The Land Registry's decision to standardise the format of leases by demanding the inclusion of a series of prescribed clauses is paperwork for its own sake and puts landlords to unnecessary expense, it was claimed.
Jeremy Briars, partner and head of the commercial property team at Birmingham solicitors Williamson and Soden, believes the move will alienate many landlords and developers.
It applies to all leases of seven years or more.
Information required includes the date, term and parties to the lease; the land-lord's title plan; a property description and information about any rights of acquisition; the price paid for the lease; details of rent charges, easements and restrictive covenants; and any restrictions on lease disposal.
"While I understand the Land Registry's efforts to tighten up procedures in order to speed up the registration process, the amount of detail it is now asking for is completely over the top and amounts to more red tape for hard-pressed landlords and developers," said Mr Briars.
The use of prescribed clauses becomes compulsory from June 19, and leases drawn up incorrectly will be rejected.
"Despite our misgivings over the Land Registry's heavy-handed approach, landlords and developers cannot afford to take the introduction of prescribed clauses and the requirement for more detailed plans lightly especially when 50 per cent of leases are rejected because the plans are not prepared properly," said Mr Briars.
"Ultimately, if the plans are not approved, the lease cannot be registered and cannot take effect."