Mark Chick is a property expert, specialist leasehold solicitor and a Partner at Bishop & Sewell LLP. He is also a Director of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) lecturing on leasehold issues and appearing on national television commenting on leasehold matters. The leaseholdinfo and the Leasehold Reform News websites are also written by Mark.

Here, Mark has written an exclusive Q&A for Leasehold Life on the Leasehold Reform Amendment Act 2014 which is now in effect (14th May).

Q: What is this all about?

A: This is about a small but important change to the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 relating to signing notices.

Q: Why did the law need to change?

A: As the law stands at the moment (and has done since the 1993 enfranchisement legislation came in), any notice claiming the freehold or and extended lease (a section 42 notice or a Section 13 notice) has to be signed by the ‘qualifying tenant’ (the flat owner) personally.

Q: How does that cause a problem?

A: In practice this requirement has caused hardship, particularly where a flat owner has been unable to sign because they were physically unable to do so.

Removing the requirement for personal signature will also speed up the process of bringing a claim, (particularly on a collective claim to the freehold where there may be a large number of signatures to be obtained) if a solicitor, or another duly authorised person can sign on behalf of the flat owner.

Q: Does it apply to England and Wales?

A: No, the amendment only applies in England. The Welsh Assembly has the power to make a similar amendment to the legislation in Wales but would need to do so separately under its devolved powers. So, for the moment, the change applies to England only.

Further information on this most important piece of legislation can be read on Mark Chicks personal blog, ‘Leasehold Reform News’.

Additionally, to speak to one of the Landlord and Tenant Team at Bishop & Sewell LLP visit:

Telephone: 020 7631 4141

Email [email protected]

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