News

14th August 2018
Residentsline and Deposit and Rent to the rescue
Residentsline and Deposit and Rent to the rescue

So far, 2018 has rolled out the carpet for some much-needed changes within the insurance industry. In the wake of ever-present modernisation, it now seems that the standard deposit system is becoming a thing of the past. And, unlike video stores and hardcopy books, it isn’t something many people will look back on fondly.

 If you consider the statistics, this is hardly surprising – the average cost of a tenancy deposit is generally equivalent to six weeks’ rent and, according to ARLA Propertymark, rent prices are only on the rise. So, as reported by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, this lands the average cost of a deposit at £1,041 for England and Wales, whilst the London average has climbed to an eye-watering £1,750.

 This has not gone unnoticed. To combat these mammoth costs, the government are planning to put a cap on tenancy deposit at being equivalent to maximum of six weeks’ rent, as well as banning letting agents’ fees. However, these changes have been heavily criticised as inadequate and, to add fuel to the fire, won’t be implemented until spring 2019, leaving many residents bitterly disappointed. When coupled with the fact that residents normally need to provide a deposit before the return of their previous deposit, it is easy to see why tenants are welcoming the chance to shun them altogether.

The purpose of a deposit replacement scheme is basically to replace the standard deposit payment with an insurance policy. This policy provides landlords with the same protection as a deposit, but effectively removes the requirement of an expensive lump sum prior to tenancy – this makes it more affordable for tenants to move, but not at the expense of their landlord’s protection. Instead, deposit replacement firms ask the tenant for either an unreturnable upfront fee (usually the equivalent of one weeks’ rent), or for an additional small sum to be paid alongside their rent every month. The policy holds the tenant liable for any damage at the end of their tenancy, and will recover these costs from the tenant, whilst guaranteeing to cover damages for the landlord. 

There are many insurance products available on the market today, all of which include the many benefits of a deposit replacement scheme. Residentsline, an experienced property insurance broker, have recently developed a deposit replacement scheme that stands out as one of the most cost-effective schemes on the market.

Residentsline’s scheme, underwritten by Legal Protection Group Ltd., does not require one weeks’ worth of rent or monthly payments. Instead, they have developed an annual insurance policy, one which not only provides all of the benefits of a deposit replacement scheme, but has been tailored to also be able to include Rent Guarantee AND Landlord Emergency Assistance.

Rent Guarantee is a practical addition to Residentsline’s deposit replacement policy. It provides cover for landlords towards any unpaid rent. So, should a landlord find themselves in a position where rent is overdue for at least one month, Residentsline will shoulder the cost to ensure the landlord is paid the full sum. Their policy will also pay the landlord the value of one months’ half-rent for a subsequent three months if the property is damaged and cannot be immediately re-let.

Towards the end of tenancy, it goes without saying that all parties involved would prefer tenancy cessation to go smoothly. However, there are many occasions where this simply is not the case -conflict can arise over issues such as property damage, rent payments and even repossession of the property. Residentsline’s policy is tailored to cover you against these conflicts, no matter how challenging the situation may be. Should there be difficulty when repossessing the property; Residentsline will provide the landlord with cover for up to £175 per day towards the cost of their alternative accommodation, plus £15 a day towards the cost of storing their possessions. They will also provide legal expenses cover for rent recovery, property damage, alleged breaches of contract, eviction, and legal nuisance and trespass disputes. And, should these disputes reach the court, Residentsline will even cover the value of lost salaries for the time taken off work. For such a small annual sum, this policy provides impressively comprehensive cover.

And, if Rent Guarantee wasn’t enough, Residentsline’s inclusion of Landlord Emergency Assistance makes their policy one of the most comprehensive policies on the market. Whilst property disputes are certainly difficult, accidents and emergencies are something that neither the tenants nor the landlord can control. Luckily, Residentsline’s bespoke policy covers against accidents and emergencies, giving protection at a time it is needed most. Any failures to the property’s heating, electric, plumbing or gas supplies are insured, on top of cover for pest infestations and damage to windows, doors or locks. Should you break the keys to the property or lock them inside, Residentsline will appoint an authorised repairer to carry out emergency repairs and cover any damage caused in gaining access to the property, as well as paying the repairer to make the property safe and secure. The policy also covers any damage to the roof caused by adverse weather conditions or fallen trees, as well as the cost of one night’s accommodation should the property be uninhabitable following an emergency.

