James Brokenshire announces industry pledge to crack down on toxic leasehold deals…….
NLC have prepared the following repsonse to this pledge.
Hot on the heels of the damning Select Committee Inquiry report into the leasehold scandal the developers and freeholders come out fighting like a wounded animal by signing a pledge to behave themselves. This exercise in style over substance demonstrates the increasing influence of the National Leasehold Campaign, with the Facebook Group now approaching 14,000 members.
This pledge is the “as little as they think they can get away with” response that the NLC predicted when asked what we think developers and freeholders will do to try to resolve the leasehold scandal they created, and until recently denied existence of.
The Select Committee Inquiry report noted that “too often leaseholders, particularly in new-build properties, have been treated by developers, freeholders and managing agents, not as homeowners or customers, but as a source of steady profit”. Converting doubling leases to RPI does not solve the problem.
Many thousands of onerous leases with ground rents above 0.1% of property value remain. There is no mention of removing onerous permission fees or taking a more ethical approach on excessively increasing service charges. There is no commitment to end the new and growing fleecehold scandal where new supposedly freehold homes are sold with estate maintenance charges.
It is a sad reflection of our broken housing market that this pledge has to be made at all. It’s time for Government to take a much stronger stance and avoid being taken in like Little Red Riding Hood as the leasehold wolves dress up like Granny.
We’ve seen developers posting obscene profits; they can afford to do the right thing, they choose not to.
Listen to Jo Darbyshire & Clive Betts talk about this announcement on BBC radio 4 You & Yours