The Sun has launched a campaign today to “end the leasehold stranglehold”.
In an emphatic article money editor Daniel Jones demands:
- An end to leasehold houses apart from exceptional cases (such as the developer does not own the land)
- Compensation for those affected, either from conveyancing solicitors or the developers.
- An independent task force, set up by government and funded by developers, to investigate how the leasehold houses scandal was allowed to happen.
The article interviewed Mark and Joanne Darbyshire, who bought their Taylor Wimpey house with doubling ground rent in 2010.
They were told that they could buy the freehold by Taylor Wimpey for around £6,000, but then the developer sold it on for £7,375 to one of the Adriatic Land companies – whose ownership is hidden by nominee directors.
Adriatic Land 2 (Gr 2) Limited offered to sell the freehold for £40,000.
Sounding like the Monty Python’s sketch – you gotta haggle – HomeGround’s spokesman, former Tory MP Adrian Flook, said that leasehold house owners were not used to negotiating over price as commercial practitioners would be.
This is because they are just buying a home, rather than transacting a complex investment asset up against seasoned professionals.