Today in the House of Commons Prime Minister Theresa May added her voice to the many others behind LKP’s campaign to stop the sale of new build leasehold houses.
In Prime Ministers Question MP Andrew Selous asked about the practice of developers buying freehold land and selling on leasehold houses which he explained resulted in customers being “”ripped off”.
Prime Minister May answer made clear that as part of the White Paper “we will consult on a range of measures to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold”.
The Prime Minister ended her comments with these words. “I do not see why new homes should not be built and sold with the freehold interest at the point of sale.”
As a leader who wants to spread wealth and opportunity as widely as possible, will the Prime Minister ensure that we end the practice of developers buying freehold land on which they then sell new houses on a leasehold basis? Many first time buyers on Help to Buy feel that they are being ripped off by this practice and look to the Government for help.
I thank my hon. Friend for mentioning that issue, which he has raised with me previously. I know he is concerned about it and working on it. Our housing White Paper clearly sets out that developers should be building homes for people to live in. That means that we will act to promote fairness for the growing number of leaseholders, but we will consult on a range of measures to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold, as the Housing Minister has said. Other than in certain exceptional circumstances, I do not see why new homes should not be built and sold with the freehold interest at the point of sale.
If the government ‘wants to spread wealth and opportunity as widely as possible’ they can start by abolishing feudal leasehold laws and allowing long leaseholders to enfranchise. Managing our own property should be the bare minimum really, but So far it’s mostly talk and no action.
The problem of new build leaseholds has been flagged to the PM at PMQs. I think that is very significant. Congratulations to LKP and all the MPs pushing for change. Don’t forget us poor flat owners though and the extortionate cost of lease extensions once an unexpired term falls below 80 years. Abolition of leasehold enslavement in all its forms (houses, flats and maisonettes) would be ideal. Keep up the good work LKP and the APPG and all the campaigners.
I have been doing some research on the extortionate cost of lease extensions and was wondering how a leaseholder can have an input into the white paper? My apologies once again for remaining anonymous but I am in the middle of a lease extension process and will only reveal more publicly once it has been completed.
Yes flat owners need massive help as well, from rip-off service charges to freehold being sold and the new lessor jacking up the buildings insurance to astronomical premiums. In some says flat owners fair much worse than houses.
After 7 years working on this project we have spent 6 years with doors being slammed in our face. It seems things are finally beginning to move.
It may take a little while (years) to sort out everything else.
You can guarantee there will now be a number of groups wanting to explain why they have always supported change. It’s just a coincidence they spent 6 years saying nothing.
There is of course the huge danger of the Housing Minister being promoted to a different role but now the PM has joined in the debate it moves things to another level. That both main parties are looking for change is to be welcomed.
Ian, Totally agree with you on that. Most Managing Agents out there are venal and sail very close to the wind regarding acts of criminality- E.G. Fraud. A lot of them tend to get away with it because of leaseholders apathy. They bully and attempt to intimidate by getting their dodgy solicitors to send meaningless letters threatening forfeiture etc etc. There time will come.
I can not see this campaign ever stopping until ALL leasehold issues are resolved for houses, flats and maisonettes. I am truly appalled at this practice and feel for all who have suffered for so long – for me it one of the biggest financial scandals I have ever come across. I still find it unbelievable it has been happening for so such a long period. I am in utter disbelieve / shock of the terms written in my lease and the consequences of such terms , Terms that actually render my house unsaleable and terms that will financially drain my bank account dry for years to come !! gobsmacked
So yes I will continue to campaign until all has been rectified
We must be positive . The NLC is a mighty force and will grow stronger and noisier with every passing day!! Have you joined yet? Have you written to your MP? If yes and they haven’t responded then write again. Alert them to the NLC. We must all play our part!!
Leasehold Houses The Final Nail?
You supply the nail, I will bring the Hammer!
IF I HAD A HAMMER, I’D HAMMER IN THE MORNING
I’D HAMMER IN THE EVENING ALL OVER THE FREEHOLDERS
I’D HAMMER OUT GROUND RENTS
I’D HAMMER OUT A WARNING
I’D HAMMER OUT LEASEHOLDS ALL OVER THE LAND.
I am afraid it is a very long nail and will require a lot of hammering.
Many of us have been campaigning on Leasehold since the 2010 General Election and the nail has only just arrived.
The two thousand or so NLC members are to be congratulated on their efforts so far, but remember two million signed a petition against the Trump visit.
They may well have an affect upon the housing developers if it affects their sales. I expect they will all change to selling freehold as TW have done.
