LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Move to speed up leasehold sales comes into effect

Move to speed up leasehold sales comes into effect

A new legal process aimed at speeding up the sales of leasehold properties such as flats in blocks comes into effect tomorrow.

It is aimed at reducing leasehold transactions by between five and ten days through a new approved set of inquiries for leasehold properties. It is said to have been initiated by Move with Us in consultation with major industry bodies.

Buyers and sellers of leasehold properties frequently experience added complications and expensive delays because of differing information requirements from both the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers, meaning the landlord or managing agent has to deal with a different set of inquiries every time a leasehold property is sold.

By creating a standard questionnaire for leasehold properties, both landlords and managing agents can introduce systems to collate the information safe in the knowledge that both the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers will accept it.

Consumers will also save money as the additional requests for information will only be required where an issue is revealed which requires further investigation.

Beth de Montjoie Rudolf, legal services consultant at Move with Us, said: “Up until now, there has been uncertainty in the process. The new form is a triumph of common sense and a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the whole industry works together.

“As the home of the UK’s largest network of independent estate agents and one of the largest conveyancing panel managers, it is vital for us to ensure that our agents and conveyancers are provided with the right tools to reduce transaction times for all property sales.

“The inquiry process previously adopted for leasehold properties was an unnecessary burden for agents and conveyancers alike who are increasingly under pressure to complete sales quickly, especially in an improving property market where delays in transaction times are being reported.

“With almost five million leasehold titles registered in England and Wales, this new form will have wide-reaching benefits. It is likely there will be one leasehold property somewhere in every chain of transactions.”

The new Form LPE1 which will be available from October 10 had the collaboration of a number of bodies including the NAEA and Law Society, and is supported by lenders.