Sir Peter, the Tory MP for Worthing West, made his comments in the Commons on April 16:
“To have clever lawyers, some of whom will appear at LEASE—the Government-approved agency for giving advice on leaseholds—advise managing agents on what can be done with leaseholders within the law does not strike me as balanced.”
Sir Peter added his view that either or both Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, join the board of the government quango, which receives a £1.4 million budget.
Sir Peter made his intervention as the Department of Communities and Local Government stamped its authority during the debate on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
It dumped a Lords amendment, from Baroness Gardner, to license block managing agents in favour of compulsory membership of various anonymous ombudsman schemes – whose rulings (to industry relief) are not published.
In a letter to Sir Peter – and forwarded to LKP / Carlex – Prisk writes: “I receive a full and varied postbag on residential leasehold issues, but I am not aware of any groundswell of complaints about the quality or propriety of LEASE’s service, and neither are my ministerial colleagues or policy officials here at DCLG.”
Had the DCLG officials turned up to last year’s annual conference of LEASE, to which they were invited, they would have witnessed a dramatic example of leaseholder dissatisfaction with LEASE.
The event at a Mayfair hotel, which cost £310 a head, was disrupted when an emotional leaseholder (who had not been invited) grabbed the microphone and told the conference:
“The Leasehold Advisory Service is failing to fulfill its parliamentary mandate by excluding leaseholders. It should be even-handed and defending their interests. Instead, it has organised an event purely to the benefit of landlords.” [Read more...]