Another successful All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting, of which I co-chaired, heard Housing Minister Lee Rowley MP rightly commend the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill as a major step forward that demonstrates government’s commitment to reform residential leasehold law.
The bill is now at Public Committee stage and whilst Minister Rowley stressed that improvements to the Bill are welcomed, they must be balanced with the need to advance it quickly.
I have called for a move to statutory regulation of managing agents and protection of leaseholder’s money with hefty sanctions for non-compliance. Currently, there is no requirement on the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate how such vast sums of consumer money is held.
Let us all continue to champion the reinvigoration of residential commonhold.
A practical start would be to transition to commonhold via new builds flats, such a step would bring residential flat ownership into the 21st century.
My focus also remains on the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), another division of the leasehold sector that requires further political scrutiny. Far too often leaseholders are let down by an unfair, unbalanced system that does not provide adequate specialism to facilitate a balance of power between parties seeking legal redress in leasehold matters.
Our work continues. My determination to balance out fairness between developers/freeholders, managing agents and leaseholders is as strong today as it has been for well over a decade.
We join in thanking the APPG’s membership of some 300 parliamentarians, and the commitment of its secretariat Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.
We are determined and together are making a significant difference, there is much to do on leasehold and commonhold reform.