By Harry Scoffin
Last month, as part of its Britain section, The Economist explored the leasehold system and recognised the work of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.
The article starts by referencing Anis Kasmani, an unhappy Persimmon customer who bought a leasehold house at Harrow View West before house builders were shamed into abandoning the tenure and reverted back to more normal freehold.
Or, as The Economist put it: “Anis Kasmani is trying to buy the right to own a home he has already bought …”
Persimmon sold leasehold houses for £50,000 more than same-size freehold houses at Harrow View West
The current pro tem MD of Persimmon David Jenkinson – standing in as his former boss and Help To Buy bonus millionaire Jeff Fairburn has been let go – was poised to account for Harrow View West at the Communities Select Committee last week. But MPs questioning focussed on a site in the north, instead.
In its usual jaunty style, the magazine showed how leasehold was closely related to patterns of class formation in early modern England.
“The practice is feudal, but still applies to nearly one in five English properties. Now the quirks of a scheme that helped aristocrats to finance the Crusades have got modern leaseholders up in arms, and ministers promising reforms,” it explained.
Depicting LKP’s Sebastian O’Kelly as a radical, the piece challenges the assumptions of politicians in the ruling party. LKP would agree that tenure holds the key to solving the housing crisis. Although supply is important, presiding over an explosion in depreciating leasehold does nothing to support a property-owning democracy.
What is the point of building more properties when working people are simply becoming mortgaged tenants in the leasehold sector? Buying a flat you don’t even own seems hardly an upgrade from renting.
For those blocked by the paywall, we attach the column below:
At last the brilliant work of Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (LKP) has been recognised by the Economist Newspaper.
The Economist has explored the leasehold system and recognised the work of the LKP. It begins with referencing Anis Kasmani, an unhappy Persimmon customer who bought a leasehold house at Harrow View West before house builders were shamed into abandoning the tenure.
I wonder if Harry Scoffin would like to hear from Retirement Residential Leaseholders who have for circa 25 years been used as Cash Cows for Landlords and Managing Agents who have decided over the years to transfer some of their Operating Costs to our Service Charge.
We also purchased a lease that included Ground Rent and Exit Fees that do nothing for the upkeep of a development but is seen as perks of the job. I asked Firstport Retirement, then Peverel Retirement can I purchase the Freehold and was offered 26 years for circa £11k. They didn’t explain I could have had 99 years from the Freeholder for less.
I can see the similarity regarding the Feudal System and the close relationship between the patterns of Class Formation, and in fact it still applies. I think we need to finance another Crusade but this time against the Managing Agents and Landlords who governments knowingly allow them to continue cheating.
Many realise they are being ripped off by freeholders and managing agents, but may be unaware as to how sophisticated and complex are the means used to rip the leaseholder off in?
Would it be possible to re-publish the brilliant research carried out by Charter Quay that demonstrated how cash flowed from leaseholder to managing agent to freeholder?
Yes I will would like to see that article. Charter Quay residents got rid of their freeholder didn’t they to become commonhold ?