Replace Leasehold with Commonhold!

Leasehold is an 800 year old Feudal system which strangely only exists in England and Wales — Scotland and Ireland have got rid of
Leasehold many years ago and replaced it with an equal Commonhold system.

Leaseholders are classed as Vassal,inferiors,surfs etc etc.

Freeholders and Managing agents are classed as Superiors.

All Leaseholders are able to do is to go to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal– However as in Trafalgar Court Mundesley this
has been going on for eleven years and the building still remains in ruin. The Freeholder there is Mr Ravinder Sharma (London Land Securities, who constantly sends out service charges to Leaseholders that make no sense at all, plus he placed many drink
and drug addicts in the building, who threatened Leaseholders,
Mr Sharma then offered Leaseholders £2,500 for the their flats that hey had paid £40,000 pounds plus for!

He also sold 13 flats to unknown names for £1 each which sill remained registered at his home address.

Unfortunately there is no law in England and Wales to stop this ripoff.

The Rowner Regeneration again brought about by Leaseholders being exploited for many years.
Seven years of going to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal again was unable to stop the rot.

Why is this idea important?

Leasehold is an 800 year old Feudal system which strangely only exists in England and Wales — Scotland and Ireland have got rid of
Leasehold many years ago and replaced it with an equal Commonhold system.

Leaseholders are classed as Vassal,inferiors,surfs etc etc.

Freeholders and Managing agents are classed as Superiors.

All Leaseholders are able to do is to go to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal– However as in Trafalgar Court Mundesley this
has been going on for eleven years and the building still remains in ruin. The Freeholder there is Mr Ravinder Sharma (London Land Securities, who constantly sends out service charges to Leaseholders that make no sense at all, plus he placed many drink
and drug addicts in the building, who threatened Leaseholders,
Mr Sharma then offered Leaseholders £2,500 for the their flats that hey had paid £40,000 pounds plus for!

He also sold 13 flats to unknown names for £1 each which sill remained registered at his home address.

Unfortunately there is no law in England and Wales to stop this ripoff.

The Rowner Regeneration again brought about by Leaseholders being exploited for many years.
Seven years of going to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal again was unable to stop the rot.

Rogue Freeholders

If Rogue Freeholders commit criminal acts they should be arrested and charged. This would make them think twice about breaching peoples leases, extortion, invalid insurance or bordereaux insurance rip offs. Also issuing false (fraud) invoices and threatening people if they question anything or stand up to them.

Criminal and fraudulent acts that are committed with the knowledge that they will be protected if found out and exposed.
Currently it is evident that these people can do as they choose and are protected – Councils/Police/LVT etc etc… the bigger the Landlord the more protection they have.

Why is this idea important?

If Rogue Freeholders commit criminal acts they should be arrested and charged. This would make them think twice about breaching peoples leases, extortion, invalid insurance or bordereaux insurance rip offs. Also issuing false (fraud) invoices and threatening people if they question anything or stand up to them.

Criminal and fraudulent acts that are committed with the knowledge that they will be protected if found out and exposed.
Currently it is evident that these people can do as they choose and are protected – Councils/Police/LVT etc etc… the bigger the Landlord the more protection they have.

Changes to Right to Purchase Freehold

We would like to propose what we think is a far more efficient, far more cost effective and much fairer way of dealing with requests from leaseholders wishing to purchase the freehold to their own homes:

