ALEP and Seddons hail progress of Leasehold Reform Bill in Parliament
Private Members’ Bill now headed to House of Lords
LONDON, 28 JANUARY 2014 – Seddons, a leading law practice based in London’s West End, and the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) have today hailed the progress of a private members’ bill, which seeks to address a long-standing and unresolved legal issue within the property sector.
The Leasehold Reform (Amendment) Bill successfully had its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Friday, 24 January, and will now make its way to the House of Lords.
Both Seddons – led by property enfranchisement partner John Midgley – and ALEP have played a key role in supporting the legislation, which “seeks to make an amendment to the 1993 Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act to assist long leaseholders of flats who are unable to sign, for whatever reason, the legal notices necessary to trigger an individual lease renewal or the collective enfranchisement process.”
More specifically, the Bill aims to provide clarity in relation to the signature of notices by corporate bodies, where there is currently uncertainty as to the capacity in which a company may sign and often notices need to be executed as a deed in order to prevent a challenge to their validity.
In a speech in the House of Commons after the successful Third Reading of the Bill, David Nuttall, MP for Bury North – who has piloted the Bill through the Commons – paid special tribute to both Midgley and ALEP for their support of the Bill’s development and progress:
“I would like to pay tribute to the work of ALEP which brings together solicitors and valuers, acting on behalf of landlords and tenants, in collective enfranchisement and lease extension matters. It seeks to promote best practice in this area of law and campaigns to improve the legislation.
“In particular, I would also like to place on record my thanks to Mr John Midgley – Property Enfranchisement Partner at Seddons Solicitors and a member of the ALEP Advisory Committee for his sage advice and assistance in connection with this Bill.”
John Midgley, partner at Seddons, commented:
“It is good to see this further Parliamentary hurdle crossed with the Bill having the support of the both the government and the official opposition. We look forward to progress being made in the House of Lords on a Bill which aims to tidy up a legal anomaly where solicitors and attorneys cannot sign enfranchisement notices on behalf of their flat owners clients, redressing a long neglected and increasingly problematic issue for leaseholders.”
Alex Greenslade, founder and Honorary Secretary of ALEP added:
“Since its inception in 2007, ALEP has sought to represent the interests of professionals engaged on behalf of freeholders and flat owners. For a number of years we have been discussing certain technical points arising from Leasehold Reform legislation, points which seem illogical and cause difficulties for all practitioners. We are therefore delighted that such collaborative effort has resulted in legislative change and hope that this amendment is the first step towards making other necessary changes.”
Seddons (www.seddons.co.uk) is a leading law practice based in London’s West End, with a strong reputation for both commercial and private client work. The firm delivers practical, cost effective, legal advice across a range of specialisms with particular expertise in real estate, corporate, dispute resolution, and family law.
Its clients are drawn from all business sectors and include corporations, small and medium sized enterprises and entrepreneurs, based in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Seddons prides itself on the quality of advice, delivered by lawyers from diverse backgrounds but with equal commitment to service.
Its business clients operate across a wide range of sectors, and it supports its individual clients in a variety of domestic and personal situations, in both cases often with an international dimension.
About ALEP (Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners)
Formed in 2007 and now with 160 member organisations, ALEP is a not-for-profit association that brings together barristers, enfranchisement intermediaries, managing agents, solicitors and surveyors working in the residential leasehold sector. ALEP promotes best practice by vetting individual barristers and organisations to ensure they have significant expertise in leasehold enfranchisement. Membership of ALEP acts as a badge of assurance so that flat owners and freeholders can be confident that they are employing professionals with the right level of experience in handling potentially complex transactions.
For further information about ALEP, telephone 0845 225 2277