Jim Fitzpatrick, the APPG co-chair, was delayed in the chamber – although he attended the meeting with the Financial Conduct Authority on leasehold insurance commissions immediately afterwards.
As he is not standing as the Labour candidate for Poplar and Limehouse, this would have been his last meeting with the leasehold APPG.
He was roundly thanked and applauded by all those present.
They were MPs Chi Onwurah, Marie Rimmer, Mike Amesbury, Sir Peter Bottomley, Justin Madders, Rosie Cooper, Lord Lytton and a representative of Fiona Bruce.
It was reported that membership had now reached 175, with 12 “friends” – members of the government who cannot join a backbench group. The latest friend to join is the prime minister, Boris Johnson.
APPG agenda and annual report 2019
1.Welcome and introduction:
Apologies: Fiona Bruce MP, Rt Hon Sir George Howarth MP, Baroness Finlay, Lord Tebbit
2. Election of Group Officers:
Co-Chairs: Sir Peter Bottomley, Jim Fitzpatrick and Sir Edward Davey
Vice-Chairs: Justin Madders, Andrew Selous, Marie Rimmer and Gillian Keegan
Group Secretariat: Martin Boyd and Sebastian O’ Kelly of Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
3. Update on some of the Group’s activities 2018/2019
Note: APPG Officers include Secretariat Leasehold Knowledge Partnership:
This year has been a very busy one for the APPG which now has, 175 Members including 12 Members from Government as APPG “Friends”. The latest Friend to join the Group is Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
APPG Officers provided oral and written evidence to the MHCLG Select Committee as part of their scrupulous investigation of leasehold reform.
APPG Officers submitted substantive written submissions on both MHCLG and the Law Commission projects as part of implementing leasehold and commonhold reform APPG Officers recommended that the cost of enfranchisement and leasehold extensions should be moved to a ‘formulaic model’ that would not require mediation by tribunals.
APPG Officers vigorously argued against the implementation of Statutory Instrument on RTAs.
The APPG met 4 times during the year hosting an average of 75 delegates at each meeting. The leasehold subjects included yet not exhaustive: cladding, retirement housing, leasehold houses/ground rents, insurance and service charges.
APPG Co-Chair Sir Peter Bottomley secured a debate on leasehold reform.
Each of the APPG meetings now has a formal update from senior MHCLG officials on their work.
In addition to the main APPG meetings, the secretariat has also organised a cladding forum and two meetings for the Law Commission as part of their consultation work. The Secretariat has also been asked to become a member of the London Mayor’s Housing Panel.
A number of APPG Members have received constituency support from the Group’s Secretariat
APPG Co-Chairs hosted an award ceremony reception in the Terrace Pavilion for the outstanding work of the Group’s Secretariat to thank them for their commitment to leasehold and commonhold reform over the years.
Rt Hon. Gavin Barwell MP sent a note to Sir Peter to be read out at the function stating:
‘…We have made important progress, but there is much still to do, and I know that LKP will continue to play a key role in what is to come.’
APPG Officers continue to engage with TV and press coverage of leasehold issues. This has increased with many articles in the national press with Co-Chairs appearing in the media.
The APPG’s commitment to leasehold and commonhold reform continues as APPG Officers and Group Members look forward to the outcome of the Law Commissions 13th Programme on leasehold and commonhold reform consultation and the implementation of Government’s legislative reforms.
To consider ways in which leasehold and commonhold legislation and regulation might be improved.
To vigorously keep the pressure on Government and Developers to significantly improve cladding and the regulation thereof.
To examine those elements of current legislation and regulation which are seen as defective.
To look at ways to reduce the opportunities for exploitation and ways to alleviate the distress and hardship faced by some leaseholders, particularly the more vulnerable and elderly leaseholder.
To consider how the current cost imbalance at the leasehold property Tribunal might be addressed, how the Tribunal might be developed for use under revised commonhold legislation and how it might return to parliament’s original intention as a low-cost forum for disputes and redress.
To consider and to make known objectionable and unacceptable behaviour in the sector.
To consider those matters in leasehold insurance and service charge funds which currently fall outside the regulatory framework of the FCA.
To consider the different issues faced in the private sector and in the social sectors.
To liaise with and monitor the actions of the various government departments dealing with leasehold and commonhold issues along with the activities of publicly funded bodies working in this area.
To review commonhold legislation to explore how to better implement this form of tenure so it works as parliament intended.
To consider ways in which Senior Citizens can be better protected from abuse and onerous lease terms within in the retirement leasehold sector.
5. Financial reporting:
No financial activity received nor paid for the 2018/2019 financial accounting period therefore nothing to report.
6. A note of thanks to the 2018/2019 APPG Officers by Sir Peter Bottomley:
Special thanks to the former Secretary of State James Brokenshire who carried forward the work of former Housing Minister Gavin Barwell and former Secretary of State Rt Hon Sajid Javid to stamp out unfair, unjust and unacceptable abuse of the leasehold system.
APPG Officers welcomes the new Secretary of State Rt Hon. Robert Jenrick and Minister of State for Housing Rt Hon. Esther McVey who APPG Officers met recently [yesterday].
Given her brief tenure in office, APPG Officers thank the Housing Minister for her in-depth understanding of some of the problem’s leaseholders face and her determination to want to put things right.
The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have been a tremendous support to the APPG. Their commitment and knowledge is second to none. We thank their enormous contribution to the Group as its Secretariat.
A very special note of thanks to our APPG Co-Chair Jim Fitzpatrick.