  1. Should negotiation between the leaseholders and the freeholder fail to agree a fair price for the freehold, a direct application is made to an approved valuerfor a valuation anda speedy resolution.
  2. Should there be a disagreement over the independent valuation, then each party could seek a further valuation and the median of the valuations be adopted.
  3. The Tribunal should be required to report within 4 weeks of any hearing and should adhere to this or else pay compensation e.g. return their fees or a daily penalty.
  4. The freeholder should have to provide valid, legal title documents at their expense rather than any costs of updating documents falling to the leaseholder.
  5. The freeholder should be ready to complete within 8 weeks of the Tribunal decision and is subject to fines/compensation for each day they exceed this.
  6. The leaseholder should not have to pay the freeholders costs for a valuation report unless that report is also copied to the leaseholders. This will increase the chance of a mutually agreeable freehold price being identified and prevent the leaseholder paying for a service they don’t receive.
  7. To act as an incentive for the freeholder to act swiftly, the leaseholder(s) should not have to pay all of the freeholder’s costs and there should be far more onus on the freeholder to act faster and fairer. Time limits should be set for each side to adhere to with appropriate sanctions and compensation for slippages.
  8. The removal of the draconian situation where the leaseholder forfeits their right to proceed if they miss a deadline, especially as it can be missed by the freeholder doing nothing and the leaseholder constantly has to chase and push the freeholder to respond – after all the leaseholderswant to purchase the freehold!

From the moment the leaseholder invokes their ‘right to buy’ the freehold, the whole process should be completed within a set period of time,say a maximum of 12 months.

Why is this idea important?

We would like to propose what we think is a far more efficient, far more cost effective and much fairer way of dealing with requests from leaseholders wishing to purchase the freehold to their own homes:

  1. Should negotiation between the leaseholders and the freeholder fail to agree a fair price for the freehold, a direct application is made to an approved valuerfor a valuation anda speedy resolution.
  2. Should there be a disagreement over the independent valuation, then each party could seek a further valuation and the median of the valuations be adopted.
  3. The Tribunal should be required to report within 4 weeks of any hearing and should adhere to this or else pay compensation e.g. return their fees or a daily penalty.
  4. The freeholder should have to provide valid, legal title documents at their expense rather than any costs of updating documents falling to the leaseholder.
  5. The freeholder should be ready to complete within 8 weeks of the Tribunal decision and is subject to fines/compensation for each day they exceed this.
  6. The leaseholder should not have to pay the freeholders costs for a valuation report unless that report is also copied to the leaseholders. This will increase the chance of a mutually agreeable freehold price being identified and prevent the leaseholder paying for a service they don’t receive.
  7. To act as an incentive for the freeholder to act swiftly, the leaseholder(s) should not have to pay all of the freeholder’s costs and there should be far more onus on the freeholder to act faster and fairer. Time limits should be set for each side to adhere to with appropriate sanctions and compensation for slippages.
  8. The removal of the draconian situation where the leaseholder forfeits their right to proceed if they miss a deadline, especially as it can be missed by the freeholder doing nothing and the leaseholder constantly has to chase and push the freeholder to respond – after all the leaseholderswant to purchase the freehold!

From the moment the leaseholder invokes their ‘right to buy’ the freehold, the whole process should be completed within a set period of time,say a maximum of 12 months.

Amendment to the leasehold reform act 1993

Amendment to the leasehold reform act 1993

Dear Sirs,

The leasehold reform act 1993 was intended to enfranchise leaseholders by extending to them, amongst other things, the right to purchase a share of the freehold of the premises of which they were leaseholders, provided they met certain criteria.

It was a good idea, but is working against the interests of many leaseholders simply because they do not have an absolute right to join in the enfranchisement process.

As things are, a simple majority of leaseholders are necessary to commence proceedings leading towards enfranchisement, but that majority can, if they wish, block other entitled leaseholders from taking advantage of a law they were all intended to benefit from.

Please consider amending the act, as soon as possible, so that leaseholders may not be excluded should they wish to participate, and in the event that enfranchisement has already taken place that they are entitled as a right to demand participation in the enfranchisement that has taken place.

Suitable arrangements will have to be worked out to financially compensate or allow for those leaseholders who may have already extended their lease by an additional term of 90 years or more, and there may have to be certain exclusions to cater for persons not entitled to become a director of a company because excluded.

There are many people in position to benefit from the proposed change outlined above and who would welcome a favourable change.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully

C R Cowell

Why is this idea important?

Amendment to the leasehold reform act 1993

Dear Sirs,

The leasehold reform act 1993 was intended to enfranchise leaseholders by extending to them, amongst other things, the right to purchase a share of the freehold of the premises of which they were leaseholders, provided they met certain criteria.

