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NEWSLETTER


ISSUE No. 85 Summer 2008


The Chief Executive’s Review John Peartree reports


A year ago FPRA sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the leaders of the main opposition parties. The letter was reproduced in the newsletter with the three replies received. The reply we received on behalf of the Prime Minister was from Simon Llewellyn, the senior civil servant at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) concerned with housing.


I recently had the pleasure of a meeting with Mr Llewellyn at the DCLG offices, and the main topic of conversation is set out in the letter that I subsequently wrote to him (as appears on page 2 of this newsletter). That letter speaks for itself, but I feel it important to emphasize that there were many points discussed with Mr Llewellyn and his colleagues on which we fundamentally agree. For example: I said that, in principle FPRA members probably supported the no smoking legislation although we thought that, as the default situation was that in enclosed spaces smoking was illegal, it was not necessary to have rather unattractive “No Smoking” notices smothering the country. Mr Llewellyn commented that he too felt a little uncomfortable about the signs in, for example, churches.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE HMO Headache


Leasehold petition – rejected


Ask the FPRA


– members’ questions answered Legal Jottings


Many Unhappy Returns


3 4


5 8 12 Following our discussion and my


subsequent letter, FPRA received the DCLG response from Tom Quilan. The key points are published on page 3 of this newsletter, as is my attempt at summarizing the situation and recommendation on what members who think they could be caught should do. We also publish the Government’s response to the private online petition to the Prime Minister seeking to replace leasehold with Commonhold. Their response is well reasoned and explains why 100 per cent agreement is required when the change to Commonhold requires the buying of the freehold. FPRA set out its stance on Commonhold most recently in the submission from our Vice Chairman, Dick Williams, in Newsletter 81. In summary we support new developments being Commonhold, but are most concerned about blocks that are already 100 per cent enfranchised but still require 100 per cent agreement from leaseholders. FPRA feels that in this day and age of overly busy people concerned with other things, this is impractical to the point of impossibility. And that is why Commonhold is currently a non-starter. We propose that, for 100 per cent enfranchised blocks, then the conversion to Commonhold should be on the same basis as the requirement for starting the enfranchisement Continued on page 10


DIARY DATE


This year’s FPRA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at the Gulbenkian Room, Park Crescent Conference Centre, International Student House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1. This is the same location as last year. More details will be sent with the next newsletter together with audited accounts.


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