ALEP welcomes the announcement by Sajid Javid that the government plans for leasehold reform include banning ground rents for new leasehold houses. Members of ALEP have been aware of, and commenting on, these issues for some considerable time and it is good to see that the government has confirmed its commitment to address the leasehold issues highlighted in its White Paper.
In particular, the ills of the current situation could have been avoided had the leaseholders in question received better quality legal advice at the point of purchase. Whilst the ground rent issues that have been highlighted may well focus on the potential ‘abuse’ of homeowners by house builders with ulterior profit motives, each of them will have had conveyancing solicitors at the point of purchase.
ALEP was set up specifically to act as an umbrella organisation for specialist solicitors and surveyors working in the leasehold arena and in the niche field of enfranchisement. Its members are vetted for that specific reason.
One of the struggles faced by government and policy makers more generally is the conflict between providing lower cost conveyancing services without compromising on the quality of advice that homeowners receive. ALEP members specifically are expert in leasehold issues and ALEP, as the leasehold sector body for professionals, seeks to promote best practice and excellence of specialist service at all times. ALEP was set up ten years ago because many people who were looking for advice on leasehold issues were finding poor quality of service from professionals who claimed to be able to deal with leasehold issues (particularly enfranchisement).
ALEP members have a proven track record of dealing with leasehold cases in order to join the Association and the public can, therefore, be assured of a a consistently high level of service, integrity and professionalism.