It was a good idea, but is working against the interests of many leaseholders simply because they do not have an absolute right to join in the enfranchisement process.

As things are, a simple majority of leaseholders are necessary to commence proceedings leading towards enfranchisement, but that majority can, if they wish, block other entitled leaseholders from taking advantage of a law they were all intended to benefit from.

Please consider amending the act, as soon as possible, so that leaseholders may not be excluded should they wish to participate, and in the event that enfranchisement has already taken place that they are entitled as a right to demand participation in the enfranchisement that has taken place.

Suitable arrangements will have to be worked out to financially compensate or allow for those leaseholders who may have already extended their lease by an additional term of 90 years or more, and there may have to be certain exclusions to cater for persons not entitled to become a director of a company because excluded.

There are many people in position to benefit from the proposed change outlined above and who would welcome a favourable change.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully

C R Cowell

amendment to the leasehold reform act 1993

Dear Sirs,

The leasehold reform act 1993 was intended to enfranchise leaseholders by
extending to them, amongst other things, the right to purchase a share of the
freehold of the premises of which they were leasholders, provided they met
certain criteria.

It was a good idea, but is working against the interests of many leaseholders
simply because they do not have an absolute right to join in the enfranchisement
process.

As things are, a simple majority of leasholders are necessary to commence
proceedings leading towards enfranchisement, but that majority can, if they
wish, block other entitled leaseholders fram taking advantage of a law they were
all intended to benefit from.

Please consider amending the act, as soon as possible, so that leaseholders may
not be excluded should they wish to participate, and in the event that an
enfranchisement has already taken place that they are entitled as a right to
demand participation in the enfranchisement that has taken place. Suitable
arrangements will have to be worked out to financially compensate or allow for
those leaseholders who may have already extended their lease by an additional
term of 90 years or more, and there may have to be certain exclusions to cater
for persons not entitled to become a director of a company because excluded.

There are many people in position to benefit from the proposed change outlined
above and who would welcome a favourable change.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully

C R Cowell

Why is this idea important?

Dear Sirs,

The leasehold reform act 1993 was intended to enfranchise leaseholders by
extending to them, amongst other things, the right to purchase a share of the
freehold of the premises of which they were leasholders, provided they met
certain criteria.

It was a good idea, but is working against the interests of many leaseholders
simply because they do not have an absolute right to join in the enfranchisement
process.

As things are, a simple majority of leasholders are necessary to commence
proceedings leading towards enfranchisement, but that majority can, if they
wish, block other entitled leaseholders fram taking advantage of a law they were
all intended to benefit from.

Please consider amending the act, as soon as possible, so that leaseholders may
not be excluded should they wish to participate, and in the event that an
enfranchisement has already taken place that they are entitled as a right to
demand participation in the enfranchisement that has taken place. Suitable
arrangements will have to be worked out to financially compensate or allow for
those leaseholders who may have already extended their lease by an additional
term of 90 years or more, and there may have to be certain exclusions to cater
for persons not entitled to become a director of a company because excluded.

There are many people in position to benefit from the proposed change outlined
above and who would welcome a favourable change.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully

C R Cowell

Abolish all Leasehold Residential Laws and replace with Commonhold

There are around 2 million people in England and Waled who "own" leasehold flats or houses. Leasehold diminishes with time so it is a diminishing asset. Even though these people bought their home at a market rate (usually with a mortgage), the freeholder can confiscate the property after court proceedings if the leaseholder does not pay the full amount that the Freeholder or Managing Agent demands for Service Charges and Maintenance of the building (which is usually significantly more than the cost that you would be charged using usual market processes).

This is a feudal based system. It is outdated, extremely complicated, unfair and not fit for the 21st Century. It should be replaced with a universal Commonhold or equivalent system that gives residents the power of freehold.

Although Freeholders can currently confiscate the property of leaseholders without compensation, what I am proposing is that limited compensation is paid by leaseholders to "buy out" their freeholder. For those on low incomes there should be a special scheme which offers interest free loans  to leaseholders (administered by Local Councils or Banks) in order that they can buy their property outright and enjoy the full benefit of home ownership.

