News

May 2017

About ALEP

About ALEP

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) brings together barristers, managing agents, project managers, solicitors and valuers working in the leasehold sector under one, all-encompassing professional membership organisation.

Leasehold enfranchisement is a complex issue, which requires the services of professionals who are qualified and competent in dealing with intricacies it presents.

Through a rigorous vetting process, ALEP ensures its member firms have proven positive results in this sector, thereby providing the public - be they leaseholder or freeholder -  with reassurance that they will receive a consistently high level of service, integrity and professionalism.

ALEP, which is not an advice service, was established in 2007 in response to concerns raised by owners of leasehold properties who wanted reassurance that the people they were dealing with were reputable. Freeholders also require this reassurance.

Another aim of the Association is to facilitate communication between practitioners; since its launch, ALEP has not only opened up dialogue within the sector, but also provided valuable input into government consultations and offered counsel and guidance on leasehold and enfranchisement legislation.

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April 2017

'We won once'... win twice at ALEP Annual Quiz

'We won once'... win twice at ALEP Annual Quiz

‘We won once...' were crowned winners of  ALEP’s 4th annual Quiz Night.
The team, which last won in 2015, was made up of representatives from Trowers and Hamlins.

ALEP held an evening of Brainteasers at Forge, Bank where nine teams battled it out over six rounds on questions from general knowledge, word facts, famous faces, food and drink, sport and London trivia!

Last year’s winners, ‘Wisdom of Wilsons'  were unable to hold onto their title and a tense tie-break saw three teams clamour [not] to win the losers' wooden spoons.

The quiz was once again supported by Kerry London which kindly donated the top raffle prize of a champagne brunch at The Landmark.

The raffle, which was also generously supported by Bishop & Sewell, Leasehold Solutions, Wilsons, Seddons and Robsons, raised over £300 for Cancer Research.

Next event:    ALEP on the Town - Thursday 25 May. 
For more information click here.

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December 2016

Legal ladies first at ALEP’s 10th anniversary conference: Ellodie Gibbons and Anna Favre named as hosts

Legal ladies first at ALEP’s 10th anniversary conference: Ellodie Gibbons and Anna Favre named as hosts

Two of the legal sector’s leading lights have been named as joint hosts for the Association of Leasehold and Enfranchisement Practitioners’ (ALEP) landmark 20th conference, which takes place on 23rd March 2017. The conference marks 10 years at the forefront of enfranchisement excellence for ALEP and its members.

Anna Favre, Partner, Residential Real Estate at Pemberton Greenish will take to the stage, alongside Ellodie Gibbons, Barrister at Tanfield Chambers.

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Leasehold to be subject of Commons debate: Tuesday 20 December 2016

Leasehold to be subject of Commons debate: Tuesday 20 December 2016

Representatives of ALEP attended an APPG on the subject of commonhold and leasehold, held in Westimster on Wednesday 14 December. The meeting can be viewed here.

On Tuesday 20 December MPs will take part in a general debate on leasehold and commonhold reform. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following a representation from Jim Fitzpatrick MP and Sir Peter Bottomley MP.

The debate can be viewed on Parliament television here

A House of Commons Library briefing provides background information for the debate and can be read in full here:

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Honorary Secretary’s Report

Honorary Secretary’s Report

ALEP AGM
Tuesday 6 December 2016
East India Club, St James’s Square, London

As 2016 draws to a close and we look towards 2017 and our 10th anniversary, we can reflect on the achievements the Association has made in the past 12 months.

This time last year we had welcomed our 190th member firm; in September we passed the 200 member mark and have today ratified our 209th, testament to ALEP’s reputation and continued high standing.

We continue to be on the ‘speed-dial’ for central and local government and this year we have consulted on matters including possible further leasehold law reform via the Law Commission, Leasehold Secondary Legislation in relation to the Housing & Planning Act 2016, fee changes for applications to the F-tT (Property Chamber) Residential Property and, of course, the hotly-debated matter of Stamp Duty Land Tax. ALEP’s consultation working groups have proved a great success with members from law and valuation alike.

We continue to forge relationships with organisations in the wider industry including the RICS, LEASE, NAEA, ARLA, IRPM and ARMA and places at our Leasehold Lunches, which twice a year provide an opportunity for these organisations to take part in informal round-table discussions, are highly sought-after.  The National Association of Estate Agents has also asked us to provide training to its members and this has been delivered in London and Kent, with further dates planned for 2017.  