With such comprehensive cover and protection against an impressive range of incidents, it is clear to see how Residentsline’s Deposit Replacement policy is holding its own within the insurance market. It is a modern policy which has been carefully tailored to suit the needs of landlords and tenants, as well as cover against the unexpected. And for such far-reaching cover, it still comes with the most competitive prices available. With standard deposit schemes being in such dire need of re-thinking, it is refreshing to see that there is an insurance broker within the industry who is more than up to the challenge.

Deposit replacement from £75, Rent Guarantee cover from £100 and Landlords Emergency Assistance from £180 per annum. Can you afford not to? Call 0800 281235 or view more at www.depositandrent.co.uk

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23rd July 2018
Home moves by homeowners drop by 10% in a year
Home moves by homeowners drop by 10% in a year

The UK’s homeowners are staying put, with the number of home moves within the owner-occupier sector plummeting by 10% between 2016 and 2017, according to new analysis by home move website reallymoving.com, as Brexit uncertainty bites and homeowners become increasingly reluctant to take on new debt.

Reallymoving.com has analysed the English Housing Survey alongside its own data on home moves to reveal that the number of moves by owner-occupiers fell from 476,000 in the year to March 2016, the year of the EU Referendum, to 430,000 in the year to March 2017, a reduction of 46,000. This has resulted in a loss to the UK economy in the region of £430 million, based reallymoving.com’s data on the cost of moving, in addition to estimated £125 million lost to the Treasury in Stamp Duty revenue.

Growing reluctance to take on new mortgage borrowing and face the cost of moving house, which is currently at a record high of £7,356 including stamp duty, is resulting in homeowners staying in their homes for an average of 27.3 years, compared to 24.3 years in 2013/14, an increase of 13%. 

In contrast, the average tenure for a private rental tenant is just 4 years. Despite the fact that private tenants face the same economic concerns and personal financial pressures, the lack of security in the private rented sector means tenants experience far greater uncertainty and instability. Private renters accounted for a remarkable 55% of home moves in 2017, despite constituting just 20% of UK households.

While the number of home moves by owner-occupiers has fallen, there has been a 22% rise in new owner-occupier households during the last year. reallymoving.com’s data shows that first time buyer activity has increased considerably, accounting for 54% of all conveyancing quotes on the site in 2017 compared to 43% the previous year, suggesting that Government support such as Help to Buy is successfully boosting first time home ownership despite wider economic conditions.

For those who aren’t fortunate enough to be in a position to buy their own home, the data suggests that young people are opting to stay at home for longer, rather than face high costs and the prospect of regular home moves in the private rented sector.  The number of new private rented households has dropped by 39% since 2010, which is most likely due to children living at home for longer and so-called ‘boomerang kids’ returning home after higher education. Supporting this theory, the number of residents per household has increased from 3.65 in 2010 to 3.87 in 2017.

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving.com said: “The life events that normally prompt home moves, such as growing families, new jobs and separation or divorce, are continuing as normal, yet home moves by owner-occupiers have dropped considerably over the last year. Our research shows that homeowners were moving increasingly frequently up to 2015, but this trend is now clearly in reverse, which I expect to continue. Government policy to actively encourage first time buyers and deter buy to let investors has plugged the gap somewhat, with a 22% surge in new owner-occupier households over the last twelve months.

“Meanwhile, the private rental sector remains highly fluid. Many families are unable to buy and with little chance of securing social housing, they are at the mercy of short-term rental contracts with very little protection or security. While some tenants will benefit from and enjoy the flexibility of the private rented sector, the vast difference in tenures between owner-occupiers and private renters, 27.3 years compared to just 4, suggests that when in control of their destiny, people choose to move less frequently.”

