News and Articles

Welcome to our articles page where we share insights and news.

CMA launches enforcement action against developers
04 September 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating the mis-selling of new build properties for the last year. The CMA has today announced that they will be taking action against four key developers involved and has provided a comprehensive update on their website. We anticipate that today's announcement is likely to raise many questions and we look forward to seeing what happens next. Read the CMA's article here.

September webinar sessions confirmed
01 September 2020

Following the success of our webinar series over the summer, we will be running further sessions during September. This month, there will be a particular emphasis on service charge disputes which is a topic we are asked about almost daily. Our sessions provide a user-friendly guide to disputes to demystify what can otherwise be a tricky area to navigate. For further information, please contact us on advice@commonlease.co.uk

Commonhold or leasehold?
18 August 2020

Mari Knowles writes for News on the Block following the Law Commission's announcements to overhaul the leasehold system. This article explores if commonhold really is the answer to the problems we see in the leasehold system. Read the full article in News of the Block's Issue 108 here or contact us for a copy.

Emily Fitzpatrick writes for the Law Gazette on the Leasehold Reforms
28 July 2020

Emily Fitzpatrick has written a joint article with Professor Hopkins of the Law Commission on the leasehold reforms. An interesting take on radical reform proposals. Read the full article here.

"Landscape of leasehold reform is a busy one" - Professor Hopkins
21 July 2020

The Law Commission has officially launched the reports at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Leasehold Reform this morning which we were delighted to attend. Professor Hopkins gave a comprehensive summary of the key recommendations made by the Law Commission and reiterated on numerous occasions that their recommendations were focused on making "fit-for-purpose home ownership". The reports have been prepared as a blue print for future legislation which will no doubt significantly change the leasehold system in years to come.

Law Commission releases final reports
21 July 2020

We are delighted to welcome the Law Commission's final reports on reforming enfranchisement, commonhold and right to manage. We are especially proud of our very own Emily Fitzpatrick who has been working for the Law Commission on these reports over the last few years. We have yet to read the full reports, but the Law Commission has provided useful summaries. The recommendations make it clear that the Law Commission has very much listened to the task they were given: to simplify the existing systems for enfranchisement and right to manage, to make the system better for leaseholders and to make commonhold more accessible. We have prepared a summary of the reforms and the key proposals which is available at advice@commonlease.co.uk. We will be updating this page throughout the day as the reports unravel.

Leasehold reform webinars - dates for July
20 July 2020

This week will bring a series of updates on the various leasehold reforms prior to the start of summer recess. We are pleased to announce that we will be running free webinars to summarise the various reforms over the course of the next month. We will include details on the reforms, what happens next, the advantages and disadvantages of waiting until the proposals become law and anticipated timeframes. The confirmed dates for July are: 1pm on 28, 29, 31 July and 7pm on 30 July. If you would like to attend please email us at advice@commonlease.co.uk. We will release dates for August shortly.

We welcome Elin Dukes to the team!
06 July 2020

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Elin to our team. Elin joins us as a specialist in Wills and Probate and will be setting up our new department which will complement our existing departments. Elin has a wealth of experience and also works part-time as a University lecturer and writer.

Free debt advice clinic
15 May 2020

Following the success of our webinars in April, we will be continuing with our webinars during May. The webinars will cover: know your rights, the dos and don'ts, practical tips, negotiating, major works, and long-term planning. Please contact advice@commonlease.co.uk for further details. The webinars will be running weekly for at least the next month. The sessions will be updated as we navigate our way through the pandemic.

Right to manage and unwelcome works
01 May 2020

The team responds to a complex query from a News on the Block reader. The Right to Manage Company would like to carry out works which the majority of leaseholders do not want to proceed with. The article explains what the leaseholders' rights are. Read the full article here: http://newsontheblock.com/questions-answers/qa-rights-and-obligations

How to handle rent arrears in short-term let properties
28 April 2020

The latest article from iinsure365 sets out detailed advice for landlords who are struggling to collect rents from their tenants amid the pandemic. Included as part of that advice, Mari Knowles offers free webinars for landlords, which will include legal rights, the current position and practical tips. Read the full article here: https://iinsure365.co.uk/landlord-helpful-fact-sheet/

We welcome Matthew Hollamby to the team!
07 April 2020

Matthew joins the enfranchisement team, having acquired a wealth of experience working in Sussex. Matthew was nominated for the "Young Professional of the Year" award at the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards in 2019. Read more about Matthew's move at News on the Block: http://www.newsontheblock.com/news-opinion/leasehold-enfranchisement-specialist-joins-commonhold-and-leasehold-experts-limited

Free debt advice clinic
30 March 2020

We are now running free debt advice webinars for leaseholders who are worried about how they will pay their service charge and ground rents in the upcoming months. The webinars will cover: know your rights, the dos and don'ts, practical tips, negotiating, major works and long-term planning. Please contact us on advice@commonlease.co.uk for further details. The webinars will be running weekly for at least the next month. The sessions will be updated as we navigate our way through the pandemic.

Hannah Brace and Emily Fitzpatrick accepted as NHS volunteers
26 March 2020

We are very proud that Hannah and Emily have been accepted as NHS volunteers during what will no doubt be a difficult time for many. Hannah and Emily already work tirelessly within their communities and we have no doubt that they will continue their hard work to help as many people as possible.

Mari Knowles invited to speak at Southwark Homeowners' Conference
07 March 2020

The Southwark Homeowners' Conference is the biggest conference organised by and for leaseholders in the country and is always very well attended. Mari Knowles will be speaking with Amanda Gourlay of Tanfield Chambers on "Service charge disputes in the First-tier Tribunal" covering the basics from start to finish. It will be followed by an extended Q&A session. To book your place, please book here: https://southwarkhomeowners.co.uk/conference-registration/

The Competition and Markets Authority finds evidence of serious issues in leasehold selling
28 February 2020

The CMA has now published a preliminary review of an ongoing investigation into mis-selling of properties. It interestingly takes a view on whether leases based on a Retail Index-Linked clause might now also be problematic. Read the full paper here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-finds-evidence-of-serious-issues-in-leasehold-selling

What is an onerous lease?
19 February 2020

Mari Knowles assists respected barrister, Amanda Gourlay, of Tanfield Chambers with a detailed look at what might constitute an "onerous" lease, with a particular emphasis on ground rents. This article follows years of investigation into the "ground rent scandal". The blog takes a look at the current position in anticipation of the Competition and Market Authority's expected report into onerous leases. Read the full article here: https://www.lawandlease.co.uk/2020/02/19/what-is-an-onerous-lease/

LexisNexis publishes updated Commonhold Edition
10th February 2020

LexisNexis has now published the updated commonhold edition, providing a valuable resource for those looking to purchase a commonhold unit. It includes a helpful narrative section together with a range of useful templates. Mari Knowles was absolutely delighted to be asked to work on this latest edition using her knowledge and skills on commonhold. Commonhold may substantially change in the upcoming years as a result of reforms being proposed by the Law Commission, but at least for now, the edition is up-to-date!

Law Commission's controversial valuation report published
9th January 2020

Following on from years of work, the Law Commission has now published its much-awaited report on enfranchisement valuations. It looks at the options for reducing the price payable by leaseholders. Read their full paper here: