Can Leaseholders be reLEASED from the shackles of Leasehold???
“Leaseholders have been treated by developers, freeholders and managing agents, not as homeowners or customers, but as a source of steady profit”
The Leasehold Reform Inquiry is now concluded and their damning report was published this week on 20th March 2019.
The House of Commons Committee report made recommendations to the Government, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Law Commission.
They have two months to respond.
“Reflects a serious cross market failure of oversight of sales practices”
NLC STATEMENT TO THE REPORT
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report into leasehold reform is a damning indictment of the leasehold scandal that has turned the dream of so many homeowners into a living nightmare. We hope that Government will act swiftly on the many recommendations the Committee have put forward, particularly an investigation into mis-selling by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the many legislative changes recommended to protect consumers.
We at the National Leasehold Campaign are hugely proud of the significant contribution that we have made to highlight the multitude of leasehold abuses and mobilise leaseholders to work together to raise awareness and bring about much needed reform. The National Leasehold Campaign will continue to campaign for the abolition of leasehold in England and Wales and we will be watching the Government’s response to this independent committee’s report closely to ensure that this scandal is resolved and the millions trapped by these feudal laws get the fair treatment and redress they deserve.
Katie Kendrick, Cath Williams & Jo Darbyshire
Please do take the time to read the full report.
Many will want to know if this report helps existing leaseholders :
- It would be legally possible for the Government to introduce legislation to remove onerous ground rents in existing leases.
- Existing ground rents should be limited to 0.1% of the present value of a property, up to a maximum of £250 per year. They should not increase above £250 over time, by RPI or any other mechanism.
- Introduce legislation to restrict onerous permission fees in existing leases.
- Where leaseholders have paid unreasonable permission fees or ground rents over the course of their leases so far, they should have those refunded by freeholders with interest. In such circumstances the government should establish a clear and easily accessible route to compensation for affected leaseholders
Other recommendations include:
- Introduce low-interest loans—a Help to Buy scheme for leaseholders—so that leaseholders who want to enfranchise or extend their leases, but cannot afford to or obtain the necessary finance, have the opportunity to do so.
- Invite, and fund, the Law Commission to conduct a more comprehensive review of leasehold legislation.
- Ensure that commonhold becomes the primary model of ownership of flats in England and Wales, as it is in many other countries.
- CMA to investigate mis-selling in the leasehold sector and make recommendations for appropriate compensation.
- More appropriate to refer to this tenure as ‘Lease-rental’.
- Alternative the government should establish a compensation scheme for the mis-sale of onerous ground rents, funded by the relevant developers and the purchasers’ solicitors.
We would like to thank each and everyone one of you for your continued support. We got this Select Committee Inquiry because leaseholders galvanised together. It is a true illustration of People Power at its best. This is not the end of our fight, this really is a David V’s Goliath Battle. But it is a battle we will win. The momentum is there, it is up to leaseholders nationally to ensure we continue to keep the pressure on and make as much noise as possible.
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW….
We would like everyone to contact your local MP with a copy of the report. Ask them to continue to raise this in the Chamber. Ask them to write to James Brokenshire supporting the Select Committees recommendations. We need these recommendations to be actioned. Words are not enough, we need Action.