Full marks to Mainstay for making the most nakedly self-interested submission to MP members of the Community Select Committee.
Mainstay is a property management company, but also invests in residential freeholds.
It says: “Our customer base of some 80,000 flatted leaseholders suggest that 58% are owned by buy to let investors, 44% are owner-occupied.”
Mainstay adds: “We think that very careful thought needs to be given before leasehold is abandoned. Leasehold is a system that can be made to work extremely well for the leasehold owner with appropriate reform.”
“We consider that the beneficial role of the institutional corporate investor has been ignored in this debate … These modern owners care deeply about customer service, fairness and the health and safety of their customers.”
Question: Why is it leaseholders, sorry enforced customers, can only with difficulty break free of these paragons, and face an deeply unbalanced legal cost regime in any financial dispute?
“These typically have valuable high-profile reputations which drives out fairness [sic] and good consumer outcomes. They also see their interest in buildings as being very long term in contrast to the relatively short period of the average leasehold ownership.”
Question: If the ground rent game involves only respectable pension investors – it doesn’t: no major pension fund has really significant investment in it, according to the Bank of England – why are they hiding their beneficial ownership behind nominee directors and so often offshore?
Full submission here: