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ISSUE No. 99 Winter 2011


It was standing room only at the FPRA 40th Anniversary event as about 300 people flocked to the Carisbrooke Hall of the Victory Services Club in London in November.

We were overwhelmed by the response and at this point would like to say SORRY

and apologise to those members who could not hear the proceedings of the Annual General Meeting. Such was the hubbub of those wanting to engage our exhibitors in conversation that some of the AGM was drowned out. We will not be making this mistake in future, be assured. The minutes of the meeting are usually distributed just before the next AGM, but in this instance are available immediately on request from the admin office. And, of course, you can read about the AGM in this newsletter.


Chairman Bob Smytherman welcomed the large audience and introduced himself as a leaseholder for 20 years and RMC director and chairman of the purpose-built development in West Sussex where he lives.

Bob called on everyone to celebrate FPRA’s 40 years as the only national body representing the interests of long leaseholders in England and Wales, via their own residents’ associations, resident management companies, right to manage companies or similar group. This had been 40 years of successfully representing and acting for leaseholders, but there was still much more to achieve.

Bob took the audience through the history of the FPRA, established in 1971 as a voluntary non-political, non-profit making organisation to represent long leaseholders and share knowledge. One of the first successes was lobbying for the Housing Act 1974 which allowed leaseholders to challenge service charges if unreasonable and for the first time expressly allowed a right of specific enforcement of the landlord’s covenants.

The Housing Act 1980 was passed which improved the provisions as to reasonableness of service charges and gave the right to statutory

recognition of residents’ associations. Philippa Turner, one of the original committee members, produced the first “Legal Jottings” in a newsletter in 1981, which is still hugely popular with our members today. Also in the 1980s, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 adopted most of the FPRA’s recommendations. The first to purchase the freehold was Queens Club Gardens, still a member and represented at the AGM.

In the 1990s, as a result of lobbying by FPRA and others, the 1993 Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act was passed enabling for the first time the purchase of freeholds and extension of leases even when landlord is opposed. And the FPRA was invited as sole leaseholder representative to join the board of new Government-funded advisory service (LEASE) a role which committee member Robert Levene holds today.

In 1997 FPRA gained a concession from Land Registry that copies of leases would, on request, be released whenever possible and the RICS Code of Practice was Published with input from FPRA incorporated.

In 2001 the FPRA website was launched. In 2002 the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act was passed, taking into account many of FPRA suggestions. Among many consultations, FPRA in 2004 responded to the Law Commission proposals on forfeiture, and on accounting for leaseholders’ monies and we continue to lobby to safeguard service charge funds.

Continued on page 2

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Satellite Dishes

– delight or blight? AGM

– in pictures Ask the FPRA

– your questions answered Legal Jottings

– compiled by Philippa Turner

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