ISSUE No.111 Winter 2014
General Election Battle Plan A report from the AGM by the Editor, Amanda Gotham
New treasurer Patrick Gray, the website editor John Ray, Jacqui Abbott from the admin office and newsletter editor Amanda Gotham at the AGM
Contact your MP and make sure they have leasehold matters on their agenda in the run-up to the 2015 general election – that was the strong message coming from the speakers at the recent FPRA AGM.
A successful event welcomed about 150 people to the Kensington Town Hall. As well as the speeches and the AGM, there were workshops for members to attend, where experts from the FPRA and its associates helped with problems on enfranchisement and lease extensions; service charge and right-to-manage; the First Tier Tribunal; insurance and residents’ associations.
The first speaker, Sebastian O’Kelly of Carlex/ The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (LKP) warned that “gameplayers” were making big purchases of leasehold properties, determined to “monetise” freehold. He said it was “big business” to “scoop up freeholds of retirement sites”. “It’s legal, but I don’t like it,” he said.
He said that rogue managing agents would sign up to every code going, but were regular transgressors. The major offenders were not little rogue entities, but big management chains. However, he added: “There is progress. We are getting some changes.”
He praised three Members of Parliament, patrons of Carlex/LKP now it is a charity, for
their involvement in the problems of the leasehold sector: Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse, Labour); Ed Davey (Kingston and Surbiton, Lib Dem) and Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West, Conservative). He said that due to the intervention of Sir Peter, a fee of £500 slapped on a couple selling a retirement bungalow because of a conservatory built 25 years ago disappeared, and the sub-letting fee of £850 on a flat worth £85,000 in Essex – a fee more appropriate for Kensington and Chelsea – was reduced to £100.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE TV Interference
– help is at hand Disability Discrimination
– an Ask the FPRA special Wooden Floors in Flats
Legal Jottings – compiled by Philippa Turner
NEW FPRA WEBSITE – see fpra.org.uk
– further details in the next issue
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