Conveyancers have called for managing agents to be compelled to provide conveyancers with Leasehold Property Enquiries (LPE1) data within ten working days and for no more than £300.
The call has come from leading industry body The Conveyancing Association (CA) within its response to the government’s request for input into its plans for leasehold reform following the recent mis-selling scandal.
It also fires a warning shot across the bows of estate agents who sell leasehold properties, cautioning them that if they mislead buyers when selling leasehold properties then “under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, anyone marketing the property would be subject to criminal action if they had not made the buyer aware of the lease and the fact that the property was not exempt from the rules, at the point of marketing”.
One of the key points of the government’s consultation is to find out how best to implement measures to improve how leaseholds are sold including how to make buyers aware of their terms and conditions and also to ensure buyers are aware if a property is exempt from the proposed rules. Houses on community-led developments, for example, may be excluded from the ban.
Conveyancers are also calling for LPE1 information to be made available online so that it can be included in a property’s marketing information prior to sale, including the 12 answers normally included in the form.
The government is also consulting on how to implement a total ban on new build leasehold homes; bring in zero-cost ground rents on leases for both houses and flats; how to make service charges fairer and more transparent; and how to best make it cheaper and easier for leaseholders to buy-out their freehold.
The CA also says those who have been mis-sold leaseholds should have their costs, and any premium, paid by the seller.
“We are keen to ensure the necessary criminal action is taken against those who mislead purchasers and do not provide the upfront information required in order for the purchaser to make an informed decision,” says Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at The Conveyancing Association (left).