Conveyancing groups take stand against rising ground rents

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Conveyancing groups have joined forces to publish documents designed to reform the leasehold sector following the recent ground rent scandal.

The documents will reduce the chance for leasehold abuse, speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, increase certainty for consumers and remove cost from the process.

The documents are the brainchild of the Legal Sector Group, which is made up of the Conveyancing Association, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Bold Legal Group and The Society of Licensed Conveyancers.

The reform proposals include changes to unfair leasehold ground rent terms, a suggested tariff of fees and set timescales for administrative activities.

The LSG has sent the proposals to new housing minister Alok Sharma and has requested a meeting.

Conveyancing Association director of delivery Beth Rudolf says: “The CA has long-campaigned for leasehold reform – it is a key work stream within our strategic plan – and we are now urging the powers that be to put in place a programme of change in order to provide both sellers and buyers of leasehold property with certainty, peace of mind, reasonable costs and a much greater degree of clarity in terms of what they are signing up to, and the responsibilities that are shared amongst those involved in their leasehold property.

“We are looking forward to working with the Law Commission and the new Government in order to make these proposals a reality.”

 Society of Licensed Conveyancers chairman Simon Law says:The SLC has been advocating for many years that the serious shortcomings associated with leasehold title, and the process for buying and selling leasehold properties, are addressed for the benefit of homeowners.”

Earlier today Mortgage Strategy reported The Council of Mortgage Lenders is also drawing up guidelines on tackling the unfolding ground rent scandal as it puts pressure on housebuilders over the issue.