Matthew Lewis - Solicitor, Coles Miller

ALEP's Warning Over Leasehold Tribunal Fees6th Nov 2015

by Nick Leedham on 6th Nov 2015

Contact Nick Leedham

Protests are mounting over government plans to increase residential leasehold tribunal fees by £2,400.

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) – of which Coles Miller is a member – has a list of objections.

They echo the concerns that Coles Miller raised several months ago; it is good to see that we are thinking on the same lines.

Both ALEP and Coles Miller fear that such a significant increase in fees would adversely affect access to justice.

We also agree that it is unfair to impose such high charges on leaseholders – particularly when many are being forced either to buy the freehold or to extend their lease by circumstances beyond their control.

In some cases, extending the lease may be a condition of remortgaging. In other instances, the leaseholder may be unable to sell their property if they have a short lease.

As ALEP puts it, extending the lease or buying the freehold is not a luxury.

The association points out that enfranchisement is already a “one-sided process”. Leaseholders must do all the work and pay all the costs (their own and those of the freeholder).

ALEP also says there has been insufficient time for consultation and that the data on which the government is basing the revised fee structure is “flawed”.

In short, the association believes that higher tribunal fees would “severely infringe” leaseholders’ access to justice and prohibit them from being able to secure a fair determination.

We totally agree.

This very real threat to leaseholders’ rights makes it more important than ever to seek expert legal advice.

Coles Miller is a specialist in residential leasehold property law. We help clients from all over the country – notably in London where clients benefit from high quality legal advice at provincial rates.

Our Senior Partner Andrew Howard is a specialist in residential leasehold law. Three cases in which he has been involved are quoted as legal precedents.

For further information about purchasing the freehold or extending the lease, contact Associate Solicitor Nick Leedham, for more information, 01202 355697.

• Read ALEP’s response to the government consultation on tribunal fees – click here.