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On the record


Despite lobbying from leading leasehold organisations the government's draft flood insurance regulations continue to exclude flat owners.

The Flood Re scheme, which has been reported on regularly in Flat Living, has been devised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the insurance industry to ensure that those who live in homes at risk of flooding will be protected from high insurance premiums.

However, although there are thousands of leasehold properties at high risk of flooding in the UK, only owner-occupied leasehold units in blocks of three or fewer can be included in the scheme. According to the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) it is not clear why that limit was decided upon.

Michelle Banks – CEO of ARMA said: “It is very frustrating that leaseholders continue to be discriminated against by regulations that are intended to make domestic property insurance widely available and affordable in areas of flood risk. While Flood Re claims to protect homeowners it is clear that there are many flat owners who will not be helped by the scheme.”

ARMA was among a number of organisations that were consulted on Flood Re and has regularly expressed its concern about the lack of protection for owners of leasehold flats. The draft regulations currently stand to exclude a number of groups of the property industry, including the majority of leasehold properties, the private rented sector and, until recently, top end properties in council tax Band H which have now been included. The British Property Federation (BPF) has blasted the government for not widening the scope of the scheme further, questioning why homeowners in council tax Band H are given priority over those who live in a leasehold flats.

The BPF and other industry bodies have repeatedly sought an explanation from DEFRA on why it has billed the scheme as protection for 'homeowners', but has left a large swathe of homeowners outside the scheme.

It is estimated that there are 800,000 leasehold properties at risk of flooding in the UK, with 70,000 of these at high flood risk. Anecdotal evidence has shown that some leaseholders exposed to the open market have seen their premiums increase by 500% and excesses increasing from £300 to £25,000 following a flood incident.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: “The Government and insurance industry continues to pick and choose who can participate in Flood Re, seemingly at whim, and this latest announcement will look odd to the millions of owners of flats, that they are not protected against escalating premiums, whilst the most expensive houses in the country are. Promises that the Government and insurance industry will monitor the situation of those excluded groups are worthless whilst they remain so airy-fairy on what would trigger them to act, and how they would do so.”


Roger Southam has been appointed by Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, as non- executive chairman of the Leasehold Advisory Service for a five year term from 1 January 2015. Roger succeeds Deep Sagar who held the position for eight years.

Roger is a well-known figure in the property industry bringing more than 30 years' experience to the role. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a Fellow of Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) and a Fellow of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). He is a regular panellist for industry focused groups including RICS, British Property Federation, Bank of England, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Margaret Longden has also joined the LEASE board effective 1 December 2014. Margaret is a regional Managing Director of the lettings division of Countrywide Estates and has a background in corporate finance as well as property industry expertise.

Anthony Essien said: "I am delighted that we were able to attract candidates of the calibre of Roger and Liz to our board to act as Chairman and Non-Executive Director respectively. They will provide us with tremendous experience and skills that will help us to successfully meet the challenges ahead as we assist the residential leasehold and park home sectors."

Ian Fletcher: government promises are worthless without action


Flat Living Live! is the first national exhibition for the Residential Block Management industry. It takes place on 8th and 9th July at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

This two day event with exhibitors and exciting seminars, promises to be the centrepiece of the Property Calendar.

The Business Design Centre was chosen as the venue because of the ease of access to both

Issue 20

tube and national railway stations, making this a great location for Property Managers based in both the north and south of the country. With onsite and local hotels, the Business Design Centre is surrounded by great restaurants for those staying for two days.

There will be up to 100 exhibitors from industries including:

Communal Lighting Insurance Surveyors Recruitment Companies Property Management Software Property

Maintenance Risk Management Lift

Consultants Lift Servicing Service Charge Recovery Solicitors Pest Control Services Grounds Maintenance

Entry Penthouse Extensions 19 Access Control / Door

Roger Southam

Chris Rutter, the event organiser says “We are delighted to be able to host this exhibition, which will be the first of its kind in this sector in the UK.

Flat Living Live! gives both property managers and exhibitors the chance to network with colleagues, learn about exciting new products and have a great day out'.

Register for your free

tickets or find out more at


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