Property management firm Common Ground has strengthened its campaign for leaseholders’ rights by attaining accreditation from the campaigning charity the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (LKP).
Managing director Alan Draper sees the association with LKP as a way of further strengthening the company’s commitment to providing fairness and transparency for its customers.
LKP is dedicated to advising leaseholders on the perils and pitfalls of the leasehold system, showing them how to succeed against corporate interests and a legal system that is weighted against them. It is also calling for reforms to ensure that flat owners in England and Wales control their managing agents, service charges and buildings, as their counterparts in other jurisdictions do under commonhold systems.
Alan said: “When I launched this company more than 10 years ago, I was determined that leaseholders should be given a fair deal and that laws needed changing to help that process.
“The industry and government are slowly recognising this, but there is still a long way to go – so our voice needs to be as powerful as possible.
“That is why Common Ground becoming an accredited managing agent of LKP is so important as we continue the fight for leaseholder rights and play our part to raise the bar for managing agents.”
LKP’s accreditation scheme seeks to identify property managers who want business from leasehold controlled blocks – as opposed to management contracts doled out by the housebuilders or the large-scale freehold investors. LKP is delighted by Common Ground’s enthusiasm for leasehold and commonhold reform to improve a market ripe for disruption and grow our accreditation scheme.
The Partnership is also secretariat of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold and commonhold reform, whose meetings in the House of Commons Alan regularly attends. The APPG currently boasts a membership of 178 MPs and peers.
Alan’s views are closely aligned with LKP’s. He fully supports its mission to mainstream commonhold in England and Wales, which would ensure homebuyers have bricks and mortar flat ownership and can change their managing agent without the stress, cost and – at times – litigation of having to deal with an external freeholder who controls their buildings and service charges. Alan also wants existing leaseholders to be allowed to take back control of their service provider and fees.
Meanwhile, Common Ground is continuing its rapid expansion, taking on a further 983 flats and houses across 22 developments. This represents a rise of 50 per cent with the business now managing a total of 2,453 properties.