Theresa Villiers, the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet, has laid down a series of technical policy-related parliamentary questions on everything from the meaning of marriage value to the negative impacts of a ground rent ban on “professional” landlords.
The former Northern Ireland secretary even asked whether government has met freehold investors recently to help the policymaking process.
In total Ms Villiers has asked seven parliamentary questions seeking answers that will be very helpful to those who want to scupper leasehold reform.
In an unregulated sector where developers and freehold investors call the shots in the management of apartment blocks, managing agents habitually ignore the voice of the disempowered flat owners who pay their wages.
There is some smoke-and-mirrors marketing guff about leaseholders being “customers” whereas, of course, the managing agents’ customer is the entity that appoints them. But that’s about it.
No surprise, then, that without a commonhold system that puts the service charge payers in the driving seat, most managing agents do not actively court honest feedback from leaseholders and other residents.
LKP trustee Liam Spender, a leaseholder and solicitor, was in the property tribunal this morning thrashing out the terms of his c£500,000 service charge challenge against his ARC TIME Freehold Income Fund freehold owner and FirstPort at St David’s Square, on the Isle of Dogs, east London.
The hearing under Judge Pittaway saw Mr Spender arguing for prior view of detailed accounts from FirstPort, which were resisted by barrister Aaron Walder and instructing solicitor Camilla Waszek, for Liverpool debt-collecting firm JB Leitch.