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19th July 2018
Law Commission announces radical new proposals to provide a fairer deal for leasehold homeowners
Law Commission announces radical new proposals to provide a fairer deal for leasehold homeowners

Following hot on the heels of plans by the Government to ban the sale of houses on a leasehold basis, the independent legal body is outlining a range of measures to help existing leasehold homeowners buy the freehold of their houses.

These include:

  • options for changing the valuation formula, having been asked by Government to examine how to reduce the price while providing sufficient compensation to landlords
  • making it easier for homeowners to buy the freehold
  • removing the requirement that leaseholders must have owned their house for two years before making a claim

The proposals will give leaseholders security and control over their homes.

Read the full summary of proposed solutions here

Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said:

Enfranchisement offers a route out of leasehold but the law is failing homeowners: it’s complex and expensive, and leads to unnecessary conflict, costs and delay.

“We’ve heard of untold stress caused to homeowners who have had to put their lives on hold because of issues with their leases.

“Clearly, that’s not right, and our solutions for leasehold houses will provide a better deal for leaseholders and make sure that the law works in the best interests of house owners.”

Secretary of State for Communities the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

“This government is committed to tackling the unfair leasehold practises that exploit homeowners.

“We have already announced radical new measures to ban leaseholds for almost all new build houses and reduced rents to a peppercorn.

“I welcome these proposals by the Law Commission that will help homeowners get a fair deal.”

Leasehold trap

In England and Wales properties are normally bought and sold on either a leasehold or a freehold basis.

Leasehold ownership is sometimes described as owning the house but not the land it’s on. In fact, leasehold means that the buyer owns a property for a fixed number of years on a lease from a landlord (the freeholder).

The Government has estimated that there are over 4 million leasehold properties across England alone including 1.4 million houses – and it’s been suggested those figures are significantly underestimated – but concerns have been raised over this ownership type.

More than 6,000 responses were submitted to the recent government consultation on unfair leasehold practices. The vast majority of responses expressed their concerns about buying and living in a leasehold property.

Current process for owners of houses

Enfranchisement rights give leaseholders the right to purchase the freehold of their property or to obtain an extended lease of their property.

The statutory enfranchisement process itself has been widely criticised. Problems include:

  • it is costly for leasehold homeowners
  • there are different rules for leaseholders of houses and of flats, often with no logical reason for the distinction
  • it encourages an unhelpful tactical “gaming” approach to negotiations, which tends to favour more experienced landlords over leaseholders
  • it is too complicated – the product of over 50 Acts of Parliament, totalling over 450 pages, with numerous anomalies and unintended consequences

These problems with the current regime cause unnecessary conflict, stress, cost, and delay.

Proposals to provide a fairer deal

So as part of plans to improve the enfranchisement process for leasehold home-owners, the Law Commission has published proposals for leasehold houses which include:

  • options for reducing the price that leaseholders pay to the landlord such as by changing the formula used to calculate the cost, following the Government’s request to set out ways that the price could be reduced
  • improving the right for leaseholders of houses to buy the freehold from their landlord
  • introducing an alternative right to purchase unlimited longer lease extensions without a ground rent – of (say) 125 or 250 years
  • making the enfranchisement procedure simpler to understand, to minimise disputes and prevent leaseholders falling into legal traps
  • removing the requirement that leaseholders must have owned the lease of their house for two years before making a claim
  • potentially scrapping whether leaseholders should contribute to their landlord’s legal costs, and if not, capping the contribution at a fixed maximum amount.

Further information

The Law Commission is a non-political independent body, set up by Parliament in 1965 to keep all the law of England and Wales under review, and to recommend reform where it is needed. Since then more than two-thirds of all reports have been accepted or implemented in whole or in part.

In December 2017 the Law Commission announced that it was to start a project on residential leasehold and commonhold reform as part of its 13th Programme of Law Reform.

