UPDATE: March 15. The DCLG press office has asked LKP to make clear that the government is considering adding leasehold abuses – not leasehold itself, as we originally reported – to consumer protection laws and that the first sentence of this article has been amended accordingly.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, said the government is considering whether leasehold abuses could be included in a Consumer Green Paper.
In response to Sir Peter Bottomley in the Commons earlier this week, he said:
“I commend my hon. Friend on the work that he has done on leasehold abuses. That Green Paper is being led by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [Greg Clark], and we are considering whether leasehold abuses could be included in it.”
Sir Peter had asked: “The Chancellor has announced that there is to be a Green Paper on dealing with unfair clauses and terms in consumer contracts. I do not know whether the Secretary of State has been paying attention to the difficulties that leaseholders are facing, but will he ensure that, one way or another—preferably one way and another—those are taken into account, if necessary through a super-complaint, so that unfair terms can be struck out and those who exploit leaseholders can be dealt with firmly?”
I note Sajid Javid MP referring to the adding of leasehold to consumer protection laws said in Parliament that “We are considering whether leasehold abuses could be included in it”
Mr Javid, you didn’t just say “Leasehold” You said” Leasehold Abuses”
So you know there are major problems,. You know consumers are being systemically cheated, by developers/freeholders/managing agents/off shore entities?
I am sure irrespective of political persuasion, you like you’re parliamentary colleagues entered political life to serve the community.
That community is crying out for protection from leasehold predators. take action and take action NOW!
Its taken from 2010 for this Government to realise there is a problem, so I expect a few more before its fully dealt with. Perhaps the fact that a Labour Government would sort it will spur them on.
And what about the the current emergency of Ground Rents.
The Housing Minister has gone quiet, I thought he was going to act.
Just more of the old favourites, promotion of education and transparency which will not solve the injustices that have already happened.
And where are the other pillars of Society. The Regulating bodies and the Government supported “fair play ” outfits like LEASE..
All very quiet now but no doubt they will jump on the bandwagon when the genuine campaigners have succeeded.
The NLC must be even more proactive , deliver a signed petition to Downing St and organise a demo in London.The pressure must be relentless to be effective. Making ‘Nicey butters no parsnips!!
What does it mean “those who exploit leaseholders to be dealt with firmly”? At the moment there are no penalties for non-compliance, no regulation for managing agents, nothing of any substance, just ‘rights of consultation’ and other meaningless drivel designed to appease the leaseholders while we are getting fleeced.
I think making leaseholders into real home owners would be a start.
‘ Considers’ ????????
“LKP receives income from an accreditation scheme for managing agents, and advertising”
Is the accreditation scheme ARMA? I am helping people in their trials and tribulations with a large predatory managing agent which is signed up to the ARMA Consumer Charter and Standard so the scheme certainly isn’t keeping the sharks out. We’re assembling a complaint so we’ll see just what ARMA has in the way of teeth!
I am sure you will find that ARMA has no teeth, as they showed in their dealings with the Peverel/Firstport price fixing scandal.
Dear Gordon Clifton,
No, our accreditation scheme is nothing to do with ARMA. It is ours.
Some of our members are members of ARMA, others aren’t, and one – Walton & Allen in Nottingham – was ARMA, but won’t have anything to do with it because it thinks the worst managing agents are members of that trade body.
There are plenty of bad managing agents that are members of ARMA, but it has culled some.
But it is only a trade body. We are not, and have no ambition to get involved in the professional leasehold sector.
Leasehold flats will not be high on the Agenda now that there’s such a lot of government focus on new houses being sold leasehold. That particular scam is taking all the government’s huff ‘n’ puff – not that anything is actually being done about that, either.
Total abolition of leasehold is the only way forward as tinkering with previous Acts will create even more loopholes. The Labour government had a try in 2002 – an unsuccessful one, needless to say..
Many in the property industry are running rings round the Treasury as well as doing down leaseholders.
The scandal of leasehold houses is simple enough for everyone to grasp.
Except in very few cases, there is no reason at all why leasehold houses are built, and the developers’ excuses are:
1/ We build them in the North West because there are a lot of historic ones around and consumers have been complacent about this.
2/ Freehold houses will cost more.
The first is a feeble argument, and the National Leasehold Campaign Facebook group is mobilising to address this in unambiguous terms.
The second is unproven, and our evidence suggests no price difference between new houses sold freehold or leasehold.
Fortunately, the developers have been caught out over this and the pernicious, wealth-eroding scam of leasehold houses is now far better understood by consumers.
We will see where it leads.
Of course, the fact that leasehold flat owners in England and Wales are uniquely disempowered does need to be addressed.
We have reported numerous scams in leasehold, but leasehold houses – which we managed to persuade Patrick Collinson of the Guardian to take up – is the first issue here to get legs.
Let’s see where it goes.
There are some very exceptional circumstances whereby a lease on a house is justified.
For example, it may possibly be if a house is built on National Trust property or perhaps Church property. Clearly if land is leasehold, a house built on it cannot be freehold, nor can a lease be granted on a house be longer than the land is leased for?
A clue as to whether land is leased would be the length of the lease?
If a house(as opposed to a flat) is offered with a relatively short lease such as 125 years, i would ask questions? Similarly, if a lease is offered for 999 years less three days that is a very good indicator that the land is leased.
For land that is owned by a developer I can see no reason whatsoever for selling a house as a leasehold (other of course than an exercise in increasing profits by a legal sleight of hand)
Thus far none of the developers who sell leasehold houses have even ventured an explanation for selling as a leasehold, if you don’t count the pathetic “It’s common practice in the North West”
I see there are exceptional cases where houses might have to be sold leasehold because they are being developed by a Head Lessor, rather than the Freeholder, but where it is not necessary the developers had hoped to get away with it. Many ‘luxury’ new builds will be aimed at foreign investors who are perhaps ignorant of the difference between leasehold and freehold.
Land should be sold freehold or not at all.
Land hoarding must stop as that is what it is. For example LUT/TfL are holding on to its freeholds.
They grant leases to Head Lessors who go on to do the developing and take ground rents. That’s just one such outfit,
Head Lessors can grant sub leases too……..
Who owns what is in such a mess – everyone in the property industry is having a peck. The UK is being carved up for the benefit of big land owners and developers; and the many tiers below. One doubts that the UK Exchequer is receiving anything like it should from property activity of recent years.
William the Conqueror’s greed is overshadowed by the greed of
those in today’s property industry. Thank goodness for LKP who has got the whole rotten mess on to the political agenda.