clauses.
The survey asks stakeholders such as conveyancers, lenders, landlords and management companies about whether these sorts of restrictions are necessary/desirable, the difficulties in receiving information, the issue of costs, and whether the Land Registry should cancel all restrictions until they are required by law.
It is believed cancelling restrictions could also be applied retrospectively as the Chief Land Registrar already has the powers to cancel superfluous restrictions.
The Land Registry is also seeking insight into the advantages or disadvantages that such restrictions give landlords and tenants and what Land Registry could change.
Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at The CA, said: “The CA welcomes this opportunity for its members and other stakeholders to input into HM Land Registry’s consultation on restrictions.
“Being at the coal face, conveyancers are ideally placed to provide the real life view on the impact of restrictions within the conveyancing process. We would urge our members and all conveyancers to respond to the survey and indeed to pass it on to their contacts and colleagues across the industry so that Land Registry has a clear picture.”
Mike Westcott Rudd, acting general counsel and deputy chief land registrar at the Land Registry, said: “In support of government policy to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper, HM Land Registry is reviewing its policy on landlord/management company restrictions in relation to leaseholds.
“In October 2017, Land Registry held an event to explore whether stakeholders consider management company restrictions necessary or desirable.
“In collaboration with the CA, we are now inviting its members and all stakeholders to take part in this survey.”
The survey runs until February 6.
- Separately, today the Court of Appeal is expected to rule on a case, Mundy v the Trustees of the Sloane Stanley Estate, where leaseholders claim they have been over-paying by up to 50% for lease extensions and freeholds. The outcome of the case could be critical in determining the value of over 2m homes in England and Wales with leases of under 80 years.