As part of this, the Law Commission was asked by Government to prioritise enfranchisement solutions for existing leaseholders of houses, and to set out those solutions before summer recess 2018.

In relation to the price leaseholders must pay to their landlords, the Commission was asked by Government “to examine the options to reduce the premium payable … whilst ensuring sufficient compensation is paid to landlords”.

In September 2018, we will publish our consultation paper on enfranchisement. This will propose a new, single regime for leasehold enfranchisement designed to benefit leaseholders of houses and flats. The proposal will then be subject to full public consultation.

The Law Commission also intends to publish consultation papers on commonhold and Right to Manage before the end of the year.

Read the full summary of proposed solutions here

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18th July 2018
Principle Estate Management appoints experienced executive assistant
Principle Estate Management appoints experienced executive assistant

The founder of Principle Estate Management has recruited his former PA to manage the office as the new business continues to grow.

Brett Williams launched Principle in Birmingham in April this year to provide a nationwide property management service, and was last month joined by director Joe Jobson.

Now the company has appointed Belinda Beasmore, who has 17 years’ experience of the property management sector, as executive assistant.

Brett Williams, managing director of Principle, said: “Belinda is a people-person and is great at dealing with clients, customers and suppliers.

“I first worked with Belinda back in 2001 and, apart from two short periods, have always had her on my team, and she was a brilliant PA.

“It’s fantastic to have Belinda working with us as she has a great, varied background and has always been an invaluable asset to any company she has worked for.

“Belinda ‘gets’ customer service and will make a real difference to Principle, adding value to our offering.”

Miss Beasmore’s experience includes everything from reception work to assisting with facilities management, and from dealing with pre-sales inquiries to overall office management.

She said: “Having just been made redundant I jumped at chance to work with Brett and Joe again as I’ve known and worked with them both for a long time and am fully aligned to their philosophy. I really appreciate the faith they’ve shown in me.

“It’s clear to see that Principle is currently winning lots of instructions and offering a high standard of property management, and that’s something that I want to be part of.”

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10th July 2018
Practical business advice and leasehold enfranchisement best practice at upcoming ALEP conference
Practical business advice and leasehold enfranchisement best practice at upcoming ALEP conference

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) is hosting its annual conference on Tuesday 9 October 2018.  

This year's conference will see delegates enjoy practical business advice along with insightful presentations and case studies about leasehold enfranchisement from some of the sector’s elite.  

Held at London’s 30 Euston Square, the conference will have a morning session which will focus on the digital world.  Josh Whiten, Google expert and marketing consultant, will discuss ways in which leasehold professionals can navigate the digital landscape, as well as practical tips on how to use social media. Nick Looby, communications expert and author of Zombie Slayer will deliver a session on how to stay ahead of the horde and communicate your way to incredible success.  

 Following lunch, the afternoon session begins with a presentation on 'Enfranchisement and Commonhold Reform' which will be delivered by the revered Law Commissioner, Professor Nicholas Hopkins. This will be followed by:  

  •  A 'Tax and Extensions' presentation from Robert Pearce QC 
  • Case study on 'Capitalisation rates after All Saints' presented by Piers Harrison, Barrister at Tanfield Chambers 
  • Philip Rainey QC will round up by delivering valuable insight into recent cases affecting the leasehold sector.  

The conference will be presented by long-time host and ALEP Honorary President Damian Greenish. ALEP Director, Mark Chick, will compere the morning session.  

ALEP's Co-founder and Director Anna Bailey, said: "Due to popular demand we have included some practical business advice in this year's conference as well as the all-important leasehold insight from some of the sector’s major players. 

 "We are looking forward to hosting another impressive conference, which will provide delegates with a chance to come together for a day of knowledge and best practice and take home our content-rich delegate packs."  

For more information on pricing and to see the full conference programme visit https://www.alep.org.uk/event/32/the-alep-conference  

Delegates are encouraged to book by Friday 7 September 2018 to receive a 20% discount on the ticket price.  

