Opening the conference Damian Greenish of Pemberton Greenish LLP, Honorary President of ALEP, welcomed the speakers of the first session about the preparation and serving of Notices.
Take Notice! was presented by valuer Andrew Pridell of Andrew Pridell Associates and solicitor Mark Chick, partner at Bishop & Sewell LLP. The slide deck for the ten point presentation is available for members to download here.
At the end of the session delegates divided into two groups – solicitors and valuers – to discuss the creation of a possible master checklist that ALEP members could refer to in future.
Amongst the findings it was concluded that solicitors most value clarity on a surveyor’s valuation, which should include a recommended offer price and details of any apportionments. Sharing knowledge, such as information on any unregistered deed holders, also helps to make the process more efficient.
Areas for concern included negotiations being restarted after Counter Notices are served, issues related to lack of clarity on costs and a lack of transparency on upfront fees.
The valuers’ group raised the debate about who should draw up the plan, i.e. whether it should fall to the solicitor or valuer; whether the Directions from the London LVT in particular are too short, unlike provincial LVTs where the increased level of detail is often very helpful.
Surveyors also bemoaned the level of experience and competence of some solicitors being lower than ideal (an issue ALEP is addressing by vetting the experience of enfranchisement specialists).
Alex Greenslade and Anna Bailey announced an expanded range of activities in 2012 including a dinner to mark ALEP’s fifth anniversary on 2 February, at which the Rt. Hon. Ann Widdecombe will be the guest speaker. This celebratory event is supported by News on the Block and will also mark the opening of the nominations for the 2012 News on the Block Enfranchisement & Right to Manage Awards.
Nic Shulman, editor of News on the Block then announced the launch of the enfranchisement section of the LVT Bulletin. The LVT Bulletin is available to ALEP members for a discounted subscription of £175.
Philip Rainey QC, head of property at Tanfield Chambers then gave the keynote address primarily looking at developments following the decision made on 10 October in the tribunal between Sloane Stanley Estate and Carey-Morgan. This was an appeal from the LVT on a collective claim comprising a small purpose built block in Chelsea comprising 25 flats in which five important issues were covered including the existing leasehold vacant possession values of flats that have five years unexpired.
Following Q&As the Honorary President then brought the conference to a close and a drinks reception followed ending at 7pm.
The next ALEP CPD conference will be in March 2012. Full details will be available on the ALEP website by New Year.