Out of the dark came fighting leaseholders!
By Katie Kendrick
Many of you may know me. I set up the National Leasehold Campaign in January 2017.
My inspiration to fight these injustices of the leasehold system has come from being introduced to the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and also Louie Burns. Seven months ago, the penny dropped for me that the magnitude of this scandal was MASSIVE. There was no way I could let innocent families remain in the dark, I had to do something to inform as many people as I possibly could. I embarked on the biggest learning curve of my life. I feel I’ve done a crash course in the complex world of leasehold. My head is fried. I knew absolutely nothing about leasehold until January.
I have met some amazing people who share my passion for justice. There is many people who are working hard to keep the National Leasehold Campaign Group running well. To name a few are Jo Darbyshire, Cath Williams, Lisa Chapple, Clair Scott, Heather Truesdale, Karen Peel and Anthony Kent.
I had no idea by starting this campaign it was going to take off like it has. It’s literally taken over my life. The campaigns success is not because of my campaign, this is because of the years and years of hard work LKP have put into this.
I feel very honoured that LKP have given our campaign a section within their amazing website.
Our National Leasehold Campaign Facebook Group now has a staggering 6775 members, and is growing daily.
The daily traffic on the facebook group is phenomenal, in the past 28 days alone we have had over 17K comments. We have many upset, angry and frustrated leaseholder within the group, but we are determined to turn this energy into action and stand up for ourselves. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
I intend to update you all regarding what the campaign is up to. We have held numerous demonstrations, have others organised and will continue to spread the word in both local and national media as much as we can. We will continue to ensure Leasehold remains firmly in the spotlight. We are not going away.
The government’s announcement to ban future leasehold houses is very much welcomed and a massive step in the right direction. But we will continue to campaign until retrospective action happens. As far as we are concerned if leasehold is wrong for the future it was certainly wrong in the past for both houses and flats.
One thing I need to clarify is this scandal is MUCH more than a “Ground Rent Scandal” that media refer to. It’s much more than “Doubling Ground Rents”. This scandal is about the onward sale of our freeholds to unknown beneficiaries who use our homes as an endless income stream. It really is a licence to print money. Leaseholders had no idea this was what we were signing up to, it’s scandalous behaviour. Literally the ground from beneath us has been sold often to the highest bidder (sometimes even at auctions). Many of us, infact probably all of us feel we have been miss sold our homes.
What we as leaseholders want and will continue to fight for is our freeholds. We don’t want RPI leases, we don’t want any lease. We don’t want permission fees. We want our homes, we want to secure our futures for our children. We want to be FREE and HOLD our FREEHOLDS without Holds over us.
GONE ARE THE DAYS LEASEHOLDERS ROLE OVER AND ACCEPT THESE ABUSES !!!
UNITED WE STAND!!
Brilliant work Katie Kendrick! Thank you for inviting me to help in this campaign which has literally taken over my life- I also intend to stand with you and other members of the NLC to fight for the right to be a true home owner instead of a cash cow for some faceless investor with absolutely zero benefit to me.
It is time to stand up, speak out and be counted.
See you at the next demo!
There is a force happening now that is unstoppable, so I do hope that our MP’s are reading, watching and listening to what is going on.
To the many hundreds of MP’s that are not involved in the APPG yet, my advice is join now before it is too late to be taken seriously.
This campaign and campaigners are not going away, we are here to stay until something serious is done about this whole leasehold scandal and scandal it is!
Talk is cheap, we have been talking about it in meetings for years, but the time for action is now. With Katie and her team on the ball, I am very confident that things will change, or MP’s of all parties will suffer the consequences at the next general election.
How can we be in this situation in 2017? where builders/developers have been allowed, with government money and promotion, to deceive our young families into thinking they were ‘ buying a home’ when they have bought nothing but a rental property and a contract they can not get out of that easy!
We are not prepared to accept that ‘ nothing can be done’ because it can with the right people pushing it forward.
Nearly 7000 members of the NLC can’t all be wrong!
When members of the legal profession agree that it has all gone too far, it is time to put a stop to it.
Well done Katie and the rest of the team for getting it this far.
Thank you for you kind words. But we must praise you, and all those who started this popular uprising.
You have mobilised the leaseholders in a way that has not been seen before.