For more information on ALEP and membership, please visit http://www.alep.org.uk/ 

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9th July 2018
Top Managing Agents and Suppliers Recognised
Top Managing Agents and Suppliers Recognised

The winners of the annual ARMA (the Association of Residential Managing Agents) ACE Awards were revealed at a glittering ceremony at Tobacco Dock in London’s east end on Friday 6th July 2018.  Attended by more than 500 industry professionals, the Awards celebrate excellence and exceptional achievement by the UK's leading residential managing agents, their suppliers and the work of their people in improving the lives of over a million leaseholders across the country.

 The 18 winners were announced following a rigorous adjudicating process by a panel of independent judges.  Tobacco Dock provided a stunning backdrop to a fun-packed evening of live music, fine dining and exciting entertainment.

 Dr Nigel Glen, ARMA CEO, said: “The winners are a real credit to the industry and I know what a hard job the judges had in deciding who should go home with a trophy from so many outstanding finalists.  The winning firms and team members are setting the standard for companies that wish to be recognised for achieving excellence and best practice in their field.”

 Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which supports families caring for a seriously ill child, was ARMA’s charity partner this year and a magnificent sum of £5800 was raised for the cause.  Rainbow Trust enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness to make the most of time together when it matters most by pairing each family with an expert Family Support Worker who helps them at home, in hospital and in the community.

 Oonagh Goodman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, said: “We are extremely grateful to have been supported through the ARMA ACE Awards event.  The fantastic amount raised will help provide vital support to families caring for a seriously ill child.”

 Full list of winners:

  • Smaller Managing Agent of the Year - Kay & Co                                                           
  • Medium Managing Agent of the Year - JFM Block & Estate Management           
  • Larger Managing Agent of the Year - PMS Managing Estates                             
  • National/Largest Managing Agent of the Year - Rendall & Rittner                                   
  • On-site staff member of the Year - Nick Twigger, McCarthy & Stone Management Services            
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Firm of the Year - Michael Laurie Magar                        
  • Service Charge Accountant of the Year - Julija Bizna, McCarthy & Stone Management Services
  • Apprentice of the Year - Megan Smith, Jennings & Barrett                                             
  • Property Personality of the Year - Emma Blaney, Warwick Estates
  • Employer of the Year - Warwick Estates
  • Major Works Project of the Year - Parkgate Aspen Property Management            
  • Honorary Industry Award - Peter Dening, Pennycuick Collins
  • Legal Services Provider of the Year - Brady Solicitors                                        
  • Customer Service Award - Future Lighting                                                                    
  • Unsung Hero - Kasia Luraniec, SPL Property Management                                 
  • Partner of the Year - Abbatt Property Services                                                    
  • Service Charge Accountancy Firm of the Year - BDO                                         
  • Industry Supplier of the Year - Energicity                                                                                  

The Awards are open to ARMA members, associates, partners and external suppliers to ARMA members and include several categories not covered by other awards: www.awards.arma.org.uk

 Rainbow Trust is a national charity providing expert practical and emotional support to families, where they need it, to help them make the most of each new day.  It relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thanks to the generosity of its supporters helps over 2,300 families through its eight care teams across nine locations in England.

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27th June 2018
Online guides will help renters and leaseholders to know their rights
Online guides will help renters and leaseholders to know their rights

Landlords, leaseholders and tenants will be armed with vital information on their rights and responsibilities thanks to new online rental guides published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today (26 June 2018).

These guides form a key part of government’s continuing crackdown on poor practice by a minority of landlords and agents in the private rented and leasehold sectors. Evidence shows that Citizens Advice helped 65,000 private renters with more than 100,000 problems about their tenancy in 2017.

As part of government’s commitment to ensure everyone has a decent, safe place to live, the ‘how to’ guides include checklists for new and existing tenants, landlords and letting agents to ensure they are complying with their legal responsibilities.

