Those involved in the creation of the FME1 form are urging all conveyancers to use this new standardised questionnaire to secure the necessary information if a property being sold is managed freehold. This is where a freehold property has a shared amenity requiring maintenance either through an estate rent charge or covenants set out in the title.
The information required by the FME1 would come from the Rent charge Owner, the Management Company, the Managing Agent or any appointed representative of them, and would provide greater certainty around the provision of the information required to ensure the conveyancing process can progress.
Use of the new FME1 form will ensure that prospective purchasers have full details of any contribution required, who organises the maintenance arrangements for shared areas/amenities, likely increases to these amounts, and who owes what.
Currently, each conveyancing firm raises their own preferred questions in such cases which can create confusion and extra work, especially where the seller’s conveyancer does not ask all of the questions required by the buyer’s conveyancer.
The new FME1 form has been based on the updated Leasehold Property Enquiries (LPE1) which was also amended by a cross-industry group and is now used in over 70% of all such transactions.
Organisations which have fed into the creation of the FME1 form and approve the LPE1, include: ARHM, ARLA, ARMA, the British Property Federation, the CA, the Homeowners Alliance, CILEx, IRPM, the Law Society, the Leaseholder Association, NAEA, RICS, RTMF and the Society of Licensed Conveyancers.
This group of organisations and trade bodies will enter into a memorandum of understanding so that they jointly hold copyright, with the FME1 both freely available and available for free, to those who wish to use it but without the ability to alter the questions or format.
Regular reviews of the form’s contents will take place to ensure it remains current.
CILEx President Phillip Sherwood says:
“CILEx has long supported transparency and upfront information within the home buying and selling process. Consumers deserve to know the ins and outs of what they are purchasing and the agreements that they are entering into. The FME1 is the result of many months of hard work to achieve just this, so that conveyancers can do their job more efficiently without compromising on the level of service that they provide.
The FME1 is now the second example of the conveyancing sector working together for the benefit of all, following in the footsteps of the earlier LPE1 form. With so many changes taking place in the industry today, it provides a standardised and streamlined approach to conveyancing processes with practical outcomes."