At the very least, this government should repeal the law of  "forfeiture" (Law of Property Act 1925) which enables freeholders to confiscate the property of a leaseholder without compensation.

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

There are around 2 million people in England and Waled who "own" leasehold flats or houses. Leasehold diminishes with time so it is a diminishing asset. Even though these people bought their home at a market rate (usually with a mortgage), the freeholder can confiscate the property after court proceedings if the leaseholder does not pay the full amount that the Freeholder or Managing Agent demands for Service Charges and Maintenance of the building (which is usually significantly more than the cost that you would be charged using usual market processes).

This is a feudal based system. It is outdated, extremely complicated, unfair and not fit for the 21st Century. It should be replaced with a universal Commonhold or equivalent system that gives residents the power of freehold.

Although Freeholders can currently confiscate the property of leaseholders without compensation, what I am proposing is that limited compensation is paid by leaseholders to "buy out" their freeholder. For those on low incomes there should be a special scheme which offers interest free loans  to leaseholders (administered by Local Councils or Banks) in order that they can buy their property outright and enjoy the full benefit of home ownership.

At the very least, this government should repeal the law of  "forfeiture" (Law of Property Act 1925) which enables freeholders to confiscate the property of a leaseholder without compensation.

 

 

 

 

Scrap Leaseholds on Properties

I would like to see the leasehold system held on many properties scrapped. This is such an unfair and outdated idea where you buy a house or a flat for a silly amount of money and it is never really your own. You will always be subject to a faceless landlord and continue to pay them for the entire time you 'own' the property.  It's an outdated Feudal right that urgently needs changing.

Many leaseholders will complain that they will lose out and there is already an option to buy your leasehold if you want to (or the majority of flats want to). This is out of reach for most people who have made their biggest ever purchase (their house). An assessment should be done to determine the real price of the land that your house stands on and include it within the house/ flat price. Until this is done nobody with a leasehold house can truly say that it's their castle.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see the leasehold system held on many properties scrapped. This is such an unfair and outdated idea where you buy a house or a flat for a silly amount of money and it is never really your own. You will always be subject to a faceless landlord and continue to pay them for the entire time you 'own' the property.  It's an outdated Feudal right that urgently needs changing.

Many leaseholders will complain that they will lose out and there is already an option to buy your leasehold if you want to (or the majority of flats want to). This is out of reach for most people who have made their biggest ever purchase (their house). An assessment should be done to determine the real price of the land that your house stands on and include it within the house/ flat price. Until this is done nobody with a leasehold house can truly say that it's their castle.

Make Residential Leasehold illegal for new build, Regulate management companies, and make Leaseholders’ Valuation Tribunals properly accessible.

Residential Leasehold is a throwback to the feudal system, allowing landowners to profit shamelessly, and should be abolished for new-build.  All new build should be freehold or (for flats) commonhold.  Commonhold has been an option for some time now, but rarely used.  Why not?  Because leasehold is so much more profitable.  The losers are the purchasers. 

In addition, there is no regulation for the management companies, which as a consequence often give poor service for high prices.  A simple google-search will reveal many abuses.  Again, the losers are the purchasers.  Removing poor managers is possible, but tortuous, and especially so if the leaseholders are elderly, which is the case in retirement developments.

In theory, Leaseholders' Valuation Tribunals are available to sort out disputes, but in reality they are intimidating for the 'ordinary person'.  Landlords and management companies often turn up with barristers.  It's time the system was reformed, and made truly accessible for all to use, without legal representation..

Why is this idea important?

Residential Leasehold is a throwback to the feudal system, allowing landowners to profit shamelessly, and should be abolished for new-build.  All new build should be freehold or (for flats) commonhold.  Commonhold has been an option for some time now, but rarely used.  Why not?  Because leasehold is so much more profitable.  The losers are the purchasers. 