We held our third quiz-night, an evening of `Wine and Wisdom’, which saw 80+ members battle it out for the famous ALEP winners’ trophy at Browns, Covent Garden.  `Brainteasers at Bank’ is scheduled for 2017 and is set to be another exceptional event.  Our golf day proved ever-popular, particularly with the 25+ novices who took advantage of the Bushey Hall golf pro’s expert advice on the course. 

We have held two successful conferences this year.  Our Spring event took place at the IET: Savoy Place and the highlight was, undoubtedly, a presentation by Nick Davies, a global trainer and barrister, who delivered a highly engaging presentation titled `Negotiation: the art of letting them have your way’.  Nick’s presentation provided a valuable insight into the science, planning and structure behind successful negotiation, and how it should not be used as a sales tool.  We are delighted that Nick is joining us as after-dinner speaker for our anniversary gala dinner in March 2017.

The autumn conference saw ALEP take to the stage at the renowned Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and among the highlights was an enlightening and engaging presentation on the residential outlook for Prime Central London by Tom Bills of Frank Knight.  We reintroduced interactive voting and were able to get a good indication of how our members feel about key leasehold issues and the all-important Brexit result.

We are grateful, as always, to our sponsor, Kerry London, which has supported out events for a fourth consecutive year.  The provision of moral, as well as financial support, is hugely appreciated and I know that our members appreciate the excellent professional service – and favourable rates – Kerry London offers. 

Planning for our conference is always a collaborative effort and our 20th conference, which is taking place at RIBA on Thursday 23 March is no exception.  The conference planning group, which is made up of barristers and representatives from member firms, as well as interested non-members renowned in this sector, has worked hard to develop an exciting agenda for this landmark event and I would like to take this opportunity to than those involved for their enthusiasm and support. 

An Anniversary Gala Dinner will follow the conference, and tables of ten, as well as individual tickets, are available, although tickets (and tables!) are selling fast. The evening promises to be great fun and presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate all that, together, we have achieved as an association.

DRIVE Marketing, an agency led by Clare Grove and Anna Bailey, continues to run the management of the Association.  I believe the members receive prompt and efficient service.

So, my grateful thanks go to them, as well as those who play a crucial role: Liza Smith, the administrator, and the band of ALEP ladies who so ably help at ALEP events throughout the year. 

I would also like to thank all the members of the advisory committee for their guidance and support, particularly that of Mark Chick.

Finally, ALEP has come a long way in the past ten years and we are proud of all that we have achieved.  From humble beginnings as a networking group, we have grown to an influential organisation and membership of ALEP is a badge of assurance to those seeking to appoint the very best professionals in the sector.

None of this would be possible without the continued support and loyalty of you, our member firms and individual barristers.  By attending our events, participating on online surveys, joining consultation groups and planning meetings, you help us take ALEP from strength to strength and into the next decade with confidence.

Alex Greenslade
Honorary Secretary

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November 2016

ALEP echoes The Conveyancing Association’s calls to streamline and simplify the leasehold sales process

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) fully endorses The Conveyancing Association’s call to "Amend the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 to resolve the unreasonable cost and delay now associated with the leasehold sales process."

This follows The Conveyancing Association’s white paper on ‘ Modernising the Home Moving Process’. The report examines the constraints the home moving process entails and provides guidance and ideas on how this procedure can be streamlined to create a "more certain and transparent process".

It also highlights its "vision of a data sharing, collaborative, digital home moving service", suggesting a move like this would be welcomed  by consumers and industry professionals alike, with the aim being to "achieve a more positive home moving experience".

The report’s Executive Summary suggests the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 should be amended to ensure reasonable fees and clamp down on duplicate fees in the presence of ‘multiple administrators’.

In addition, The Conveyancing Association is also calling for the Land Registry to hold a Lease Administrator’s Register to make it easier to locate the correct person or body and avoid delays.

Alex Greenslade, ALEP’s Director and Honorary Secretary, said: "ALEP welcomes The Conveyancing Association’s calls for the leasehold process to be made more open and transparent for leaseholders and to reduce instances where excessive fees are charged.

"Indeed, ALEP has provided vital input to a number of government consultations and offers advice and guidance on leasehold and enfranchisement legislation. ALEP is ready to work with Government and our members to help to modernise the home moving process for leasehold flat owners and purchasers."

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October 2016

Bennet Griffin of Worthing joins ALEP

Bennet Griffin of Worthing joins ALEP

Bennett Griffin was established in Worthing, West Sussex, in 1990 following the merger of two existing local solicitor practices.  Bennet Griffin pride themselves in providing both corporate and individual clients with expert, effective and timely advice.

