The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) hosted its first ever annual conference on Monday 9 October 2017 at The Barbican Centre, London.
Following feedback from ALEP members, the new-look conference format was split into morning and afternoon sessions, with delegates able to attend either session or the entire event. Topical debate and interactive voting featured in presentations delivered by expert speakers offering a comprehensive insight into the sector's intricacies.
A key topic from the conference was a call for sector-wide education on all practices concerning leasehold and enfranchisement.
Michael Tibbatts, Senior Partner of Scrivener Tibbatts discussed ground rents and their impact on marriage value during his afternoon presentation. This sparked lively debate amongst delegates when Michael raised the point of more education across the sector being needed about freehold, leasehold and ground rents from estate agents to surveyors, valuers and consumers.
Interactive voting saw 51% of delegates agree that the current leasehold system should be maintained, but reforms should be considered to limit the quantum of ground rents that can be charged in certain situations. In contrast, 33% of delegates felt that a complete overhaul of the 1967 and 1993 Acts was required to produce, amongst other things, a common and simplified approach to enfranchisement.
Other leading lights of leasehold enfranchisement presented at this year's conference, including:
• Harriet Holmes, Tanfield Chambers
• Eleanor Murray, Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
• Peter Beckett, Beckett and Kay
• Mark Chick, Bishop & Sewell and ALEP Director
• Piers Harrison, Tanfield Chambers
• Michael Tibbatts, Scrivener Tibbatts
• Katherine Simpson, Pemberton Greenish
• James Culley, Knight Frank
• Dr Mark Andrew, Real Estate Finance and Investment, Cass Business School
• Martin Rodgers QC
ALEP's Director, Anna Bailey, said: "A key theme from this year's conference was sector-wide education and this is where ALEP comes in to promote best practice and raise standards collectively not only for the clients of our 215 members, but for other bodies within the wider property industry, such as estate agents.
"In just 10 years ALEP has grown to be an influential organisation and our conferences offer invaluable sector insight for young professionals new to the sector, as well those wanting to brush up on their knowledge or keep up to date with key developments in leasehold.
"This event heralded a change to ALEP's usual conference pattern, as the Association will now streamline the usual twice yearly conferences into one all-encompassing annual event. This will enable ALEP to offer even more training to our members through informal educational events and regional training and networking throughout the year."