The Mail on Sunday has today devoted more than a page of editorial to leasehold issues.
The article bluntly outlines the abuses faced by leaseholders at the hand of monetising freeholders and the property managers, surveyors and lawyers who serve them.
The article is illustrated with a photo of Emma Reynolds, MP, the Labour shadow housing minister, who is showing an interest in leasehold issues.
Jim Fitzpatrick, the Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse in London’s Docklands, is convinced that this is an issue the party should be highlighting.
Fitzpatrick has some of the richest and poorest leaseholders in the country, and has spoken up for beleaguered leaseholders at the ritzy West India Quay.
They faced a legal onslaught last month in the First Tier Tribunal – headed by a QC – for asking for a recognised residents’ association.
Fitzpatrick recognises that ordinary people are being ripped off for thousands of pounds by freeholders who play the system and work round the protections of leasehold law.
The Mail on Sunday article is written by the distinguished personal finance editor Jeff Prestridge.
As well as reporting LKP, it mentions the interventions of LibDem peer Baroness Maddock, who repeatedly speaks out on leasehold issues. She wants the question of commonhold to be revisited.
Last week, LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation met with officials at the Competition and Markets Authority with Sir Peter Bottomley.
The organisations – which are alone in reporting the problems of leasehold – will be providing a substantive submission.
LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation warmly congratulates Jeff Prestridge for his journalism, and for giving these important issues their due
Can LKP stop their campaign right now?
You are stopping me from fleecing leaseholders!
Here are two cases that have been brought to my attention very recently….
A group of leaseholders who want to be added as Directors on to the management company of their leasehold developments (as stated by covenants in the lease) are being refused or even ignored when they have written to the landlords informing them of their intentions to apply.
They know they are going to have to employ a solicitor and probably barristers for something that is rightfully and legally theirs and which will cost them thousands of pounds, how can this be right and proper?
We all know that landlords and managing agents just ignore any letters/emails when they want to, so how can leasehold law be working correctly in its current state.
Another group have been told that they have to clear unpaid invoices for subletting fees and reminders to subletting fees plus costs for reminders to subletting fees, which they knew nothing about until the landlords were challenged on the legalities of the current directors of the management companies and these invoices suddenly appeared out of thin air…. Nothing was ever sent to them in the post..
It would seem that the only way to challenge these spurious invoices is for the leaseholders to either pay up or go to court and contest them individually.
Again, this group will have to go to a solicitor and/or to court to get what is rightfully theirs… the control and management of their development.
I would call this blackmail; there is no other word for it pure and simple blackmail…..
This particular company have got away with unlawful practices for years and continue to do so because it is run by lawyers who know how to put the squeeze on leaseholders.
It is time to put a stop to all this corruption right now and abolish any further leasehold properties being marketed.
“This particular company have got away with unlawful practices for years and continue to do so because it is run by lawyers who know how to put the squeeze on leaseholders.
It is time to put a stop to all this corruption right now and abolish any further leasehold properties being marketed.”Karen
I agree with Karen. Black mailing, frightening leaseholders by Freeholder’s Lawyers has deep damaging impact on well being of leaseholders and their family. Any human has the need to live in peace and comfort in their own home, and not being under immense pressure by unpredictable behavior and arrival of invoices for the profit of freeholder. Leaseholder owners need Justice and fairness reforms.
Well that’s not correct in terms of “application”. The eligibility of the right of a member or shareholder to be nominated and appointed as a director lies in the Articles of Association, with the lease in most cases being a qualification i.e. to be member/shareholder you must own a flat.
Depending on the wording of the articles which will relate to the specific mechanics of that company directors are appointed at a general meeting and they can, if their numbers qualify, usually 5/10 of the shares or membership, can serve a requisition on the company to call an extraordinary meeting with resolutions for the removal or appointment of directors or to call and annual general meeting ( if that is required) In most cases this is fairly simple stuff and if they fail to act the requistioners can call their own meeting.
It may not be right and proper in which case sadly they have to exercise their right. In the case of new builds often a developer will not hand over until the last units are sold.
