Housing Minister Gavin Barwell raises concerns over the UK Leaehold system

by Property 118

10:55 AM, 22nd December 2016
About 2 years ago

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell raises concerns over the UK Leaehold system

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Housing Minister Gavin Barwell raises concerns over the UK Leaehold system

Gavin Barwell was speaking at a debate on the Leasehold and Commonhold Reform Act of 2002 and said the leasehold system has widespread problems that need addressing and produced results of the National Leasehold Survey 2016, which showing 57% of leaseholders agreed with the statement “I regret purchasing a leasehold property”.Gavin Barwell

Housing Minister Barwell went on to say, “The Secretary of State and I have been looking closely at the issues raised in recent weeks and I can tell the House that we are both absolutely determined to stamp out unfair, unjust and unacceptable abuse of the leasehold system.

“I most certainly do not feel comfortable with that level of concern right across the country. I am very keen to explore how we can promote greater transparency and fairness, and to work with all interested parties to improve leaseholders’ experience of home ownership.”

Figures published by Which? in 2016 estimated leaseholders had been overcharged by £700m a year.

However, Sebastian O’Kelly, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership confirmed it was difficult to verify the amount leaseholders are being overcharged, but that £700m was likely to be an underestimate.

O’Kelly said, “The number of leasehold properties has doubled since 2007. Millions of pounds are in dispute because of predatory management. There are numerous court cases and Office of Fair Trading investigations. If leaseholders aren’t in control of their own block they’re not in charge of costs”.

Currently Freeholders can add their own legal costs to service charges discouraging leaseholders from challenging unfair charges. Gavin Barwell confirmed that new laws coming into force from next year would enable courts to prevent the landlord passing on the legal costs if the leaseholder objects.

Managing director of Leasehold Solutions, Louie Burns said, “it is fantastic to see that Parliament is waking up to the deplorable scandal of the UK’s feudal system of leasehold. We have been campaigning for years to raise the issue of leasehold on the political agenda and to educate flat owners about their rights.

“I hope that the Government will work to bring about timely and meaningful changes to improve the lives of the UK’s 4.1m leaseholders. Abuse of the leasehold system is a growing problem; 43% of all new properties in 2016 were built as leasehold homes, so without urgent action increasing numbers of flat owners will continue to be exploited for profit by unscrupulous freeholders.”



Comments

terry sullivan

11:31 AM, 22nd December 2016
About 2 years ago

hes a bit of a plonker--so i have read--so do not expect much from him

Rod Adams

14:48 PM, 22nd December 2016
About 2 years ago

There isn't a 'UK Leasehold system', presume he's referring to England (not sure what happens in Wales).

Regards,

Rod.

Anne Noon

18:19 PM, 22nd December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "22/12/2016 - 11:31":

I am a freeholder and take umbrage that, yet again , the government is trying to the award my rights. For the last 15 months I have been subject to verbal abuse, libellous comments and threats to damage my property from one of my Leaseholders as well as refusing to pay her service charge and maintenance. I have another who hasn't responded to service charge and ground rent charges for 6 years- I have ccjs against her and she still doesn't pay. There is nothing in the Lease to enable me to obtain costs for the management of the Lease. But the lease does allow me to claim.my solicitors costs back to enforce the conditions of the lease. If the law should change, then unpleasant tenants who arequire in breach of their leases would never pay up. The first leasehold Tenant finally paid the maintenance charge- but only after solicitors wake involved. The second has still refused to respond and I now have to enforce the ccj and I am about to issue another ccj for another 1000.of unpaid service charges/ maintenance.

It's about time officials started to listen to landlords - surely we should have rights too?

Roger Cooper

19:27 PM, 25th December 2016
About 2 years ago

We readers on this website might be more sympathetic to Anne's problems if she read through her comments before posting them online. I got the general idea, but it was a hassle!

terry sullivan

15:50 PM, 26th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anne Noon" at "22/12/2016 - 18:19":

i am also a freeholder--i have similar problems for lesser amounts of money--i am trying to research implied obligations of lessees where lease is silent and also implied obligations of freeholder!

Mandy Thomson

10:31 AM, 28th December 2016
About 2 years ago

As mentioned by others above, it needs to be remembered that not all freeholders are wealthy individuals and corporations, some are made up of ordinary people on average and even low incomes, who are struggling to maintain properties, often made unnecessarily difficult by sometimes complex leasehold law which allows rogue leaseholders to get out of paying their share of maintenance on a mere technicality.

I'm talking in particular about the section 20 consultation. How many small freeholders, who are often also leaseholders who share the freehold, are aware the legal requirement to do this, only to find when they try to collect their charges from the leaseholders that some won't pay, citing section 20 legislation not being specifically followed?


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