ALEP Lecture addresses the perils and practicalities of missing landlords

Wednesday 11 March 2020

More than 200 professionals from the leasehold sector gathered at 30 Euston Square for the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners’ (ALEP) Annual Lecture. 

The Lecture examined the impact of missing landlords on leasehold enfranchisement cases. Sector professionals came together to discuss and debate this topic, with the Lecture hosted by ALEP’s Honorary President, Damian Greenish. 

The main theme of the day was missing landlords and surrounding issues that can arise in such cases. Mark Chick kicked off the proceedings by offering step-by-step practical advice on how to navigate such cases through his ‘Chick’s Top Tips’ presentation.

Furthermore, ALEP was delighted to welcome Sir Peter Bottomley, MP to address delegates in a special presentation. As well as sharing his view on missing landlords, he also commented on the current state of leasehold legislation. As Father of the House of Commons and Co-Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform, he called for ALEP experts to continue supporting and guiding the sector through inevitable changes to leasehold legislation. He urged delegates to join together to “make the whole thing [leasehold] better for all.”

Delving deeper into the 1987 & 1993 Acts concerning absent landlords, Anna Favre of Cripps Pemberton Greenish along with Mark Loveday of Tanfield Chambers looked at vesting orders, the right of first refusal and the original missing landlord legislation.

As well as advice for solicitors, valuers were not forgotten. Henrietta Hammonds of Beckett and Kay looked at the role a valuer plays in these cases and shared advice on marriage value considerations, Section 9A factors and her own tips for valuers navigating missing landlord cases.

Anna Bailey, ALEP Founder and Director, said: “Enfranchisement cases with missing landlords frustrate both sector professionals and leaseholders – and it’s not an uncommon scenario. This year’s Lecture really drilled down on the issues faced in these instances and I am pleased to say that delegates enjoyed debate and discussion, as well as leaving with practical advice and tips they can use in their everyday professional lives. 

“Reform to leasehold legislation was also discussed. Indeed, whilst none of us know the outcome of future reform, I can proudly say that ALEP will be ready to face these changes.” 

The Lecture’s afternoon session provided an update to delegates on the Law Commission’s recommendations to reform leasehold legislation. Nicola Muir, ALEP member and Barrister at Tanfield Chambers clearly set out the three possible changes which would follow if any of the reforms were adopted. 

The Lecture was rounded off with a lively expert panel debate which saw Piers Harrison, Barrister at Tanfield Chambers, chair a panel of enfranchisement experts including Nicola Muir, Damian Greenish, Henrietta Hammonds and Charlie Coombs, Partner at Gerald Eve.  Panellists answered questions from the audience about the Law Commission's proposed reforms, with balanced answers from a solicitor and valuer point of view. 

Delegates enjoyed a networking session following the afternoon’s Lecture.