Government bodies and the Conveyancing Association (CA) have found themselves at loggerheads over proposed overhauls to the ways in which leasehold transactions are processed during the buying and selling of property.
The news comes after the CA outlined a number of recommendations and proposed reforms to leasehold transactions last month – which were poorly received in the House of Commons.
Government bodies, such as the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), suggested that there were no prominent issues with the leasehold transaction process, following a written question put forward by Baroness Hayter.
Director of Delivery at the CA, Beth Rudolf, said: “Lord Bourne’s response to the question as to whether the Government plan to require landlords of leasehold properties to belong to a redress scheme indicated the lack of appreciation by the DCLG as to the loophole within the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.”
Paula Higgins, CEO of the Home Owners Alliance, commented: “We see first-hand the difficulties of leasehold conveyancing from the consumer’s perspective.
“Buying and selling your home is very stressful for consumers and this stress is magnified when it is a leasehold property.
“Perspective buyers and sellers are held to ransom by some freeholders and their managing agents having to pay extortionate fees in order not to lose the sale.
“Even in the limited situation where they can dispute the Leasehold Property Enquiry fee, this is not an option as they need the goodwill and co-operation of the freeholder to sell their property and get on with their lives.”
CA proposals initially suggested that the leasehold transaction process is overly costly, leads to ‘significant delays’ and is characterised by an ‘imbalance’ of bargaining power between administrators and leaseholders.
The CA wishes for the Government to amend the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, to ensure reasonable fees and cuts to delays – and suggests that it will continue to campaign for change, despite opposition and “lack of appreciation” for its concerns.