In addition, there is no regulation for the management companies, which as a consequence often give poor service for high prices.  A simple google-search will reveal many abuses.  Again, the losers are the purchasers.  Removing poor managers is possible, but tortuous, and especially so if the leaseholders are elderly, which is the case in retirement developments.

In theory, Leaseholders' Valuation Tribunals are available to sort out disputes, but in reality they are intimidating for the 'ordinary person'.  Landlords and management companies often turn up with barristers.  It's time the system was reformed, and made truly accessible for all to use, without legal representation..

Replace the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and Forfeiture

I posted elsewhere on this web about my personal experience of property managers sending false accounts, refusing to produce accounts compliant with s21 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (prosecuting body local councils have only a discretion to intervene) and disregarding County Court Orders regarding repairs and accounts with total impunity.   If you look at the website for CARL and for SELCHA – two grass roots organisations of victims of rogue property managers/freeholders you will see that there is a massive problem in the South East and probably throughout UK with freeholders and their agents sending false accounts (police wont prosecute) and misappropriating service charge funds and pocketting the difference between actual expenditure and stated expenditure (sometimes 1000% – one thousand percent – markup).    In 1985 Parliament passed legislation to help the flat-owners, presumably acknowledging problems accessing county court for breach of covenant it gave local authorities powers.   Parliament also acknowledged the problem when creating the LVT, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal which has the power to remove a rogue property manager and to check the service charges.  Sadly the LVT has earned itself a reputation for being corrupt, and I can happily give details of evidence of this should you like.    CARL and SELCHA may also display details on their websites.  They suggest the LVT be replaced by a housing ombudsman.     I dont know how much the LVT costs the taxpayer, how much its adjudicators cost, but they should return the money because the are not discharging their duties and constistently disregarding Article 8. As they are a 'poor man's court' they know few can mount a Judicial Review or appeal to the Lands Tribunal.  The LVT is taking taxpayers money and not discharging its duties as set out in the Human Rights Act (I can give full details if asked).    

The problem seems to arise from the principle of Forfeiture which arises from The Law of Property Act 1925 (I think it may be section 146).  Forfeiture is almost uniquely English it is not known in Europe or in most other countries.   Forfeiture is where a freeholder/landlord can take someone's flat (home) from them without paying them a penny in compensation.   Most people who purchase their flats obtain a mortgage and pay it off over 25 years, making sacrificest o own their own home.   If the have paid £120,000 for their flat and they do not pay their £5 ground rent (or their freeholder denies receiving it) the freeholder can then simply change the locks and take this person's home for themselves, and not have to pay a penny.  He can then sell it for £120,000 and not pay the homeowner a penny.  This gives an incentive to villans to become freeholders/property managers and target people in their homes with false accounts, threatening forfeiture if they are not paid within 7days.  Sometimes the freeholders come across someone like me who queries their accounts but usually people pay up or get out quickly before they cannot leave. 

If s146 Law of Property Act 1925 was repealed, then it would bring us in line with most other countries, and it would not make it so easy and lucrative for freeholders to send false accounts.   

If the LVT was replaced with a  bona fide institution that would save the taxpayer loads of money and help homeowners as at the moment rogue freeholders boast about how bias the LVT is and how it is pointless going there as it will only cost the homeowner money and they wont get a fair hearing, so they may as well pay the false accounts as its cheaper.

Please help – pleae look at CARL's website and that of SELCHA.

 

Why is this idea important?

