Thinking of buying a flat?
Your estate agent must tell you anything significant that may affect your decision whether to buy a flat. There are...
LEASE welcomes changes now planned for home buying and selling and looks forward to working with leaseholders, consumer groups, government and others to make home buying much more straightforward, and for leasehold property in particular.
On 8th April the government announced its intention to improve the home buying and selling process. This follows a call for evidence exercise undertaken by government in late 2017 in which the government sought views on “common sense improvements” and “more ambitious change where it is warranted” (see LEASE response here). We also provided a free webinar to explain the call for evidence and help leaseholders to respond to it.
After considering more than 1,200 responses, amongst the government’s planned improvements is its intention to:
- Ensure that estate agents to hold a professional qualification and to be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers;
- Encourage the use of voluntary reservation agreements to help prevent sales falling through and crack down on gazumping;
- Setting a timeline for local authority searches so buyers get the information they need within 10 days;
- Requiring managing agents and freeholders to provide up-to-date lease information for a set fee and to an agreed timetable which will end the current situation where leaseholders are at the mercy of freeholders and their agents;
- Strengthen the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team so they can carry out more enforcement activity which includes banning agents; and
- Bring the profession into the technology era by setting up a working group to bring industry and partners, such as HM Land Registry, together to look at developing innovative digital solutions to speed up the home buying and selling process.
Government will also ensure that guides on ‘How to Buy’ and ‘How to Sell’ are developed and published to make sure that customers are better informed of the process and know what questions they should be asking. The government will work with consumer groups and industry to develop a consistent set of performance metrics for conveyancers, so consumers can make a more informed choice.
Government will consult on how the industry can be brought up to professional standards, like those in the same trade such as conveyancers, solicitors and surveyors.
- Freehold vs leasehold conveyancing flowchart
- Advice guides
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Webinar – Conveyancing residential leasehold