Ahead of tonight’s Channel Four Dispatches documentary on leasehold, ‘Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leasehold’ (C4 8pm), The Times today quotes Sebastian O’Kelly, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, saying that there is “industry-wide fiddling” in the sector.
“Leasehold gives some of the worst spivs in property the opportunity to make money by making the lives of ordinary homeowners utterly miserable,” he says.
The Times report previews the report by CentreForum, the influential all-party think tank, report into leasehold, which is published tomorrow.
It recommends setting up an independent regulator for the sector, entirely separate from trade bodies such as ARMA and RICS, whose reputation is so tarnished in leasehold.
The report has cross-party backing from Sir Peter Bottomley, Tory MP for Worthing West, and Simon Hughes, Lib Dem MP for Southwark and Bermondsey.
The Times also features a short interview with Janet Entwistle, the MD of Peverel, whose management of Madison Heights in Hounslow is understood to feature in tonight’s TV documentary.
The programme also interviews Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister who is blocking regulation of leasehold.
To divert attention from the criticism he faces in the Dispatches programme he has chosen today to talk about councils selling of expensive council properties. For almost all councils other than those in the big cities this is a complete non issue.
It might have been better if the Housing Minister had spent more time trying to understand leasehold problems faced by residents across the whole country.