I posted elsewhere on this web about my personal experience of property managers sending false accounts, refusing to produce accounts compliant with s21 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (prosecuting body local councils have only a discretion to intervene) and disregarding County Court Orders regarding repairs and accounts with total impunity.   If you look at the website for CARL and for SELCHA – two grass roots organisations of victims of rogue property managers/freeholders you will see that there is a massive problem in the South East and probably throughout UK with freeholders and their agents sending false accounts (police wont prosecute) and misappropriating service charge funds and pocketting the difference between actual expenditure and stated expenditure (sometimes 1000% – one thousand percent – markup).    In 1985 Parliament passed legislation to help the flat-owners, presumably acknowledging problems accessing county court for breach of covenant it gave local authorities powers.   Parliament also acknowledged the problem when creating the LVT, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal which has the power to remove a rogue property manager and to check the service charges.  Sadly the LVT has earned itself a reputation for being corrupt, and I can happily give details of evidence of this should you like.    CARL and SELCHA may also display details on their websites.  They suggest the LVT be replaced by a housing ombudsman.     I dont know how much the LVT costs the taxpayer, how much its adjudicators cost, but they should return the money because the are not discharging their duties and constistently disregarding Article 8. As they are a 'poor man's court' they know few can mount a Judicial Review or appeal to the Lands Tribunal.  The LVT is taking taxpayers money and not discharging its duties as set out in the Human Rights Act (I can give full details if asked).    

The problem seems to arise from the principle of Forfeiture which arises from The Law of Property Act 1925 (I think it may be section 146).  Forfeiture is almost uniquely English it is not known in Europe or in most other countries.   Forfeiture is where a freeholder/landlord can take someone's flat (home) from them without paying them a penny in compensation.   Most people who purchase their flats obtain a mortgage and pay it off over 25 years, making sacrificest o own their own home.   If the have paid £120,000 for their flat and they do not pay their £5 ground rent (or their freeholder denies receiving it) the freeholder can then simply change the locks and take this person's home for themselves, and not have to pay a penny.  He can then sell it for £120,000 and not pay the homeowner a penny.  This gives an incentive to villans to become freeholders/property managers and target people in their homes with false accounts, threatening forfeiture if they are not paid within 7days.  Sometimes the freeholders come across someone like me who queries their accounts but usually people pay up or get out quickly before they cannot leave. 

If s146 Law of Property Act 1925 was repealed, then it would bring us in line with most other countries, and it would not make it so easy and lucrative for freeholders to send false accounts.   

If the LVT was replaced with a  bona fide institution that would save the taxpayer loads of money and help homeowners as at the moment rogue freeholders boast about how bias the LVT is and how it is pointless going there as it will only cost the homeowner money and they wont get a fair hearing, so they may as well pay the false accounts as its cheaper.

Please help – pleae look at CARL's website and that of SELCHA.

 

Abolish Leasehold Law

Leasehold is an archaic, complicated, unfair and often abused system. The system allows exploitation of leaseholders by the freeholder, and is biased toward the landlord. Large buildings such as blocks of residential flats should be under the control of the people who live there and they should be allowed to own their own properties outright. Current leasehold blocks should be converted to commonhold.

Why is this idea important?

Leasehold is an archaic, complicated, unfair and often abused system. The system allows exploitation of leaseholders by the freeholder, and is biased toward the landlord. Large buildings such as blocks of residential flats should be under the control of the people who live there and they should be allowed to own their own properties outright. Current leasehold blocks should be converted to commonhold.

The statutory regulation of managing agents

Managing agents need to be regulated to help protect leaseholders and commonholders from irresponsible and unprofessional operators and to help raise the standard and professionalism of the industry

Why is this idea important?

Managing agents need to be regulated to help protect leaseholders and commonholders from irresponsible and unprofessional operators and to help raise the standard and professionalism of the industry

Abolish a landlord’s right to forfeit a lease (on grounds of debt or breach of covenant)

Replace lease forfeiture with a landlord's right for compensation from a recalcitrant leaseholder that is in line with the amount owed or damage done.

Why is this idea important?

Replace lease forfeiture with a landlord's right for compensation from a recalcitrant leaseholder that is in line with the amount owed or damage done.

Amend the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993

review and amend the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to be more fair and right for leasehold home owners. the current situation is heavily weighted in favour of the freeholder and even though a flat for example has been bought and paid for like any other home, the freeholder has the power to demand almost any figure he/she wishes in order to extend the lease.

Why is this idea important?

review and amend the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to be more fair and right for leasehold home owners. the current situation is heavily weighted in favour of the freeholder and even though a flat for example has been bought and paid for like any other home, the freeholder has the power to demand almost any figure he/she wishes in order to extend the lease.