Research by News on the Block has revealed a significant number of Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords who own flats. The information is contained in the public Register of Member of interests. The full list can be downloaded here. MPs and Lords Who Own Flats
The recent Government amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill means that, if passed into law, managing agents will for the first time have to offer flat owners and freeholders access to a redress scheme – as a matter of law. This move does not go as far as independently regulating managing agents – a move which has received broad industry support from bodies including the British Property Federation, and ARMA.
The current political climate is such that this is the first time in over 10 years that significant legislation affecting the lives of leaseholders around the country is on the Parliamentary table.
The campaign to protect flat owners is spearheaded by Baroness Gardner and Baroness Hayter in the House of Lords and Sir Peter Bottomley MP in the House of Commons.
Bob Smytherman, Chairman of the Federation of Private Residents Associations, has also urged News on the Block readers to take the time to lobby their Member of Parliament in writing:
“As Chairman of the only impartial national organisation representing leaseholders it is fair to say that there have been many great strides made in the last few years to reforming our ancient leasehold system, however there is still some way to go with Leasehold Reform to make the system fair for all”
“For this reason it is why we are now calling on those MP’s who are leaseholders themselves to introduce the much needed changes to drive out those so called professionals that exploit vulnerable leaseholders in an unregulated environment where too often totally inexperienced and untrained managing agents disappear with leaseholders hard earned service charge funds with little protection for the leaseholder causing huge distress and allowing the blocks to fall into disrepair.”
Flat owners and others in the industry, such as landlords, managing agents and their professional advisors, can write by email or post to their appropriate flat-owning Member of Parliament with their views on leasehold reform. Further information about how to do this can be found here, and here. You can also download a template letter, which you can personalise to reflect your own situation, here. Template Letter to Member of Parliament
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