Published on GOV.UK today the guides have been produced in partnership with landlord, tenant and letting and managing agent groups, professional bodies and local housing authorities and aim to drive up living standards in the sector.

The ‘how to’ series comprises:

How to let
This new guide will help private landlords learn more about their key legal responsibilities and best practice when letting a property, including how to protect tenancy deposits, carry out gas safety checks and install smoke and carbon dioxide alarms.

How to lease
By reading this new document, leaseholders can learn about their unique set of rights and responsibilities. For example, a managing agent or landlord could be responsible for running a leaseholder’s block or estate – but the leaseholder does have a say in how they do it.

How to rent a safe home
This document will help current and prospective tenants identify potential unsafe conditions in rented properties. It gives tenants an overview of the most common hazards to look out for in rented properties, including gas and electrical safety, damp and mould and trips and falls hazards, and how they should report dangerous conditions.

How to rent
This updated guide provides a step-by-step process to renting privately. Tenants can learn how to challenge poor practice and understand private landlords’ legal obligations. It is a legal requirement for all landlords to provide their tenants with this document.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:

Every day across the country thousands of people move house – from young people leaving home for the first time, to those relocating after years in the same property.

Whatever the circumstance, we want to ensure renters, landlords and leaseholders are armed with information so they know their rights, responsibilities and can challenge poor behaviour.

The guides will be reviewed in light of any new legislation to ensure tenants, landlords and leaseholders are supplied with up-to-date information.

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26th June 2018
Debt recovery expert joins new property law firm
Debt recovery expert joins new property law firm

A specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in credit management, legal debt recovery and enforcement has joined a new national property law firm based in Birmingham.

Neil Jinks has been appointed as a director of Realty Law Limited, a sister company of established law firm Emms Gilmore Liberson, with a remit to shake up the property law sector.

Realty Law Limited specialises in the complex area of debt recovery for the residential sector, acting for managing agents of leasehold properties to recover ground rents and service charges on leasehold properties. 

Neil said: “Realty Law Limited is committed to delivering a personal service at a reasonable cost for clients, with access to a talented team of enthusiastic and dedicated leasehold specialists, who between them have a lifetime of understanding clients’ needs, the solutions required, and the knowledge and experience of delivering them in a collaborative fashion.  In its first few months it has already built up an impressive client list.

“Although in a niche sector, this is a unique new practice tailored to provide outstanding client satisfaction, within a vast and growing market. I am very much looking forward to meeting new clients and showing them how what we do will make a positive difference to their business and to their clients.

“Realty Law Limited operates in a way that is protective and supportive of the client’s reputation and to ensure that when it comes to costs, landlords are not penalised. It will operate different cost tiers, depending on the type and level of debt. Clients will, if they wish, have access to a secure on-line portal, where they can find information relating to their cases and also instruct us in an easy-to-complete format.”

Realty also advises on and actively handles a complete range of challenges faced by residential landowners, including lease enfranchisements, the carrying out of major works, breaches of covenant, possession and insolvency. Realty Law regularly operates both through the court system and the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Realty is the only firm in the city focussing - but with national reach - entirely on this market, the success of which is vital to the regional and national economy, and which is experiencing record growth in the construction of new build apartments and houses. Some 2 million homes in the UK are currently subject to long leases.

Besides the residential component of its operation, using sophisticated case management software, Realty acts in the recovery of rent and service charge for commercial landlords, who often find that with applied hourly-rates, traditional law firms may be uneconomic to instruct.

Neil Jinks has managed legal debt recovery operations for several leading law firms in a career spanning three decades. He is recommended for debt recovery in The Legal 500 and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and the Association of Credit Professionals.

He is regional president of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and is a co-founder of the LGBT Alliance Network. He has regularly featured in The Rainbow Powerlist and was shortlisted for the Out At Work Top 50 LGBT Executives in Business.

Realty Law Limited is co-managed by an Operations Director, Charlotte Collins, who is a highly experienced residential management solicitor, and supported by a diverse team (one of whom is a former property manager in a leading London firm) and complements the property litigation team of sister law firm EGL, headed by Martyn Liberson.

