“Leaseholders have the right to take some issues, such as the reasonableness of service charges, to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) but this does not cover every situation leaseholders might find themselves in,” states David Hewett, chief executive of ARMA, “for example lack of accounting information, poor communication and failing to ‘deliver the promise’. Regulation would have provided an independent redress process for these and other matters that do not fall under the LVTs’ jurisdiction.”
As a result of the Minister’s decision ARMA will be calling for the Government to throw lessees a lifeline by legislating that all lettings and leasehold managers belong to a recognised independent ombudsman scheme.
“The mechanisms are there,” concludes Hewett. “Legislation already exists for estate agents mandatorily to belong to an Ombudsman Scheme and there are already several recognised schemes in existence. We therefore do not see it as a big step for government but it would be an enormous step for so many lessees.”
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