The Conveyancing Association (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has today launched a redrafted Leasehold Template letter for firms to send, along with the Leasehold Property Enquiry Form (LPE1), in order to secure all required information for their leasehold clients within 15 days in a bid to speed up the conveyancing process and reduce costs.
This follows the announcement last month by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), James Brokenshire, of a change to legislation which commits the Government to mandating a cap on the cost of the provision of the completed LPE1 at no more than £200.
The Secretary of State also confirmed that all lease administrators such as landlords, freeholders, management companies and agents, who are requested to provide this information, must do so within 15 days and it should cost no more than £50 to refresh the information once it is over six months old.
With further announcements such as the ban on leasehold houses, the restriction on the use of Help to Buy and capping ground rents at a peppercorn, the Ministry has taken the stance that all changes should not require transitional provisions as they have been well-publicised ahead of the legislation.
The CA is providing all of its member firms with access to this template letter, along with the LPE1 form, which can be sent to the lease administrator in order to request all necessary information to ensure that the incoming leaseholder is fully aware of their liabilities.
Both the template letter and the LPE1 form can be viewed and downloaded by visiting: http://www.conveyancingassociation.org.uk/downloads/
Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said: “The CA fully welcomes the announcements made last month and, after a six-year process, it is very pleasing to see the Government announce both a capping of the fee payable for the sale information in the leasehold property enquiry form (LPE1) to no more than £200, and a requirement that information should take no longer than 15 days to be delivered. The industry has worked closely together to improve the efficiencies in the home-moving process and this will go a long way to doing this. Along with LPE1 we now also have LPE2 to provide a summary for buyers of leasehold property, and the Freehold Management Enquiries Form (FME1), because we recognise that, with the abolition of leasehold houses, the problems are also moving into estate rentcharges and freehold management schemes.
“The CA is urging all our members to implement the Ministry’s work by requiring lease administrators to produce the information in the LPE1 cost-effectively and efficiently. To that end, we have produced a template letter for our members to use when requesting the LPE1 to highlight to lease administrators the expectations of the Government that leaseholders should no longer be the subject of financial abuse, or have to wait weeks and months on end for the information they require. “