Leading lights of leasehold enfranchisement meet for ALEP Spring Conference

Key figures from the leasehold enfranchisement sector met to discuss everything from valuation to negotiation at the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners' (ALEP) 18th Spring Conference.

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Held at The IET London: Savoy Place, the conference was attended by more than 250 experts from across the leasehold enfranchisement sector including barristers, managing agents, project managers, solicitors and valuers, as well as senior representatives from organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) and the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA).

Damian Greenish, ALEP’s Honorary President and partner at Pemberton Greenish, hosted the event. Speaker Nick Davies, a global trainer and barrister, 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. Delegates were provided with the top tips to keep in mind during any negotiation, why having a ‘Plan B’ is crucial, and how the setting and who is involved in negotiations plays a key part.

Other notable speeches on the day included one by ALEP Director, Anna Bailey, who gave an overview and potted history of the Association and its plans for the future; Vanda Kelsey of Knight Frank, who examined the three main bases of valuation under the 1967 Act; Tim Martin of Marr-Johnson Stevens who considered the valuation implications of covenants that might be included in freehold transfers under the 1967 Act; Ellodie Gibbons, barrister at Tanfield Chambers, who provided the traditional enfranchisement case update and Andrew Trott, FRICS and member of the Upper Tribunal, who presented on the role of the expert witness.

Returning to this year’s line up was a bonus morning session, in which Alex Greenslade, ALEP’s founder and Honorary Secretary and Chairman of Leasehold Solutions, and Mark Wilson, MRICS of myleasehold, delivered a presentation titled, ‘Everything you wanted to know about enfranchisement valuation but were afraid to ask’. The session was specifically aimed at newly qualified professionals in the enfranchisement sector and those needing a refresher. Alex and Mark provided a comprehensive (and jargon-free) overview of valuation for lease extension and freehold acquisition and there was also a quiz at the end of the session.

Next year ALEP will celebrate its tenth anniversary – a milestone achievement for an association which now has nearly 200 organisations including well-known firms such as Savills and Knight Frank, as well as a number of leading legal chambers.

Alex Greenslade said: “ALEP has experienced remarkable growth in the last ten years, but its core principles remain at the heart of the Association – to promote best practice among member organisations that, in turn, represent and help residential leaseholders and freeholders in England and Wales navigate the complexities of leasehold enfranchisement. Our conferences provide members with an opportunity to benefit from the advice and guidance of key figureheads in our sector and learn from their considerable experience.”

Last year marked another significant achievement for ALEP and its members, as it successfully influenced a government consultation on court fees. Following extensive research in consultation with its members, ALEP was contacted by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and asked to consider proposals and outline its concerns in relation to how increasing tribunal fees would be detrimental to residential leaseholders. ALEP’s lobbying resulted in the MOJ amending its proposals in line with the Association’s recommendations.

Alex Greenslade continued: “The past ten years have proved how far ALEP and its members have come; we’ve worked together to lobby government – which now consults us for advice on new laws concerning enfranchisement – and improve legislation to make it easier for leaseholders to understand and employ their rights. ALEP’s networking sessions always deliver cutting edge counsel to member organisations and we’re delighted the 2016 Spring Conference proved to be a great success”

Don’t miss out! ALEP’s Autumn Conference will take place on Tuesday 11 October 2016.  For more information and to secure a place, please visit www.alep.org.uk or call 0845 225 2277.