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27/12/2009

Service charges up, enfranchisement down: some LVT statistics

As food for reader’s thought as 2009 draws to an end, a quick comment on a recent written answer given to the Shadow Housing minister Grant Shapps. Since many readers’ will be full of seasonal fare I thought some pictures rather than words would be more apt.

Graph of leasehold business in the LVT

Our first picture shows a turnaround in the core leasehold work carried out by the LVT with enfranchisement and lease extension applications down and service charge disputes up. The fall in old LVT work probably stems from the collapse in the housing market and poor availability of credit. I would like to think that better publicity of the service charge jurisdiction has pushed s.27A applications higher, but that may also be due to increasing financial straights in which leaseholders find themselves and a concomitant reluctance to pay anything that is not strictly required.

Graph of market and fair rent applications to the LVT

Our second chart (to the same scale) shows that fair rents determinations still outnumber those for market rents despite the diminishing number of rent act protected tenancies. Even I, well known as a specialist in the odd and obscure, do not see many cases involving such tenancies any more. Despite an overall decline in the number of fair rent cases over 4 years, both series are up on last year. Perhaps also an indication that people fight harder for their money when there is less of it about.

The other jurisdictions carried out by the residential property tribunal service’s tribunals are miniscule by comparison. Even Housing Act 2004 work, which has shown a steady rise, amounts to less than 3% of all cases.

Happy 2010.

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