Housebuilders, the ground rent speculators and government are reeling before this and things will undoubtedly change.
Huge efforts – and funds – are going to be deployed to keep the leasehold racket going. But you have seen through all this nonsense.
What the housebuilders and the ground rent speculators were trying to do was to deprive an entire generation of the benefits of real home ownership.
The housebuilders simply overdid it. They were too greedy, spreading wealth-eroding leasehold to independent houses and racking up the ground rents and other bullying charges. In doing so, they trashed the values of the properties they sold to their customers.
This has got to stop. There is absolutely nothing in the ground speculators’ business model that would be unfamiliar to an 18th century landowner. It is parasitism writ large.
It is not imaginative business; it is not wealth creation that has the slightest benefit to society,
We are going to hear a lot about pensions exposure to this sector; we will hear about housebuilders being unable to build without the gains from leasehold; and we will hear about how the organisation of flats is impossible without English leasehold law (even though the rest of the world manages just fine with forms of commonhold).
We will hear about how reforming leasehold will violate property ownership – taking back freeholds from their legitimate investors.
But look at enfranchisement, whereby groups of leasehold flat owners can compulsorily purchase the freehold off the landlord.
Leasehold law has introduced these absurd somersaults in order to make it fairer to the tenants, as leaseholders are referred to in all laws on the subject.
Surely, the lesson after all these failed efforts to make leasehold fair is: STOP CREATING MORE OF IT.
We gave the road map for seeing through all this piffle from the cheats who benefit from leasehold, but you and others in the National Leasehold Campaign have mobilise the numbers.
It is brilliant work, of real social benefit. You should feel very proud of yourself.
You go girl! There is no force in the universe equal to that of a pissed off woman… the whole god damn leasehold system to be abolished, no more half hearted acts and amendments that no one understands.
Had a look at that facebook. Not for me. Please ‘sign’ me up as an associate in spirit. Been complaining about leasehold for years. Can write quite miffed emails if need be but not so enthralled at chaining myself to trees or, perish the thought, other humans.
Once provoked I’m resolute, mind. Still seriously vexed at the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act and almost remember the day it came in fifty years ago today like it were yesterday.
Your posts are always very informative. I pity your freeholder if he puts a foot wrong – though of course since there is no enforcement, little for them to worry about.
Just stumbled on this newspaper article that does one of the best dissections of leasehold I’ve read, and the strangest thing isn’t that it is from the Telegraph, but that it is from 2006…
Politicians of all persuasions can’t pretend they didn’t know long time past.
Paddy thank you for posting details of that illuminating telegraph piece on Leasehold.
Of course they know, but it’s like the Aegean stables -where do you begin? They prefer to pretend everything works, the world is ruled by magnanimous ‘landlords’ who appoint efficient managing agents and keep the buildings in pristine state of repair with beautifully manicured gardens. Accounts are also beyond reproach, in this freeholder utopia, and we can all sleep tight, safe in the knowledge that our money is used well by the magnanimous freeholder. We need do nothing about it. Just pay whatever they ask and don’t ask to see anything.
Barristers and Judges: Did you know a number of barristers/lawyers specialising in Leasehold disputes happen to be….part-time judges in the same tribunals; Needless to say most of the fees chambers/barristers make from leasehold disputes come from Freehold and ground rent investment firms
Many thanks for this article it has answered a question I have been trying to find as to how you can convert from leasehold to commonhold in existing buildings. It seems you cant but have to take a share of the freehold first which of course means extra costs!! Surprise, surprise.
I am also with you on the facebook scenario but think the girls are doing and have done a fantastic job in really hotting things up!! I still want to have Melissa included in the accolades though as she definitely started the ball rolling.
You might also find it interesting to read about Noelle Rawes (mentioned in the article) outrageous fight for her rights listed appropriately under Leasehold Outrage!
I spoke to Melissa a few months back and she told me all about the beginning .
Your right we wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for her.
Well done Katie, you have shown yourself to be the modern day Boudicca of the fight against leasehold. My kinda gal!!! I shall be joining the demo on 30 th September and unlike Paddy am not averse to ” chaining myself to a tree”. although I d rather not!
