Sir Peter Bottomley MP, patron of LKP, told the BBC today that the “scandal” of the Leasehold Advisory Service being packed with freeholder stooges needs to end.
“The charity trustees of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership should be regarded as qualified to be on the board of the government advisory service LEASE rather than disqualified,” he told the BBC R4 consumer programme this afternoon.
“That is another scandal: that you have people who are involved in helping landlords are sitting in charge of an advice service set up for leaseholders.”
Sir Peter was addressing the leasehold houses scandal after the programme ran a report by Simon Hoban of the demonstration at Ellesmere Port on Saturday.
Government considers adding leasehold abuses to consumer protection law
The programme featured an interview with Katie Kendrick, of the Facebook group the National Leasehold Campaign, which organised the protest outside Redrow’s 2,000-home Ledsham Garden Village.
Questioned how the leasehold houses scandal could be resolved, Sir Peter said one option was a “super complaint” to the government “saying that these terms are so outrageous and so unfair then they would be rendered inoperative and they cannot be enforced.
“That would leave the so-called long term investors [of freeholds] not getting the income stream they want and save the leaseholders having to pay a great deal of money. It would be a short-term way of solving the leasehold problem.
“The long-term one is to allow leaseholders to convert to being freeholders. And the even better one is to bring in commonhold so that you never get the opportunity of things going wrong either on purpose or by mistake. But that may be a discussion for another day.
“The key point is that the poeple who are the innocents in all this are the leaseholders: often first time buyers, often helped under the government’s Help To Buy scheme.
“And they have now been exposed to a scandal that is even worse in my view than the PPI one.”
Sir Peter was then asked about Sajid Javid’s response to him in the Commons last week about adding leasehold abuses to the the Green Paper on consumer protection law.
“In the Green Paper I would like the possibility of cutting out the prospect of unfair terms completely.
“Secondly, making sure that there is complete transparency in all the fees and charges and insurance commissions – which some of the so-called long term investors appear to be basing their calculations on.
“I would instantly change the law so that just as leasehold flat owners can buy the freehold so should leasehold house owners be allowed the same right.”
Congratulations to Peter for his words.
The sad truth is LKP has been saying that LEASE is institutionally corrupted for years. Officials have refused to listen and play the game of saying it’s nothing to do with them as an arms-length body.
I reached the view some while ago that LEASE does far more harm than it does good.
The rest of the sector should perhaps take a long hard look in the mirror and ask why it has been keen to support LEASE, despite the fact that LEASE done much to damage the sector’s ability to regulate itself.
Both ARHM and ARMA promote LEASE on their websites.
In fact the ARMA publication Advice for Leaseholders was produced with the help of LEASE.
It won’t be long before they all join the Leasehold Reform bandwagon.
ARMA will shortly be holding one of those swanky black tie dinners with an attached “award ceremony” so beloved of the property industry so they can self congratulate themselves!
I am disturbed that one of the judges for the awards heads up the Ombudsman Property Service. Could this not be seen as a conflict of interest?
What happens if a complaint if a complaint is made to the “Independent” ombudsman concerning a company that has just won an ARMA award9as judged by the ombudsman?
Martin :-congratulations LKP and Sir Peter.
Me thinks LEASE should be pronounced :-LEAST.
LKP has been saying that LEASE is institutionally corrupted for years and now people are beginning to realise it.. How is a body set up for Leasehold been allowed to tangentially move from the Leasehold to the Landlords and on to Freeholders.
Martin your comment regarding LEASE doing more harm is a sad indictment of those that are trusted to act for us, not against us.
How about pronouncing it FLEECE
Displease ——– offensive
Misease ———– misery
Unease ———- uneasiness
I believe there was a letter sent to Lease/ Housing minister( shown on this site- very good letter) about the dissatisfaction of lease performance. Any response or follow up?
I would also like to know that. Any response from the housing minister?
The natioanl leasehold campaigners send a complaint regarding LEASE to Gavin Barwell on 16th feb. No response yet. I have rang his ministerial office several times to chase.this but stil nothing.
I have also written letters to the housing minister (via my MP) about another leasehold issue and have yet to receive a response. I guess they are too busy to answer uncomfortable questions ?
Won’t me know more tomorrow when it will be discussed again in the HOC?.
People have to follow up on their first actions if no response has been had.. It is futile to chase and not get a result. 16th of February is some time ago. What was the point in sending the letter if you do not ensure you get dialogue going. Seems pointless.
I have been following this up on the telephone and via email. My MP is also chasing this up too.
I can do no more than to keep on a them.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Katie, many of us have been suffering the same for the last 7 years with Housing Ministers and their Government Department ( Local Government and Communities).
