Conveyancers call for sweeping reforms to leaseholds

Conveyancers are calling for a licensing scheme for managing agents of leasehold properties as well as a menu of fees that can be charged.

The calls come as part of the Conveyancing Association’s response to the Government consultation on regulation in the leasehold and lettings sector.

The consultation period closed at the end of November and the group wants any leasehold fees to be set by the Secretary of State and reviewed biennially in line with the retail prices index.

The trade body is also calling for any lease administrator to be registered with a redress scheme and for Trading Standards to have more resources to tackle rogue landlords and agents.

It said the Government needs to clamp down on unreasonable fees, duplication of charging, the invention of additional services and delays by administrators.

Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said: “This area has been a major concern for the CA for some time and our response seeks to ensure that the growing costs and delays that are a seemingly ‘natural’ part of dealing with certain lease administrators are no longer deemed acceptable.

“Leasehold has been one of, if not the, defining issue for the housing market in 2017 and this consultation provides us with the opportunity to change it for the better.

“There are a large number of vested interests in this sector who would very much like to maintain the status quo.

“It is therefore incumbent on everyone to back these proposals and to ensure that the Government is able to deliver real change in this area and create a positive experience for all stakeholders.”

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