Conveyancing Association sets out support for Housing White Paper measures

Conveyancing Association sets out support for Housing White Paper measures
Developing a stronger and more transparent Land Register is vitally important, as is the focus on leasehold costs and delays

The Conveyancing Association has announced its support for a number of measures announced in last week’s Housing White Paper from the Government.

In particular, the CA is supportive of measures to improve land registration and to promote fairness and transparency within the leasehold process.

Firstly, the White Paper appears to show strong support for the Land Registry’s overall aim to complete the Land Register – the Housing White Paper says it is ‘committed to becoming the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity, and an open approach to data and will aim to achieve comprehensive land registration by 2030’.

The CA is fully supportive of this as it will create a clear line of sight of ownership and beneficial interests generally. The CA provided a considerable response to a consultation on the Land Registration Rules 2017, proposing both a registration of options and the beneficial interests in restrictive covenants as a means to provide oversight, and to complete the Land Register. It is pleased that both these suggestions appear as measures in the Housing White Paper.

With regard to the various issues around the leasehold process, and the costs and delays within it, the CA is encouraged by the focus on leasehold in the Housing White Paper. It refers to developing greater fairness and transparency in leasehold generally and tackling buyer’s lack of awareness of associated costs. It also refers to its plans to tackle all unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold.

The Government plans to consider further reforms to improve consumer choice and fairness in leasehold, including working ‘with the Law Commission to identify opportunities to incorporate additional leasehold reforms as part of their 13th Programme of Law Reform, and will take account of the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold’.

The CA has provided significant input into the 13th Programme of Law Reform and continues to liaise, and work closely, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group in order to develop solutions to these issues.

Also, in order to improve education, the CA is putting together a consumer guide on leasehold costs that will cover off many of the questions raised in purchasing a leasehold property and the charges that come with it.


Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, commented: “There are many measures within the Government’s Housing White Paper that we are fully supportive of, indeed, we have advocated and pushed for many of them, alongside other industry stakeholders, so it is very positive to see these will be adopted. Clearly, developing a stronger and more transparent Land Register is vitally important, as is the focus on leasehold costs and delays.

The CA’s leasehold campaign has particularly focused on Lease Administrators’ charges and the delays that can hold up the leasehold process and we will continue to offer our views on how these can be overcome including measures for the adoption of a charging structure, a register of Lease Administrators, plus a redress scheme for consumers and a commitment from those companies to respond within a required timescale. We will certainly be contributing to forthcoming consultations in this area.”

Lloyd Davies, Operations Director at the Conveyancing Association, said: “Overall, the Paper seems to adopt a sensible approach to righting the wrongs of the housing market however we must all acknowledge that these changes won’t be implemented overnight and the road is likely to be a long in terms of upping supply and ensuring we are building enough affordable homes in the areas where people want to live.

The focus on ‘tenure neutrality’ is also a step forward however there does appear to be a confused approach to the private rental sector (PRS) – on the one hand supporting new-build for rental purposes, but then penalising private landlords with the additional stamp duty charge, plus looking at extending HMO licensing requirements and bringing in electrical safety certificates. Not forgetting the ban on letting agent fees, the costs of which will be put on the landlord who will most likely pass them on to the tenant.

The Housing White Paper, on the whole, does present some much-needed joined-up thinking however in the case of the PRS this seems to be lacking. The CA has long advocated a u-turn on the additional stamp duty charge for landlords because we feel it negatively impacts on the UK housing market and overall transaction numbers. It appears at present that the Government only wants institutional investment in the PRS and is actively looking to discourage individual landlords – the lifeblood of the sector – from adding to portfolios, or even continuing in this sector.

When the need for rental property supply is great indeed, and the Government acknowledges its importance, it seems utterly self-defeating to do this. We would urge the Government to change its mind on this and make the market far less difficult for individual landlords to deliver much-required supply of properties.”

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Latest Comments

Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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