News and Articles

BBC Radio 4 "You and Yours" invites Dona

08/02/2021

Dona was invited to speak to the Radio 4 show "You and Yours" on the subject of leasehold retirement properties today. The subject has caught the attention of the press in recent times following various Government announcements on leasehold reforms. More recently, in the context of retirement properties, this includes the ground rent ban which will now apply to retirement properties (previous plans having excluded the retirement sector from the ban) and right to manage of retirement properties. The full programme can be found here.

The Commonhold Council

06/02/2021

On 07 January 2021, the Government confirmed the creation of a "Commonhold Council". The purpose of the Council will be to prepare the industry for commonhold. There has been no announcement as to whether commonhold may become mandatory in future, but the creation of this council seems to suggest that this may well be the direction of travel. This month we will be hosting a dedicated session on commonhold as part of our webinar series, at which we will discuss whether commonhold ought to be mandatory and how it will affect existing leaseholders. For more information about this session, please contact us on advice@commonlease.co.uk


"Know your lease" webinar

31/01/2021

Following our ongoing webinar series, we are delighted to confirm that eminent barrister Amanda Gourlay will be running a session via her blog, Law and Lease. Amanda's session will look at essential lease clauses, where to find them and the basics with a specific emphasis on service charges. Having worked and spoken with Amanda at various events over the years, we have no doubt that this session will be a success. The session will be run on Wednesday 10 February at 6pm and the booking form can be found here.

Pets and leasehold properties

28/01/2021

The Government has today announced a new "standard tenancy agreement" for rental properties which assumes pets will be permitted. Landlords will no longer be able to issue a blanket ban on pets. A landlord will only be able to object to a request to keep a pet where there is a good reason. Whilst this is positive news for renters, one wonders where this will leave those who rent flats from leaseholders. Many long leases expressly ban pets which we assume will fall within the "good reason" exemption. Legally it may seem straightforward but we question whether it will be that straightforward in practice. We have a full article available on request. The Government's full announcement can be found here.

BBC Moneybox invites Dona to discuss the reforms

20/01/2021

We are delighted that our Dona was invited to speak as a guest on BBC Moneybox to discuss the reforms announcement. The BBC dedicated the programme to the announcements made by the Government on 07 January 2021. Dona was invited as a leasehold reform specialist to discuss what this meant for leaseholders and answered various questions from listeners. If you would like to listen to the programme, details can be found here.

Government backs controversial Law Commission proposals

07/01/2021

Almost one year after the Law Commission's valuation report was published, the Government has now confirmed that it intends to adopt the most radical valuation proposal - Scheme 1. The valuation announcement today includes removal of marriage value, prescription of rates and an online calculator to name but a few. The announcement also confirms 990-year lease extensions and reversal of the retirement sector exemption from the ground rent ban. The Government's full announcement can be found here.

End of year round up

31/12/2020

It has been a busy year for leasehold reform and for our team this year. We have had numerous updates from Government on a range of leasehold and commonhold reform agendas, which will no doubt pave the way for a busy 2021. On our part, we are pleased to have assisted over 300 leaseholders via our free webinar series and pro bono scheme. Our team has also expanded to meet the growning need for reform lawyers and we have welcomed Dona Awano, Matthew Lewis and Elin Dukes. Mari and Emily both continue their Government work on the reforms. We take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support given during what has been a rather unprecedented year. 

Dona attends virtual APPG on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform

10/12/2020

Dona was delighted to attend the All Party Parliamentary Group's meeting on 10 December which had a particular emphasis on cladding. The event was well attended and included a detailed question and answer session. The session reconfirmed the extent of the cladding crisis and the need to press ahead with substantial changes to the way the industry works. Cladding remediation for existing leaseholders was a particular concern.

Webinars confirmed for next 3 months

30/11/2020

We are pleased to confirm that our webinar sessions will continue throughout December, January and February. We now offer a range of 15 different sessions including commonhold and leasehold conveyancing. Most of sessions take place at either 1pm or 7pm. Followng the success of our service charge trilogy since launched in March, we will be running the trilogy every month due to high demand. If you would like details of our sessions, please contact us for details.

Understanding your lease structure

12/11/2020

Whether you are a leaseholder, landlord or managing agent, the starting point in any discussion is to understand the lease provisions. Issues can often arise where leases exist, but before you explore the options, you first need to understand who the relevant parties to your lease are. Matthew Lewis has written a helpful advice note as part of our free service charge library to explain the various structures that can exist. Please contact us if you would like us to send you a copy of Matthew's latest advice note or for details of our free service charge library.

Welcome to Matthew Lewis!

02/11/2020

During an unprecedented year, we are pleased to welcome Matthew Lewis to our landlord and tenant team. Matthew is vastly experienced in both enfranchisement and litigation matters. Matthew joins the team having acquired a particular interest in the ongoing leasehold reforms, which CLE remains heavily involved in. Matthew will be based in Dorset, and will continue to run the Leasehold Management Professionals alongside his private practice.

Ladies Lunch Club anniversary

22/09/2020

CLE has been the proud sponsor of the Ladies Lunch Club Brighton events this year. The LLC works tirelessly to support and bring together local businesses. The LLC has been a particularly invaluable support network this year in extraordinarily difficult times. LLC, run by Lara Squires, has held their events virtually since the Spring, and whilst we have missed the personal contact, it has still been very nice to catch up with the group regularly. The LLC celebrates their 15th year this year and CLE sends their congratulations and best wishes for the next 15 years!

Welcome to Dona Awano!

08/09/2020

We are delighted to welcome Dona to our landlord and tenant litigation team. Dona worked for many years at the Leasehold Advisory Service before moving to the leasehold reform team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government where she worked with CLE director, Mari Knowles. Dona will be using her wealth of experience to assist our clients in litigation cases in a notoriously tricky area of law.

CMA launches enforcement action against developers

04/09/2020

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

01/09/2020

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?

18/08/2020

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

28/07/2020

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.


Law Commission releases final reports

21/07/2020

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.

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

21/07/2020

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.

Leasehold reform webinars - dates for July

20/07/2020

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!

06/07/2020

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

15/05/2020

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

01/05/2020

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:

How to handle rent arrears in short-term let properties

28/04/2020

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:

We welcome Matthew Hollamby to the team!

07/04/2020

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: