Over recent issues I have been taking a theme on the education of leaseholders and highlighting the social side to community living and the need to live with give and take.
I am surprised to see there is a binary vision that if one thing is said then everything else is excluded. We see this in a number of arenas in the press and in our social-media-dominated world, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised it exists in the leasehold market.
Life is a continuum and one point does not exclude everything else. So as an example it is vitally important that leaseholders are helped and advised to understand leasehold points and matters so they can better handle issues as they arise.
Education in this arena does not mean there is also a necessity to see managing agents and ground-rent owners continuing to improve their standards and services.
What is does mean, though, is that leaseholders aware of what is right and wrong can recognise when they are not getting the right service, when they need to seek help, and where they can go.
The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) is active in a large number of areas and is there to advise everyone in leasehold. How we are delivering the service is evolving, and this has been flagged for a while now.
The board and executive are driven to make sure we improve accessibility and avoid the long delays on the phones.
We are working on changes and developments in the processes and service delivery. We will continue to monitor and check that changes made are effective and improve the service delivery. We will analyse and review, we will measure and monitor and keep working to make incremental steps to move forward.
The team at LEASE is first class and the board and executive are immensely proud of the work undertaken day in day out. We will never please all of the people all of the time, and it is foolish to imagine we could, but as long as we have a clear focus then we can make sure we are meeting our remit and serving the majority.
For those of you interested, there is a vacancy on the board, and you will find details on the public appointments website at https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk when they are published.
As we see measures to address the shortage of housing stock, the amount of leasehold property will increase. It is therefore essential that everything is done to improve understanding and service. That means using all means possible and not just a single focus or one arena. The role for LEASE will only grow, and the organisation is committed to develop and grow to meet those needs.
Roger Southam is chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service