Martyn Liberson, partner at EGL, said: “We are delighted that Neil has agreed to join Realty Law. He is hugely talented within the debt recovery field and has considerable experience and a solid reputation within this specialist sector. 

“Realty Law brings with it the best of EGL but with the capacity and expertise to give our leasehold and commercial property management clients the leading edge by offering a service especially tailored to that sector. There are times when the traditional approach is required, but the ‘one size fits all’ approach to litigation is long out of date. The hugely practical and capable Realty team allows our clients access to an even higher level of support and value.”

For more details about Realty Law Limited, visit www.realty.law or call Neil Jinks on 07594089617.

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26th June 2018
Prominent leasehold campaigner Louie Burns publishes guide to help leaseholders understand their leg
Prominent leasehold campaigner Louie Burns publishes guide to help leaseholders understand their leg

Prominent leasehold reform campaigner Louie Burns has published ‘The Leaseholder's Simple Guide to Leasehold’, an informative manual to give leaseholders the knowledge they need to navigate the UK's complex leasehold system. 

 100% of the monies raised from sales of the book will be donated to the National Leasehold Campaign and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, two important leasehold reform campaign groups that are working to steer the Government into making the correct changes to leasehold legislation. 

 Louie Burns said: "The leasehold system in England and Wales is a scandal of epic proportions and most people are simply unequipped to deal with such a complex system, which is designed to benefit rich freeholders, at the expense of ordinary working people. 

 "Most professional freeholders are multi-millionaires and they make vast sums of money from the misery of leaseholders whilst at the same time exploiting huge gaps in the current legislation, legislation which was originally introduced to protect leaseholders. 

 "With almost a quarter of the total housing stock in this country classified as leasehold, the scale of this scandal is eye-watering. The scale of the abuses inflicted on leaseholders by greedy freeholders is even greater, including ground rents that rise year on year, rip off fees of lease extensions, service charges, buildings insurance, inflated prices for maintenance and building works, and costly licensing fees covering everything from painting and decorating to hanging new curtains. 

 "Over the last year, the Government has encouragingly stated its intention to tackle the abuses of the leasehold system and leasehold campaigners are working hard to help achieve this aim. The guide that I have published is intended to help leasehold flat owners to make an informed decision when faced with the realities of owning a leasehold property. 

 The Leaseholder's Simple Guide to Leasehold (£2.63) is available as an e-book from Kindle  

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14th June 2018
ARMA holds glittering dinner in support of Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity
ARMA holds glittering dinner in support of Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity

ARMA, the leading trade association for residential managing agents, is holding its ARMA ACE Awards 2018 with a dinner on Friday 6 July 2018 to help raise funds for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which supports families with a seriously ill child.

The event, held at Tobacco Dock in London, invites ARMA Members, Associates and Partners as well as external suppliers to enter the awards. With help from guests the ARMA ACE Awards is hoping to raise £2,500 through partnership with Rainbow Trust.

Rainbow Trust enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness to make the most of their time together. Rainbow Trust pairs each family with an expert Family Support Worker who helps them at home, in hospital and in the community, for as long as it is needed.

Dr Nigel Glen, ARMA CEO, said: “We couldn’t have chosen a more deserving charity partner for our ARMA ACE Awards this year. Rainbow Trust works with children with terminal or life-threatening illness and gives their families much needed emotional and practical support. Many families couldn’t have coped without their help. They also work in our local area, Wimbledon, and it’s heart-warming to see the support they give in our community.”

Oonagh Goodman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Rainbow Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful that ARMA is supporting Rainbow Trust through its fantastic event to fund vital support for families with a seriously ill child. All the money raised from the event will help Rainbow Trust to support families to make the most of the precious time they have together.”

Rainbow Trust is a national charity providing expert practical and emotional support to families, where they need it, to help them make the most of each new day. It relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thanks to the generosity of its supporters helps over 2,300 families through its nine care teams in England.

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