Within each industry sector, there are game changers and champions, and in the leasehold sector Alex Greenslade stood apart as a character of integrity and drive.
His sad passing was a huge loss to our specialist sector where many had known him as a friend, as well as a colleague and sometime adversary.
Alex co-founded the professional membership association ALEP with his sister Anna Bailey in 2007. Alex had worked with leaseholders since 1998, and he was also co-founder and Chairman of the Leasehold Group of companies. Alex was a regular in the NOTB Hot 100 and was presented with the ERMAs Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017.
Professionals have shared their tributes to Alex, who will be missed by the sector:
Clare Grove, ALEP’s Marketing & Events Manager:
“Alex was a professional, a stickler for detail, a mighty intellect and a stalwart of the enfranchisement sector. Together with Anna, he founded our association with the aim of bringing together those with expertise in this niche field, to tackle the behaviour of those he always called the ‘dabblers’ and to provide a badge of assurance to both leaseholders and freeholders. He will be much missed by all who had the pleasure of working with him over the years.”
Damian Greenish, consultant at Pemberton Greenish:
“When enfranchisement became a universal right, many leaseholders found it difficult to find a practitioner to help them. The professions were slow to respond to the new demand for specialist advice. Alex always promoted excellence and was determined that leaseholders should have access to the best skill levels. He founded ALEP so that leaseholders could find the right practitioners, and be confident that they possessed the necessary level of expertise. ALEP will remain a fitting tribute to his vision; it would not have existed without him. He will be sorely missed.”
Peter Haler, Leasehold Forum:
“Alex made a massive contribution to the leasehold sector. He was the first to recognise that leaseholders needed practical help as well as advice to organise an enfranchisement and, as a marketing man, he also saw the commercial possibilities there, setting up Leasehold Solutions. Perhaps more important was his dedication to the improvement of the standard of professional services to the sector through the founding and development of ALEP. He was a larger than life character and he will be hugely missed.
You always knew where Alex was in a room by the localised outbursts of laughter and animated conversation. As a born marketing man he instinctively “worked the room”; at functions I organised I never had to worry about the delegates who didn’t know anyone and were stood by themselves, I could rely on Alex finding them and introducing them around - and helping them feel they belonged. He was a great guy who did so much for the leasehold sector; he will be greatly missed.”
Philip Rainey, head of chambers at Tanfield Chambers:
“There can be few people in recent times who have done as much to advance the cause of enfranchisement and the rights of long leaseholders as Alex Greenslade. His drive to raise standards among those practising in the field has been invaluable; Alex’s enthusiasm and commitment will be irreplaceable. He will be missed.”
Nicholas Kissen, senior adviser at The Leasehold Advisory Service:
“Alex was a dear friend of mine with whom I spent many happy hours going to Saturday matinees and sharing his great love of the theatre plus his curiosity and interest in everything.
Charming and humane, his passing has left a huge gap in the lives of everyone who had the privilege of knowing and admiring him, whether on a personal level or as a dedicated professional.”
Louie Burns, managing director of the Leasehold Group of companies:
“Alex was a remarkable person who frustrated and delighted in equal measure. He was determined to improve the lives of leaseholders and his early presentations to leaseholders were stuff of legend.
Thanks to his foresight and vision, Leasehold Solutions was born and has gone on to support thousands of leaseholders over the past 17 years. He employed extraordinary attention to detail to everything he did. He made the complicated and dry subject of leasehold jargon-free and accessible to the leaseholders we help – and this legacy lives on, not just in our organisation, but for many who work in this sector.
Alex’s exceptional contribution to our companies, our sector and the wider property industry cannot be overstated and he is gravely missed by all those who knew him. Those of us who worked with Alex on a daily basis will miss his practical jokes, his sense of humour and his somewhat fanatical obsession with the office recycling practices.”
Mark Chick, ALEP Director and partner at Bishop & Sewell:
“To me, Alex was always a generous and kind-hearted individual who in addition to being a determined and successful businessman also had a wonderful sense of humour. He was creative and brought the natural flair of his love of drama and theatre to his professional life with the meticulous planning that he used to ensure that presentations and events were always delivered with the maximum effect.
Alex also always seemed to be able to find the right way to sum up a business or a ‘life concept’ in a handy and meaningful epithet: and his love of language and communication shone through in everything that he did. Alex was, in my view, instrumental in adapting the sort of language that we use in talking about enfranchisement. Anyone who knew or worked with him would know of his dislike of the ‘jargon’ words of enfranchisement industry. Gone were the terms ‘leaseholder’ or ‘lessee,’ and instead we were to speak only of ‘flat owners.’ Landlords were now ‘freeholders’ – and everyone he worked with was required to use language that was easy to understand.
I don’t think it is too much of an understatement to say that the plain English title of the recent Law Commission Consultation, being called as it is ‘Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease’ owes more than a little to Alex and his passion for clarity in communication.
Alex also loved to perform and I have some wonderful memories of him singing at karaoke evenings and even at ALEP quizzes. In addition, those who knew him and worked with him in the early days shared some other excellent fun days out, including a famous ‘dip in the sea.’
Alex always made working fun and that is no doubt why he was so successful. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. I hope that his memory inspires others to work for the benefit of others and the continued reform of our sector.”