James Butler: Landmark Lease Advisory Services Ltd
Leasehold Life is pleased to welcome James Butler, Director of Landmark Leasehold Advisory Services Ltd, a small company based in St Albans providing an analytical and litigative service to leaseholders in England and Wales.
James is a 29 year old ex soldier who’s temporary work experience and a family introduction led him to embark on a career in property, becoming a surveyor in the summer of 2003. He initially worked for a number of managing agents and freeholders on the client side, providing property management, asset/portfolio managing and the forward planning of some very large commercial and residential portfolios. In 2008 he set up a consultancy service providing these and other services to the property sector directly by contract. It was whilst working with some of the larger landlords and developers during his career that he became aware of the extent of the problems faced by residential leaseholders:
“I recall from very early on the distain with which commercial leaseholders were treated and my alarm at how this level of non service was further personified when one considered the residential leaseholder. I can safely say that the leaseholder is still seen by most in the property sector as a cash cow, to be exploited and leveraged as far as possible to increase profit margins. Indeed the simple practice of upward only rent reviews and the glut of vacant high street and B1 office properties is but one demonstration of the effect that this often greedy sector can have upon itself.”
As a professional James had identified that there were some very good advisory services available to this sector but when it came to point of actually actioning the rights of the residential leaseholder there was very little in the way of affordable professional representation available. Having extensively questioned sector professionals in varying fields whilst setting up the company it became apparent to him that the reason professionals choose to charge what are commonly prohibitive fees is because leaseholders are still seen as a fractured and disjointed client base which, on an administrative and evidential basis, proves very time consuming and difficult to represent.
So Landmark came to the market in early 2010 to bridge the previously unbridgeable gap between leaseholders and the professionals by providing different methods of dispute resolution through co-ordinating evidence, participation and finance. Using their own professional contacts and established relationships, Landmark build cases on behalf of leaseholders succinctly and with clear evidence so that they progress quickly and on their own merits. This streamlining of of evidence and the single point of contact the professionals have with Landmark also drive savings to the leaseholder.
Retrospective Service Charge and Major Works claims products won Landmark Lease an award in 2010, and are available for those leaseholders who are left with no other option but to pursue their freeholder legally. They have procured some truly superior contractors and professionals to work with them on the launch of their new BlockGuard product, which enables leaseholders to identify potential problems in the running of their property and tackle them before they turn into formal disputes. They believe they provide a truly progressive approach to dispute avoidance and resolution.
James believes that his company’s services are a completely fresh approach to what has historically been a freeholder/managing agent dominated and chronically unregulated sector. As the Government has no intention of doing so, his aim is to assist in resetting that balance.
As he says “At the end of the day it is hard work providing a good service – anyone can provide no service and I had simply had enough of seeing leaseholders steamrollered by freeholders and managing Agents who hide behind the lease and poor statutory drafting to protect their dodgy practices”.
“We are the first and only company to provide Leaseholders with a one stop, competent product base which provides the Residential Leaseholder with every right and protection afforded to them by law and good practice.”
“We are rocking the boat but there is certainly a healthy demand for what we do and we find ourselves on the fortunate position of representing over 2500 leaseholders either directly by contract or by case association”.
For further information on how Landmark Leasehold Advisory Services Ltd can help your particular development:
Telephone: 0845 475 2002
Email: [email protected]