As regards. compensation for those 50000 or so leasehold houses already sold in the last 20 years, it appears that it is only TW who so far have indicated any action over the ground rents. And this is limited to the first time Doublers only.
It will be a long hard fight to take it much further and I don’t see this Government being too hard on these developers as they need their cooperation in meeting housing targets. Due to the shortage.
I should have said 50000 leasehold houses built in the last 10 years.
This is based on the Government figure of 5000 in 2015 .
Starting in 2007 when this issue first arose.
2Million may well have signed the ‘Trump’ petition, but I’ll wager those folks would have signed a blank piece of paper if it was for a ‘Fashionable’ ‘Sexy’ cause. The same people probably welcomed that despot Mugabe. They wouldn’t dream of signing an ‘unsexy’ leasehold campaign. A little positivity would be most welcome. I don’t recall a ‘civilian’ ‘ in the past ( myself included) having the chutzpah to set up a Facebook campaign / deliver leaflets and engage directly with affected leaseholders. Katie Kendrick has done this and it is reaping rewards. Incidentally,I hear that Trumps visit has been moved from June to Octoberwhem her Maj will still be in Balmoral. Just thought I’d throw that in. Change is coming!!
Let’s drain the leasehold swamp !!
Ian, do you have your fellow leaseholders on side? Why not go for RTM?
Katie Kendrick, Sebastian O’Kelly and Sir Peter Bottomley are all forces to be reckoned with.
I have a feeling TW will try again to wash their hands of their evil doubling ground rents…. but these 3 honest and true campaigners will only fight back stronger.
TW – please do the right thing. Buy back all doubling leases, null the clause, compensate, buy back properties at full market price…. support and help push though legislation fast … or whatever it will take. You have shown you are willing to fix this for future developments, but the current buyers who are suffering are not helped by this.
It will cost you less in the long run. Respect is priceless and you’ve lost ALL of mine and all my friend’s and family’s – just like that – gone.
In reality we are all duped.
I dont know what your story is, but anyone who ‘bought’ leasehold, be it a flat or a detached house, is a tenant.
We do not OWN our home, the freeholder does.
It is a paradox that in country obsessed with ‘home ownership’ we are still ‘renting’ from the landlord. Most people don’t quite understand that, which is why there is not sufficient legislation to change our status
To Mrs May. Simply legislate to cap all residential round rents to £99 per annum as soon as humanly possible.
Then these properties will be marketable once more, lease extensions will be affordable once more and freeholds buyable once more.
Developers who introduced onerous terms will have to compensate the third party investors who bought their magic beans (assuming they are not the same company in some contrived way) when throw all their toys out of their prams….
Duped buyer, I hope you have signed up to the NATIONAL LEASEHOLD CAMPAIGN. If not , why not? Strength in numbers- get you, your family and friends to join without delay!!
Will do… it’s a great campaign and getting noticed.
That is Excellent. Welcome aboard the NLC!!
The first time I even saw my lease was when I paid off my mortgage. I live in a flat and have lived in it since 1982, and never realised the implications of leasehold until I was older and wiser., by which time the lease had run down to approx 57 years. I paid a disproportionate amount to extend the lease by the formal route, and was never told how this figure was reached. I later found out that I could have challenged it but was never advised to do so by the solicitor. The whole leasehold system stinks.
I am currently on the same Bellway development as yourselves and would like to know as I am sure many others would when and where will the next meeting and demonstration take place? Unfortunately I missed the last meeting, but attended the demonstration with my wife and children. I am up for the fight as well as I bought my home on the HELP TO BUY SCHEME! (Help to get ripped off.) Which now when I look at it is putting a lot of new buyers out of their lovely new builds as most people can not afford the repayments on both the mortgage, help to buy scheme, ground rent and extortionate council taxes.
This was all new to me as I am sure it was to many new home buyers as I had lived abroad serving in the armed forces for 20 years only coming back to settle and find out now all my hard work seems to have been for nothing as even when we do pay our mortgage off we still don’t own our forever home. The leasehold was never explained in detail, (as everyone else has explained) but if I knew I had the option to purchase this I would have without a doubt. As I am sure every sane person would.
How is that when I bought in 1992 I actually bought bricks & mortar? Yet here we are today and everyone is saying you are a Tenant. How has this change come about? I did not buy any specified time under the Usage Laws – I bought bricks & mortar for a specified time until Equity of Redemption with the Fee Simple. I’ve even been shown a Lease governed by the ruddy Rent Act 1977 – how! Now that really is governed by Short Tenancies, Protected Tenancies & so on. Lawyers need to go back to Law School and start again by using the correct terminology and actually researching law. Only someone in their 70’s & over knows what a Fee Simple is!