Either no answers or a fob off communication.
But you have managed to get lot further down the line by stirring up hundreds of your fellow leaseholders and by getting the issue a lot of publicity, so you may have a better chance.
You have given ammunition to LKP, the friendly MPs and the likes of Louie so they can press this further.
But do not expect much help from the Government, the Regulating bodies or LEASE..
The important meetings of the next two days may be a pointer.
Broaden you fan base by logging on to About Peverel Website.
About Peverel has been attempting to expose these Landlords and Freeholders for many years but Government has ignored us.
Sir Peter, Martin/Sebastian have helped us over the last few years.
The sale of leasehold houses is the latest scam, Landlords are involved in.
You are the younger version of us pensioners who are seen fit for milking and exploiting.
Ask admin at About Peverel for contact.
This will be moderated, but hope allowed, copied for later.
Send the letter twice daily by email daily to the relevant office until you get a response. Consider wiriting another letter asking why you have not received a response to the first.Send a copy of the letter to the Teresa May with a cover letter telling her that one of her ministers is ignoring a taxpayers complaint. Something will have to give,
Just a thought, are we not devaluing our leasehold properties due to all this negative publicity?
Shooting ourselves in the foot!
Devils Advocate, No is the answers to your question. The negative publicity is reflected onto the developers and Freeholders who will have to cut a deal and restore the Freeholds to their rightful owners at reasonable cost. We are coming after crooked Managing agents next.
Managing agents need to be properly regulated and audited accounts should be mandatory. This is one of the the issues I wrote to our MP . As thIngs are my dog could set up,a property management company.
Estate agents selling leasehold in London, now ask for a ‘management pack’, service charges and check about ‘escalating ground rent’. Estate agents! By the time any sale gets to the solicitor stage more checks will be made. If us leaseholders don’t achieve better legislation, (ideally abolishion) we have everything to lose whether we “own” flat or house.
They already have been. Look at the poor sods up North who have tried to sell homes with these hefty groundrent terms attached.
This is a very interesting question.
Leasehold house owners are accountable only to themselves, so they can protest publicly or not, as they wish.
This explains the formation of the Facebook National Leasehold Campaign.
Leasehold flat owners have to act collectively, and there are always some who want to keep the issue quiet until it is successfully resolved. Otherwise, there is a perceived risk of damaging the resale values of their properties.
Here you have the Taylor Wimpey doubling ground rent leasehold owners – flats and houses – where there is evidence of no resale value at all.
It is interesting to contrast the public protest of the leasehold house owners, with the appalling legal gameplaying at Canary Riverside, where none of the leaseholders want to be named.
As the highly aggressive freeholder threatened to sue 110 members of the residents association with defamation proceedings, this is understandable.
Yet it is a scandal every bit as bad as the leasehold houses issue.
Dear, “Devils advocate”/”Sheila”/”Great Dane”/”Worried”/”Shocked and Appalled”/”Kimberley”/””Micheal”/”Grumpy of man”/”Clearing the picture”/”Trish1965″/”Susan Brigade”/”David T”
If you want to be a shill who posts on this site as an “As an impartial solicitor ” or more often as a concerned “leaseholder” please try to use a different address as well as a different name.
No. To do nothing things will only get worse.
Our freeholder/management company is changing the surrender lease. Future exit fees are being changed from 1% to variable. This alone devalues the lease. Then there is the mismanagement of our account together with very high management fees.
In a sense Yes in a sense No!
What is implied by your post is that a property could be sold for a higher price,if the terms of the sale can be kept hidden from the purchaser.?
Properties are devalued by the terms of the lease. that renders them virtually unsaleable in the long term.
This is why all affected leaseholders have to combine together to rid tenants (despite what you may have been led to believe you are a tenant not a home owner) the scourge that is a blight on property ownership.
Remember it is not just the potential ground rent payments of 9,600 pounds or the exorbitant charges imposed by the freeholder for every conceivable item that devalue the property, think on?
Imagine a pensioner living in such a property? The ground rent alone more than swallows up the state pension.. And for those planning their retirement and opting for an equity release scheme to support themselves, Forget It!
Well said. Devils Advocate attitude strikes me as rather cynical. I wonder if he or she is a managing agent ,estate agent or one of the ‘professionals ‘. Hide the truth and rip off the trusting leaseholder, prospective purchaser.
I bought a house from Taylor whimpy leasehold property now at the moment my ground rent is double and every 10 years going double it is very very unfair i m so depressed and in tension so please help me i want to freehold please help me if u can.
Aamir I suggest that you join the facebook ” National Leasehold Campaign” they are all in the same situation as you are and are banding together to take action against the developers. Good Luck!!