Useful information for leaseholders
For leaseholders, service charges are the most frequent problem. Leaseholders can apply to the First-tier property Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a determination of the lawfulness of their service charges. Freeholders have the funds to employ lawyers to represent their interests at tribunal hearings.
Leaseholders need to check their insurance policies to see if they qualify for free legal advice. They need to work with their neighbours to share information and any costs.
• The Leasehold Advisory Service is government funded Agency whose role is to give free advice to leaseholders. https://www.lease-advice.org/
• The National Leasehold Campaign has an active Facebook Group. In less than 3 years it has acquired over 16,000 followers. It is run by volunteers.
• The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership services the influential All-Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform. They are a charity. Check out their excellent website. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/
• Leasehold disputes are not eligible for legal aid. Many law schools for trainee barristers run pro-bono law clinics and may provide free legal representation at the property tribunal. https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice-individuals/find-legal-advice-clinic-near-you
• The London Mayor has produced a guide for leaseholder. https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/homes-londoners/leasehold-guide
• Louie Burn a trustee of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has written a helpful book “The Leaseholder’s Guide to Leasehold”. This is published by Amazon. He publishes a website. https://barcode1966.com/2019/10/25/the-top-ten-leasehold-changes-which-must-happen-now/
• The First Tier Property Tribunal can be contacted at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber
• The Department of Communities and Local Government has produced a how to lease guide. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-lease
• The Law Commission is reviewing the law in this area. See https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/residential-leasehold-and-commonhold/
• The Independent Housing Ombudsman can deal with some complaints from leaseholders. See https://www.tpos.co.uk/
• The Advertising Standards Authority deals with misleading adverts and website content. See https://www.asa.org.uk/
• Shelter the housing charity has helpful information on their website for leaseholders at https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/shared_ownership_leasehold/responsibility_for_leaseholder_repairs
• There are some local leaseholder associations especially in London. For Southwark contact the independent leaseholder association at https://www.las2000.org/ and the Islington Leaseholders Association http://www.ila.org.uk/
• The Independent Housing Ombudsman deals with certain complaints from leaseholders whose freeholder is a housing association. https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/
• The Legal Action Group has published a book “Leasehold Disputes “by Francis Davey and Justin Bates. A new edition is due out later in 2020.
• The House of Commons Library produces well written briefings on leaseholder issues. https://www.parliament.uk/commons-library
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