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A so-far-unpublished survey by the Conveyancing Association reportedly claims that a quarter of its members had experienced a buyer losing a leasehold property purchase due to delays and high fees levied by managing agents.

The claim, made in the Sunday Times, says one in three property transactions in England and Wales are now leasehold, with the annual total of fees levied by managing agents on purchasers now being around £80m.

The paper also claims the report shows that 67 per cent of people buying leasehold property experience delays of more than a month, apparently down to managing agents' slowness. Some 48 per cent of buyers of leasehold property are charged over £500 by managing agents, often for what is considered by some conveyancing firms as routine paperwork.

Now the Conveyancing Association is reportedly teaming up with the Bold Legal Group - which represents some of the UK's largest conveyancing law firms - to appeal to MPs to amend the Consumer Rights' Bill which is now going through parliament.

Some bodies studying the problem - such as the Competition and Markets' Authority, which is currently consulting with leasehold owners about their experiences with managing agents - say there should be an ombudsman-style service to act as a force against disproportionate charges and slow processing of paperwork by certain managing agents.

The Sunday Times cited a case study of a buyer who had to date been waiting six months for her purchase to go through, allegedly because of managing agents'

delays. She will apparently have to pay the agents £864 to cover administrative costs; the vendors of the property have already paid £500 to the agents to cover the cost of compiling an information pack and sending it to the buyer's solicitor.


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