In this case it has nothing to do with leaseholds but a matter of company law- which would be the same under common hold if a group of directors declined to reply, as they often do, hence the above.
On the invoices, assuming that they are due, unless they were sent with the summary of rights for administration charges then they can be withheld, and in turn are not due as they invoice has not been sent with the information under section 47/48 LTA 1987. In turn under section 21b LTA 1985 no legal costs incurred up until the invoices are sent with the amounts due are recoverable. Take the “worst case” and write and explain this. It may take an application to the FTT about £65 if they ignore a letter before action, and in turn to the extent that any costs are due the FTT will consider their pay ability and reasonableness. Assuming the leases are the same wording its fairly simple case. Under the new rules July 2013, you have can give them a good thumping seeking your costs as well.
You do make me laugh…
IF they could attend and AGM they might be able to do that but the comapny are ignoring ANY requests to even hold meeting for leaseholders… which bit don’t you understand?
So I try to help and offer a solution and you see that as laughable? As I have said before your are blined by your own assumptions and this was a genuine attempt to offer a remedy.
I have replied on the basis that the people you are talking about are member or shareholders, and if so then the Companies Act, relatively simply( so simple that a ber wth a small brain like me have done it quite a few times on behalf of disgruntled owners replacing dicatorial closed door boards) requring them to call a meeting and if they fail to do so then the meeting goes ahead by the requistioners and the company and the board are bound by that, like it or not.
If however the people are not members or shareholders, then they have no right to have a meeting or be appointed to the board, the same as any private company would not let you and fellow users demand a right to be put on the board. It is absurd to expect or demand otherwise.
If you could clarify which it is then we can take it from there 🙂
If the latter then they have to look at RTM RTE or FTT appointed manager, and perhaps exercising their rights that they do have on scrutiny to make a nuisance of themselves and bully themselves into a better position…
We might wish that the position were differnet but it isnt and if they want to progress then I will suggest options as intended by the earlier post.
Well said Karen. With you all the way
Perhaps you would like to think about what i said as well
AM, if your comments “perhaps you might light to think about what I said as well” are aimed at me I think that time is way overdue for you to declare who you actually are, who you represent and what you actally do. It would then be far more clearer for many other posters on this site to understand your stances in so many “difficult comments ” you post.
I have no problem in declaring in full what I do in life. Do you?
I don’t agree. Some people who comment on this site have to do so anonymously. For example, they might be employees in the sector.
We welcome many and varied opinions on all issues. Anyone who thinks we are talking rubbish is free to say so.
LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation might not have the right answers, but it is asking the right questions and the more people engaged with leasehold reform the better.
I have linked some time ago to other efforts I make elsewhere on the web in this sector. Suffice to say that I am successful enough to spend the time on this, and while I disguise the point of posting, in order to protect my commercial interests, I have to also consider that a minority on the web are deeply unpleasant inquisitive and vindictive people who go to great ends to attack people that they disagree with.
Knowing who I am and what I do doesn’t really add or detract to what I say. I offer my comments to widen the debate and avoid myopic approaches and offer a contrasting approach as well as some of the “difficulties” that “simple ” reforms can lead to. The “LEASE for leaseholders” idea was a case in point as that would exclude any resident owned or controlled block taking advice eg Karen’s RTM.
My comment earlier was directed to you as, as if I recall, you operate a small firm and therefore I would have thought read my comments and understood their validity in reference to the problems Karen had referred to. While I didn’t argue on the morality of the position those she talks to find themselves in, I did try to offer constructive options and was surprised that they were, with, as I read it, your support, treated as laughable.
AM, whilst I do not agree all the time I believe that you take us on a journey that is mystical to most of us and is meant to be?
I personally feel that you broaden and help us that do not have your experience and we should take notice of what you say.
However, not all appreciate your intelligence, which is obvious but not always accepted.
Well may you continue?
Chas i would like to endorse your comments re am,s last post, plain English please am and less legal gobbledygook,