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Speeding up the house-buying process

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Recently there has been an issue that is slowing the house-buying process and making buying a home costlier than it should be.

When clients of ours want to buy a leasehold property (e.g. part of a block of flats), we must, as part of the process, seek information from the management company that controls the building. In many cases these companies charge unreasonable fees and take too long to respond to our enquiries.

We and our industry body, the Conveyancing Association, believe that people buying leasehold properties are waiting unnecessarily long and paying unreasonable extra costs. At a time when the government wants to help more people buy their own home, a tweak to the law could fix this problem and help get the housing market moving at no expense to the public purse.

Landlords are already required to respond to enquiries within a reasonable time and we believe putting residential management companies under the same regulations will not be onerous. We believe an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill could deliver such a change.

We have written to our local MPs to raise this issue and hope to meet with some of them shortly.

Tom Bridge, managing partner of Residential Property.