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 CARL's aims are:

 
 

When CARL was originally established in 1999, we issued a manifesto with five key objectives : -

(1) The introduction of commonhold
(2) Abolition of the residential leasehold system
(3) The automatic right to transfer from leasehold to commonhold
(4) Transfer to commohold to be at a fair price
(5) Special measures for those unable to enjoy the benefit of commonhold

Since then of course, we have seen the implementation of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which has introduced commonhold - though largely as a theoretical concept. Our NEW objectives are as follows : -

(1) Make commonhold, or cooperative tenure, compulsory for all new developments of blocks of flats in England and Wales. Since commonhold - a much fairer system of tenure than leasehold - is now available, there is no reason for any new residential leases.

(2) England and Wales should follow the lead of our immediate neighbours, Scotland and Ireland, in having legislation in place specifically designed to abolish leasehold tenure.

(3) Enable leaseholders who buy their freeholds to transfer directly to commonhold or cooperative tenure on the basis of a simple majority vote. A route could also be found to allow individual leaseholders to switch direct to commonhold tenure.

(4) Establish a simple formula to determine the transfer price from leasehold to commonhold, set at a level that is fair to all parties. This should recognise that the leasehold interest has paid in full for the land, the construction of the property, its repair and maintenance, and have also contributed substantially to the profits of the landlord/developer. Leaseholders have also paid for all the scams and frauds pulled on them by landlords and managing agents over the years. The Irish land registry has a simple formula in place to value the freehold. If the lease has more than fifteen years to run, the freehold is valued at a multiple of the annual ground rent. If the lease has less than fifteen years to run, the valuation is also linked to the market value of the property. But at no point are leaseholders required to pay more than one-eighth of the market value of their homes.

(5) End forfeiture, since this enables landlords to recover a huge multiple of any service charges/ground rent considered due, and thereby breaches article 1 protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Require all landlords to subscribe to the independent housing ombudsman scheme so that all parties have direct access to a straightforward and inexpensive method of resolving disputes, rather than the costly and intimidating LVTs. Step up enforcement procedures against criminal landlords by centralising the prosecution service away from ineffectual local authorities, which are themselves landlords. Reduce costs by taking away the responsibility of LEASE towards advising well-funded landlords and solicitors, thereby limiting its responsibilities solely to advising leaseholders.