New Solicitors Enquiries forms (LPE 1) tackle Leasehold Flats

New standard in Solicitor’s Enquiries are designed to improve transparency in the purchase of Leasehold Flats

This article appeared in News on the Block and was published on 06/10/2015

A new edition of the leasehold property enquiries form LPE1 – the standardised questionnaire designed to simplify and speed up the conveyancing process – was released on October 1.

The form has been amended to reflect changes in the Association of British Insurers’ agreements with lenders; provide better definitions and general wording; and include new questions aimed to reduce the need for additional enquiries, for example with regard to any transfer fees payable on sale.

A buyers leasehold information summary (LPE2) has also been launched, following recommendations from the Competitions and Markets Authority Leasehold Study which looked to find ways of improving the information given to buyers of leasehold property about the financial obligations they were taking on.

LPE1 was revised by The Law Society, in conjunction with trade associations including the British Property Federation, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Residential Managing Agents.

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said:

“This updated version of the form, with more industry bodies endorsing it, should increase its reach and effect bringing advantages to all involved in leasehold transactions, including managing agents and landlords, solicitors and conveyancers and, of course, most importantly, buyers and sellers. It is important that buyers have a proper understanding of the financial commitment they are taking on when they buy leasehold property. I hope that wider use of the new version will assist the supply of that information in a consistent form making it easier for those representing buyers to give them the information they need.”

Andrew Bulmer, UK Residential Director at the RICS, said:

“The provision of better quality and more consistent information for leasehold buyers will provide greater certainty for consumers when making, what is usually, their largest purchase. It is gratifying to witness cross-industry stakeholders once again working together for the good of both consumers and practitioners and we look forward to widespread adoption of the new documents by industry.”

The new forms are available through the main legal stationers, the Law Society Publishing website and the website of each of the trade associations involved.