Over the course of the last year ALEP has been working with LEASE (the Leasehold Advisory Service) to provide an ‘out of hours’ call back service to enquirers to LEASE.
LEASE is a government funded external body that provides initial advice to the public on leasehold issues and which was set up after the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 came into force to promote awareness of the leasehold reform legislation. Today, LEASE provides initial ‘signposting’ advice in relation to leasehold issues generally including, service charges, the right to manage and enfranchisement matters.
The specific focus of the ALEP involvement (as expert enfranchisement practitioners) has been to provide assistance in relation to enfranchisement enquiries.
The scheme involves volunteers from a number of member firms providing telephone advice on a pro-bono basis at pre-arranged times for a ‘out of hours’ call-back to enquirers to LEASE who might not otherwise be able to make a telephone appointment in the daytime.
The calls take place between 6:00-7:30pm on weekday evenings (currently Tuesdays and Thursdays) and have to be pre-booked by a member of the public enquiring directly through LEASE.
Mark Chick, a partner at Bishop & Sewell LLP one of the participant firms and also a director and committee member of ALEP who has been involved in setting up the scheme commented as follows:
“We are delighted that ALEP has been able to support LEASE in this way and is helping to provide complimentary out of hours assistance to flat owners, who might not otherwise be able to obtain initial advice in relation to enfranchisement issues. Our members have been keen to support this initiative which has been in development over the last year and is now moving to its next phase. I am pleased to report that the 5 current scheme members, of which Bishop & Sewell LLP are one, have been joined by 5 more following a request for other firms to join in at our recent conference. We look forward to working with LEASE to make this a continued success.”