SLC welcomes government’s plan to press ahead with ‘commonhold’ concept

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) has commended the government for launching the Commonhold Council – an advisory panel of leasehold groups and industry experts who will inform the government on the future of this type of homeownership.

The expert group will aim to help homeowners gain more control over their homes, as the advisory panel prepares them and the market for the widespread uptake of a collective form of homeownership – commonhold.

The commonhold model is used widely around the world and provides a structure for homeowners to collectively own the building their flat is in, with a greater say on their building’s management, shared facilities and related costs. There are no hidden costs or charges, preventing some of the egregious practices currently seen in some leaseholds.

But the SLC says that it is important that the council and the appointed technical support group is not a ‘talking shop’ but focuses on the legislative changes that will be required to result in the widespread adoption of Commonhold.

Simon Law, SLC chairperson, commented: “The SLC has long campaigned for reform of leasehold legislation and a move to widespread adoption of Commonhold in its place.

“It is greatly encouraging that the Government is now taking this seriously following the recommendations made by The Law Commission in its report published in July last year.

“As part of this work, it is very important that conveyancers have a strong and meaningful voice in the Council, and the Society is concerned that there appears to be minimal conveyancing representation on the council and none at all in the technical support group.

“We hope that there will the opportunity for experts within the SLC to be consulted and have input to this important work.”

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4 Comments

  1. LVW4

    19 years ago Commonhold was enshrined in law, but the developers refused to adopt it because they could not monetise it. Has the law somehow changed without anyone knowing? We should understand how it is working in Scotland and address any failures, but we don’t need yet more navel gazing, consultation, and a costly quango.

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    1. Burn red tape

      Well said. Bear in mind it appears Commonhold is wanted by many professionals as well as the Government BUT NOT the purchasing public! If hey wanted to run their own blocks of flats they have had ample opportunity to do so by serving Notice on the Freeholder. Where this has occurred it is soon found out by Lessees how onerous it can be to be a Director of a management company and the risks and responsibilities associated these days with being an Officer of a Company. Plus the social embaressment  in issuing proceedings against a neighbour to collect arrears of maintenance, or making a decision which is unpopular with a third of the lessees resulting in social unhappiness. Far better to improve the present Leasehold title, resulting in LESS more new red tape to understand and implement. Research of Lessees would have been wise, spelling out the advantages AND disadvantages of self management.

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  2. LVW4

    This is the classic [spurious] argument used by freeholders and their ‘associated’ managing agents.

    The management of blocks is now well-established with the Right to Manage. I have been Co.Sec. of a share of freehold block and fully appreciate the work done by the directors [for zero cost], as opposed to a managing agent who charges a massive management overhead plus additional, unaccountable and unquestionable (without going to tribunal) ‘management’ fees for s.20 major works. I have appointed an agent for the ‘professional’ stuff you talk about, but who is totally under our control. I have also been through 2 successful RTMs and am currently a director of one RTM co ltd. Hence, I know full well what the implications are.

    What you’re trying to say is, leaseholders don’t really know what they are doing and should therefore stick with leasehold… and the ability for freeholders to continue to exploit it through its managing agents, because they are the only ones with the ‘professional’ skills to do a proper job.

    I beg to differ!

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    1. Burn red tape

      Of course you beg to differ, you have every right to as you are obviously able and willing as a skilled peron to act as a Company Secretary. Please tell me how many blocks of flats would be fortunate to have a skilled person like you residing there? Very few from my experience. You sum it up perfectly when you say Hence, I know full well what the implications are How many Lessess are aware of the implications and when they are, do they wish, have they time and are they able to take on the responsibility?
      From your reply I appreciate you are supporting my theory there is no need for Commonhold, as you have indicated the Leasehold title is sufficnet for those who do wish to self manage.

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