By consistently offering unequalled service Bennett Griffin LLP has been able to grow as a practice and now have over 50 staff providing expertise and specialist advice in a wide range of legal services.

Along with membership of ALEP, Bennett Griffin’s legal expertise is affirmed by various accreditations awarded by external bodies, including the Law Society’s Quality Conveyancing standard.  Bennett Griffin have also been awarded the Lexcel Practice Management Standard from the Law Society and hold the Investors in People Bronze Award.

Bennett Griffin’s Leasehold Enfranchisement Team has extensive knowledge of this complex area of law, and is experienced in acting for both Freeholders and Leaseholders.

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19th ALEP conference attracts the sector's best of the best

19th ALEP conference attracts the sector's best of the best

On Monday 10th October 2016, the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) was proud to host its 19th conference at the Royal Institute of
British Architects (RIBA), Portland Place, London.

With a delegate list of the leasehold enfranchisement sector’s top players, the conference attracted a host of ALEP members including barristers, managing agents, project managers,
solicitors and valuers. The conference was, once again, sponsored by partner, Kerry London.

The conference – officially ALEP’s most successful to date – gave some of the sector’s leading
practitioners a platform from which to deliver high quality and informative presentations to an audience of more than 300 professionals.

There were many highlights of the conference including Knight Frank’s Tom Bill delivering an enlightening and engaging presentation on the residential outlook for Prime Central London. Here,
Tom examined the effects Brexit may have on the market and the impact politics has on prime London property.

Other standout moments from the conference included the breakout sessions, particularly Gary Murphy of Allsop and Mark Chick of Bishop & Sewell, who delivered an insight into how to value a Section 5 Notice.  As a result of the outcome and debate sparked from this presentation, a sector working group is set to be formed to discuss the topic further.

Sebastian Verity and James Culley – both from Knight Frank – rounded off the presentations with
their take on statistically assessing relativity, hedonic regression and relativity curves. This session was well received by delegates and, in fact, sparked the most post-conference debate.

Interactive voting was reintroduced at this conference, and proved very popular with delegates as it allowed them to get involved and share their opinions on questions posed by presenters.

When asked how the Brexit vote has affected delegates’ business, 23% stated negatively and 51% stated it was too early to tell.

Another statistic from the interactive voting highlighted 66% of the audience said there is a need for a statistical method of assessing relativity.  Indeed, 65% of delegates said ‘less clarity’ when asked if the Upper Tribunal’s Mundy decision provided more clarity on relativity, or made it harder to advise clients.

Furthermore, 81% of delegates agreed that relativity should vary according to location, e.g. a
property in the North West of England should conform to a different ‘relativity curve’ than a property in Belgravia.

Alex Greenslade, ALEP’s Honorary Secretary, said: “We are delighted with the feedback delegates have provided us on the variety and content of this, our best-selling conference to date. Each breakout session was well attended and it was great to see lively debates sparking up between practitioners and their peers – which continued well into the evening. We’re looking forward to 2017 and our 20th conference and gala dinner to celebrate ALEP’s decade at the forefront of enfranchisement!”

 

The 20th conference
and celebratory gala dinner will be held on 23rd March 2017 at RIBA.
For more information please visit http://www.alep.org.uk/events

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Save the Date:Thursday 23 March 2017

Save the Date:Thursday 23 March 2017

ALEP will be celebrating ten years at the forefront of enfranchisement with a celebratory 20th conference and gala dinner on Thursday 23rd March 2017.

Please make sure you save the date for this exciting event and return to these pages for updates.

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August 2016

ARMA announces new Independent Regulator

ARMA announces new Independent Regulator

ARMA (the Association of Residential Managing Agents) is delighted to announce the appointment of former government minister Sally Keeble as its new Independent Regulator. Sally will chair the Regulatory Panel which oversees ARMA members and determines disciplinary outcomes of cases involving member firms.

 ARMA is the leading trade association for residential leasehold managing agents in England and Wales. It works to achieve the highest standards of leasehold property management and campaigns for improvements in legislation and policy for the benefit of consumers. The Regulator and Panel are operationally independent of ARMA and the Association has no power to intervene in its affairs.

As government minister Sally had responsibility for social exclusion and housing and has enjoyed a varied and highly successful career in senior positions, including council leader of the London Borough of Southwark. As a minister Sally took the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 through Parliament, and most recently held a senior role in international development.

Current Independent Regulator, the Rt Hon Keith Hill, said: “The calibre of applicants as exceptionally high and Sally is expertly placed to take over a role which is crucial for the standing and integrity of the independent status of the Panel.”

Sally will take up the appointment in November 2016 when Keith stands down after three years in the role.

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