The LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation websites have hit fractionally under 29,000 visitors last month – the highest readership ever recorded by the sites.
April 16 also saw the Leasehold Knowledge Partnerhip being named in the House of Commons by Sir Peter Bottomley, who has criticised the Leasehold Advisory Service, LEASE, as “unbalanced” and urged LKP’s Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd to be appointed to the board.
This time last year the figure was about 6,000.
The figures are overwhelming confirmation that there is a desperate need among leaseholders for clear, practical information to help them in their struggles in this murky corner of residential property.
We have been able to assist numerous leaseholders last month, who came to us with their inquiries.
These include a couple from Nigeria, Ade Bankole and his wife Otitokan Oluwo, who have spent an appalling winter living in a Peverel managed block in Bracknell where there is a hole in the roof and squirrels have been running amok.
This issue is now at last being taken seriously thanks to LKP and the problem is being sorted.
Another issue concerns high-end Troy Court, in Kensington, where leaseholder Claire Jenkinson was being charged an astronomic £912 sub-letting fee because the residents’ management company had had a sudden rush of blood to the head after some prostitutes moved in.
This ridiculous fee, demanded by property manager Blenheims, has already been slashed by £360 and will – unless there is a nasty legal surprise – be resolved at £40 plus VAT.
This is the fee that the Land Tribunal has repeatedly stated is a reasonably sub-letting fee given the minimal amount of administrative work involved.
In spite of this ruling, freeholders simply ignore it and continue sending out demands for £130-£250 – and, sadly, some leaseholders do in fact pay up.
Many leasehold residents who contact LKP or Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation are unnamed and do not figure on the website.
Sometimes this is their preference, or it may be that on-going litigation is required.
We hope to assist all callers or those who email the site. We have a network of now very well informed leaseholders and sympathetic professionals who are happy to share the knowledge that they have painfully acquired.
So much in leasehold is weighted against the homeowners, who just want to get on with their lives, in favour of freeholders and their employees who know how to play this game so well.
LKP must thank its accredited managing agents, and our regular lawyers, for their work unravelling these seemingly impenetrable disputes.
LKP receives a modest income from accrediting managing agents, who make a living out of a clear management charge … and without the extras that pervade this sector. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, of course, is a charitable campaign.
LKP is doing some sterling work.
More than just a forum(which is very important) LKP to my mind is showing that there can be a different way that is fair to both freeholder and leaseholder.
Perhaps, now is the time to forge a deal with ukip.
Mr Bottomley’s intervention is admirable but he’s never going to put leasehold reform onto the agenda. But ukip, if the necessity for L/H reform could be explained and the potential political capital at stake be understood (something like 3m or 4m people living with the tyranny) that’s a discrete, distinct electorate.
Ukip admitted this week it has a bit of a policy vacuum. Supply them with one. The cost might just be one or two pints on the house with Nigel.