News and Articles

Ground Rent Bill update


On Monday, the Commons debated the final amendments to the Ground Rent Bill, being the last reading. The Bill will now move to the final stages, before becoming law. There is no indication yet as to when the Bill will receive Royal Assent, but we anticipate that this will be soon. For more information on the Bill, please see here.

Leasehold Management Professionals - Spring Events


Matt Lewis, co-founder of Leasehold Management Professionals (LMP), is delighted to launch their Spring events calendar. The LMP regularly hosts events throughout the year for residential property managers, covering a range of current topics. This Spring, the events will be held in person in Bristol, Bournemouth and Brighton. The events will include notable speakers such as Amanda Gourlay, Dr Shaun Lundy and Andrew Bulmer, to name but a few. Full details, including booking, can be found here.

Appointment of manager applications


The Judiciary has issued a practice statement for appointment of manager applications made pursuant to section 24 of Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. The note gives guidance to the parties and includes a draft order to be used. The advice follows several years of turbulent applications. The full practice statement can be read here.  

Ground-breaking right to manage case


The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the highly anticipated Settlers Court right to manage case. The case concerns right to manage applications on multi-block estates and considers what land the right to manage company gets to acquire post-acquisition. Previously, Gala Unity was the leading case on this matter. Settlers Court now reverses the Gala Unity principles which will cause concern for affected right to manage companies. The bigger question is how this will affect the ongoing right to manage reforms. The full judgment can be read here. 

Government releases key consultation


The Government has today launched a fresh consultation relating to the ongoing leasehold and commonhold reforms. The consultation focuses on specific Law Commission recommendations for enfranchisement, right to manage and commonhold. There are six key areas which the consultation looks at, mainly relating to qualifying criteria, including the controversial 50% rule. The consultation will run for six weeks. The full consultation can be found here.

Building safety remediation update


Secretary of State, Michael Gove, yesterday announced a change of plan on remediation policy. The robust announcement changes the current position, meaning that leaseholders who live in buildings which are between 11 - 18 metres tall will no longer have to meet remediation costs. The announcement also included confirmation that the Fire Safety Act 2021 will commence shortly, as well as making changes to surveying policy for affected buildings. The Secretary of State made clear that they intended to pursue those at fault for the defective buildings in a welcome change to the policy. A transcript of the announcement can be found here.

CLE approved by Law Society for Conveyancing Quality Scheme


CLE is delighted to have received accreditation from the Law Society for their Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The Scheme is a recognised quality standard for those in the residential conveyancing sector. Our conveyancing team specialises in complex leasehold sale and purchases, working closely with our other teams to assist with difficult transactions, as well as acting on estate sales and regular freehold sale and purchases.

CMA provides update on ground rent investigation


Following various announcements earlier this year relating to other developers, the CMA has today issued an update in respect of Taylor Wimpey. Undertakings have been accepted from Taylor Wimpey which endeavour to reverse not just the onerous doubling clauses, but also the RPI conversions which were originally offered by Taylor Wimpey to remedy the doubling provisions. A link to the full announcement and the undertakings given can be found here.

Mari invited to speak at 'Leasehold London' conference


News on the Block has invited Mari to speak at their annual conference, which will this year be held in person. The conferences are well attended by lawyers, managing agents valuers, landlords and tenants. Mari will be hosting a debate "commonhold versus leasehold: live", which complements the team's popular written series. The "commonhold versus leasehold"  articles examine key differences on the two property ownership systems with each article focusing on a specific topic. The live debate will examine the basics and promises to be an exciting session! Tickets can be booked here.

December hours


We will be closing our office for the festive season from 12pm on Thursday 23 December and re-opening at 11am on Tuesday 04 January. The team wishes all a wonderful month!

CLE wins coveted awards!


CLE is delighted to have won two awards at this year's News on the Block ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate, London. This year's News on the Block Awards combined the Property Management Awards and the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards. Our transactional team won "highly commended" in the "Solicitors Firm of the Year" group in the enfranchisement and right to manage category, coming second only to a well-established and highly decorated Central London firm. Our litigation team won the "Legal Services Provider" of the year in the Property Management Awards, having fought off competition from a large group of outstanding firms. CLE is absolutely delighted to be recognised for the team's hard work. 

Free webinar series


We are temporarily going to suspend our monthly webinar series in December as it is always a busy time of year for all. We will restart our webinars in the new year with some new content and fresh faces!

