The National Leasehold Survey – the UK’s first ever independent national survey of the UK’s leaseholders – set out to identify the levels of satisfaction and areas of concern amongst the UK’s leaseholders and RMC directors.
Developed by Brady Solicitors and LEASE, the Government’s arms’ length body for the leasehold property sector, the survey received 1,244 responses from leaseholders and RMC directors throughout England and Wales.
The key statistics from the 2016 National Leasehold Survey
- 57% of leaseholders admit they regret buying a leasehold property.
- Two-thirds of leaseholders don’t feel they get a good service from their managing agent.
- Just 6% are very confident the managing agent could resolve issues.
- 68% of leaseholders have little or no confidence that their managing agent could resolve issues efficiently and effectively.
- 51% of leaseholders see a change in managing agent would improve matters and benefit the block.
- 1 in 5 leaseholders are unaware they could replace a poorly performing managing agent.
- 55% of leaseholders consider changing managing agents would be a difficult process.
- 48% of leaseholders believe a lack of knowledge is a real barrier to changing managing agents.
- 40% of leaseholders strongly disagree that service charge is value for money.
- 62% of leaseholders say the service hasn’t improved in the last two years.
- RMC directors are generally happier with their leasehold properties than ‘ordinary’ leaseholders due to a greater sense of control over the property’s management.
- Two-thirds of RMC directors feel they have a good relationship with fellow directors and leaseholders, but identify a need for a strong, wide skill set beyond legal and company expertise.
- 55% of leaseholders know where to go for information, but 32% definitely do not.
- 52% of leaseholders are confident they know their rights and responsibilities.
MD of Brady Solicitors, Clare Brady, commented:
“The challenges of communal living emerge strongly throughout the nationwide survey. This is compounded where leaseholders – by their own admission – lack a clear understanding of their rights and obligations.
“This lack of leasehold knowledge, including understanding how to replace a poorly performing management company, underpins many of the reported problems.
“It also represents a vast opportunity for the UK’s leasehold sector, including its policy-makers, to bring about future change – but whose job is it to educate and upskill our leaseholders and managing agents? Is it the public sector, private sector or the conveyancer at the start of the process?
“Whilst there are many strong views aired and some difficult stories to read, including leaseholders saying they feel ‘trapped’ in their home and that they believe the ‘system is broken’, the research also uncovered many clear examples of property management at its best.”