New leasehold process to speed to home sales

A new standardised procedure for buying and selling flats has been announced that it says will make property transactions easier.

The Leasehold Property Enquiries Form, or LPE1, is a standardised questionnaire for the industry which it is thought will reduce leasehold transactions by between five and 10 days and save UK consumers a combined total of over a million days each year.

Jonathan Smithers, Deputy Vice President, Law Society said: “Having a standardised format will be advantageous to sellers, buyers, solicitors and conveyancers dealing with leasehold property.

“It will not only bring clarity to the part of the procedure that deals with obtaining necessary leasehold information but may also clarify some issues relating to time and cost.

“It will also mean that everyone becomes familiar with one form, inevitably making the process more cohesive.”

The process was initiated by Move with Us, the residential property group, in consultation with major industry bodies including the Law Society and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A standardised approved set of enquiries for leasehold properties will enable both landlords and managing agents to introduce systems to collate the information safe in the knowledge that both the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers will accept it.

Andrew Bulmer, Residential Director, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said: “RICS are delighted to have been part of this joint-industry success story in simplifying and speeding up the conveyancing of flats and apartments.

“The new standard enquiry form for essential leasehold information will help conveyancers, property managers and surveyors to deliver a swifter, more consistent and more transparent service to buyers and sellers alike.”

It will not be mandatory to use the form but solicitors will get quicker answers by using it, especially if dealing with one of the larger managing agents who have IT systems designed to provide answers based on the LPE1 format.

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