Dona quoted in Law Gazette


The "Trolley Dash" article in the Law Gazette took a detailed look at the current property market following the ending of the stamp duty deadline at the end of September. The article also followed the Law Society's annual property law conference which was attended by many with high profile speakers. Dona was delighted to input into the article in the context of commonhold which can be read here

COP26: 'commonhold versus leasehold' and climate change


Following interest in our COP26 climate change mini-blogs below, and in continuation of our "commonhold versus leasehold" series, we have now written a full article. The article explores the impact of climate change on multi-occupancy buildings, and which tenure is more climate-change friendly. 

Read more

COP26: commonhold and climate change


One of the significant advantages of commonhold is the flexibility to carry out works without the limitations that the leasehold system has. Any net zero works are likely to constitue "improvements", which most leases do not permit. This is where commonhold comes into its own as it allows the commonhold association to carry out improvements in a flexible manner. Existing commonhold associations may wish to explore the raft of government grants available for implementing net zero measures such as insulation installation or replacing their heating system with a carbon-neutral system. For new build commonholds, tackling climate issues is far more straightforward. Many new builds already offer net zero options such as electric vehicle charge points for example. With climate change becoming such a big issue, and with the flexibility that commonhold brings, surely this makes commonhold a better property ownership model? Next week, we will be looking at COP26 and leasehold.

COP26: CLE and climate change


With COP26 fast-approaching, it is clear that reversing pollution damage is going to be a world-wide effort. How can lawyers help? We think it starts with the office. CLE's head office is off-grid with as close to net-zero as possible - electricity from solar, water from a fresh-water spring next to the office, and heating and hot water from a pellet boiler. We are an entirely paperless office too to help keep our carbon footprint down. Our team also all work from home which avoids pollution-heavy travel. We will continue to work on our net-zero efforts! Next week, we will be looking at COP26 and commonhold.

CLE pleased to sponsor "Professional Services Provider of the Year"


We are delighted to be sponsoring the "Professional Services Provider of the Year" at the News on the Block Awards this year. The Awards combine the Property Management Awards and the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards for the first time, with the ceremony being held in London on 30th November. The event promises to be a lively affair and will be attended by lawyers, valuers, managing agents alongside a prestigious judging panel. For more information on the awards please see here.

AsT notice periods change again


Following various changes to the notice to quit periods required to be given by landlords over the course of the pandemic, the notice periods have now reverted back to the pre-pandemic periods. Rent arrears claims will once again only require 2 weeks' notice and no-fault claims will require two months' notice. Both of the prescribed notices have also been updated to reflect these latest changes.

Congratulations to Matthew Lewis!


We are absolutely delighted to announce that Matthew Lewis and his wife have welcomed a healthy baby boy into their family. We are overjoyed by the announcement and wish the Lewis' well!

CLE attends all-important APPG leasehold reform meeting


Following a busy summer, our team attended the first APPG of the Autumn. The APPG was well attended and highlighted the need to press ahead with various reforms. There were no substantial announcements made, but it is clear that the political appetite for legislative leasehold reform remains firmly on the agenda.

CMA issues update on leasehold investigation


The CMA has issued an update in connection with their ongoing investigation into leasehold abuses. Countryside, one of the four developers originally investigated, has now reached an agreement with the CMA to address various concerns. The full update can be found here togther with the terms of the undertaking given by Countryside.

Mari delighted to be invited to Law Society roundtable


Following Brexit, the H M Treasury has launched a public consultation on Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and proposed changes which must be implemented before June 2022 when the current AML arrangement with the EU ends. Mari has been invited to join a roundtable meeting for the Law Society's "Small Firm" division to discuss these changes and to provide input into the Law Society's reponse to the Treasury's consultation. Mari very much looks forward to the meeting on such an important issue for all law firms.

"Commonhold and the Future" - LexisNexis webinar


Mari Knowles was joined by respected barrister, Rebecca Cattermole of Tanfield Chambers, to run a special webinar for legal publishers, LexisNexis. The webinar took a detailed look at commonhold and what the future may hold in a post-reformed world. The webinar also included a helpful analysis of the differences between the commonhold and leasehold systems. Rebecca also gave some fascinating insights into the problems with the leasehold system. The webinar can be viewed here.

CLE summer break


Following an exceptionally busy 18 months for our team, we have decided to take a well-earned break from 23 to 30 August. Our offices will be closed during these dates but we will have emergency procedures in place. We have been delighted by the postive feedback and support given by our clients so far for our proposed firm-wide summer break. We look forward to coming back refreshed and ready for the Autumn!

Dona appointed to The Law Society's Committee


We are absolutely delighted to confirm that Dona has been re-appointed to the Law Society's Conveyancing and Land Law Committee as their commonhold and leasehold specialist. Dona previously held the post before accepting a contract to work at MHCLG. Dona is very much looking forward to working with the Committee again, especially on the various reforms. Dona will continue to work with CLE alongside her new appointment.