A very good Daily Mail story today revealing that last November Communities Secretary James Brokenshire was demanding inquiries into 100,000 buyers trapped in new toxic leases.
So, no reason not to get on with banning leasehold houses – the easy bit – and reducing new ground rents to zero: which private equity speculators and our truly grisly plc house builders don’t like for obvious reasons.
Then the developers can stump up to provide the freeholds to leasehold houses, which were often promised to their customers … before promptly being flogged off to private equity speculators.
Under Freedom of Information requests, The Mail reveals that Mr Brokenshire was warning the Competition and Markets Authority that up to 100,000 people were ‘trapped’ in homes they could not sell.
James Brokenshire’s demand for inquiry into ‘extortionate’ leases was dismissed He warned CMA in November up to 100,000 people were ‘trapped’ in homes Five months later CMA declined to investigate the Housing Secretary’s concerns The housing industry has been accused of exploiting consumers by a leading minister.
Mr Brokenshire said: “Leaseholders cannot sell and cannot move. They struggle to purchase their freehold or extend their lease, as the cost of the future ground rent must be met.”
He added: “This shines a light on the culture of consumer exploitation rife in the housing industry.
“In the past, the CMA used its influence to tackle this type of exploitation, and it is my hope it will do so again.”
Mr Brokenshire also wrote to the Solicitors Regulation Authority to complain about lawyers – many recommended by developers – who failed to warn buyers about contracts with “extortionate” terms.
He said: “I am troubled by some of the evidence I have received.”
The article feature a case study of the Sisley family in Cornwall, whose £117,000 Taylor Wimpey flat has ground rents of £250pa – so well over the 0.1% of sales price, which is the Nationwide definition of onerous rent – and doubles every ten years on five occasions.
In other words, Taylor Wimpey and its stooge lawyers landed this family in a truly toxic home. And knew it. And won’t admit it.