The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership exists to protect ordinary leaseholders from being fleeced by landlords and their agents. They exploit the many opportunities offered by this flawed form of property tenure.
The LKP seeks to identify and accredit property managing agents who sign up to open accounting and straight dealing.
They charge a clear fee for property management – often on behalf of the residents’ own management companies – and do not pocket commissions offered by insurers, energy companies and assorted service providers.
In short, they don’t collude with others to cheat the residents, which is particularly depressing to encounter with the elderly in retirement developments.
To be accredited, LKP managing agents must sign up to a 35-point accreditation process, and residents in the blocks they manage are selected at random to provide references.
LKP also provides an editorial service for leaseholders.
Leasehold is a murky little corner of residential property, but with 1.8 million leaseholders and £3 billion a year spent on service charges there is huge scope to cheat unsuspecting homeowners.
Redress is complicated and expensive and, if you lose, all the freehold landlord’s legal expenses – barristers are now routinely used in LVTs – can be reclaimed in the service charges.
The trade bodies involved in property management – the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – have been well aware of abuses in leasehold management for years.
They all have codes of practice that are feeble and discretionary, and that have well attested loopholes – even RICS, which is the only serious professional body among them.
Following numerous leasehold scandals – often involving ARMA and ARHM members – they now parrot “transparency” and demand regulation. Previously they were silent, and neither ARMA nor ARHM has ever publicly expelled a member.
LKP is also lobbying for legislative change in leasehold, particularly to regulate managing agents who control vast sums of money without any supervision. We have instigated debates in both the Commons and the Lords on these issues.
Of course, the ideal solution to leasehold is to stop building any more of it, and instead to build commonhold – which is what applies in the rest of the world, outside England and Wales.
There is a mass of information on this site and we hope it is useful.
We welcome inquiries from ordinary leaseholders and have a network of supporters and sympathisers who have dealt with everything from £500,000 LVT bust-ups, to contested Right To Manage applications.
LKP provides no services for which there are charges. It is funded by the accreditation of participating managing agents.
Leasehold Knowledge Partnership