There always needs to be an individual/group to organise and stand up and shout out when there is injustice, and you, Katie (and your group and LKP) are doing just that. I am just a keyboard warrior who fires of emails to all and sundry on the subject.. Leasehold simply shouldn’t exist, there is no debate to be had. Really pleased that you make this clear in your piece, abolition is the only acceptable end result of this campaign.
One of the targets of my emails is the delightful Roger Southam, he typifies the low lifes who benefit from the status quo. You will know that when the consultation was announced, dear Roger declared on LAS’s site (I paraphrase) “Leasehold itself is not evil, some of the practises are”. Roger has powerful and wealthy friends and compliant politicians, they will fight tooth and nail to preserve leasehold in the most beneficial form possible. I wish you well in this fight, I fear it will be a long one before full and proper victory is achieved.
David have you seen the excellent letter that the NLC wrote to Gavin Barwell requesting the removal of ‘ The Fragrant Roger Southam’ as chairman of ‘LEASE’ a publicly funded quango? It has also been sent to the latest housing minister. Cc Southam et al at ‘LEASE’. The letter was crystal clear in stating why the appointement of Southam was totally inappropriate.IT STINKS!!!
I haven’t seen the letter but I did see somewhere a reference to a parliamentary question from a Labour MP. The question (to the appropriate minister) was along the lines of “Is Roger Southam a suitable person to be chairman of LAS.?” The minister responded in time honoured fashion by ignoring the question altogether and noting the Labour MP’s interest in the subject of leasehold. “IT STINKS” – There is an immense number of things that STINK in this country, Perhaps after the leasehold issue is resolved – resolved means abolished, other issues can be tackled.
“there is no debate to be had”
Exactly, let’s repeat this till the end. If ministers want to ban leasehold and set the cost to zero, what is the problem stopping us paying thousands?
What the politicians should be reminded is what will happens in the next 3 decades when ground rents escalate to a point when people will not be able to afford to pay the rent. According to the lease agreements they will be evicted and potentially the country will face a surge of homeless people denied any compensation for the government and Parliament to protect the people.
Thank you again from me Katie, without the Facebook page and this web site I would have not been educated enough. Served with a notice of my rent doubling in December 2016 I was in shock and thought “am I the only stupid person that failed to read the terms correctly” ? Now I know I am at least not alone and I will join every action necessary to stop this evil.
The Government sanctioned retrospective liability in respect of PPI and tax evasion schemes. These gross leasehold mIss-selling practices must also be subject to retrospective legislation and remedied through damages paid by the unscrupulous developers who have systematically fleeced innocent house buyers to enhance their profits in recent years. A test case is urgently needed to set a precedent. Campaigns are a great way forward to lobby MPs but parliamentary action is necessary to introduce appropriate retrospective legislation so that compensation can be claimed by those that have been the victims of deliberate miss-selling.
Katie – you continue to pass on strength, hope and faith when most of us have none.
You have come into the pit of dark, depressing worry and handed us a little spark to help light the way out of this mess. That spark is growing quickly into a flame and I am certain it will be an inferno that engulfs these rogue house builders in the next few months.
You do not accept praise easily, however, we all know that whilst you have not done this alone you have given us the push to keep trudging forward with you. Without you, Katie, this movement could not exist. You did create it. This is one thing you cannot shrug off, You have been there for the people this Leasehold Scandal affects. You have an empathy that no other, who has not been in our situation, can share. When I have wanted to give up, you have inspired me to get a second, third, fourth….. countless winds!
The Leaseholders are rising and you are our shining beacon that leads the way. Without you we will find it difficult to stand up. So please, accept the praise. Without your resilience many of us would not have found our own strength and fight. We would not have pushed ourselves or spoken loudly, if at all.
These developers, and all associated in this messy leasehold web, need urgent reform and regulation. I trust that you will not stop until this is achieved. I will be with you every step of the way as will most of your faithful followers.
Thank you for showing us how to stand up to bullies with class and without shame. We thank you, our children will thank you and our grandchildren will hopefully never know of the exploitative ways of these greedy developers.
Wow Louise. Thank you for your very kind words.
I’m very touched, infact speechless (and that doesn’t happen very often !).
Thank u for all your support. We are helping and supporting eachother.
The road ahead is going to be bumpy but I will always remain positive that we will shine brighter than whatever these rich freeholders can throw at us. They may have the money to defend their actions but we have People Power and NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW POWERFUL THIS CAN BE.