April 10, 2020

We launch leasehold manifesto … as housing minister thanks LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation for 4.1m leasehold figure

BrandonLewisAs LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation issues its all-party election manifesto, the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis this week recognised our work in completely revising official figures concerning leasehold properties.

“I understand that the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has worked closely with my officials to enable the publication of more accurate data on the number of residential dwellings in England subject to a long lease,” wrote Mr Lewis wrote.

“This has resulted in a figure of 4.1 million dwellings being published, far higher than the previous estimate of 2.5 million.”

A further 1.9 million flats are rented in the social sector, which means there are more than six million leasehold homes and socially rented flats.

This is more than 25 per cent of the housing stock.

Or, perhaps nine million voters.

With the election now only six months away, LKP is calling for the following changes:

1. Statutory regulation of property management firms holding hundreds of millions of pounds of leaseholders’ service charge monies, with robust protection of those funds.

2. Immediate ending of forfeiture that gives freeholders inequitable powers to seize leasehold properties and all equity in them in cases of breach of lease.

3. The property tribunal’s unfair cost regime favours freeholders and should be ended.

4. A thorough review is needed as soon as possible of all legislation that impacts on leasehold and produces inefficiencies.

5. Existing legislation that has become out-dated should be subject to review: eg the section 20 major works consultation procedures, and lift some of the regulations imposed on self-governing leaseholder-managed sites.

6. Right to manage by leaseholders is a no-fault procedure introduced in 2002 that is being frustrated or delayed on minor administrative grounds by legal professionals. This should be stopped.

7. Commonhold property tenure (which exists in almost all countries except England and Wales) was introduced in 2002 and should be encouraged – including a deadline after which all flats must be commonhold.

Comments

  1. Hi all

    Statutory Notices are generally a disgrace …

    Same in Scotland …

  2. Nicola Sturgeon has already announced plans for an alternative to council tax (another contentious issue for retirement leaseholders) and also land reform. Is Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation in touch with her to see if she could change leasehold law in Scotland.

    • Leasehold law exists in England and Wales only. The Scots do not have it and managing agents (known as factors) are under statutory regulation.

      Interestingly, both McCarthy and Stone and Peverel say they have fewer management issues in Scotland, where both do business.

      The absence of leasehold would explain that.

      It makes flat buying in England and Wales very problematic.

  3. We have already had a few Housing Ministers under Cameron ‘s revolving doors policy, including Grant Shapps, Kris Hopkins , Mark Prisk . So what can Brandon Lewis do in a short year just before the next general election ? The previous Labour Government also had many Housing Ministers , voted into power in 1997 with election mandate to bring in Commonhold to replace leasehold system , used revolving doors cabinet shuffles to spin out ministers who were supporters of Commonhold

    Mr Lewis has a BSc Economics and LLB Hons (Law) from the University of Buckingham. He also holds an LLM in commercial law from King’s College London. (info from the Gov.Uk website ).

    Due to holding BSc economics qualifications , Brandon should be asked to demonstrate whether allowing 3 types of property tenure ( freehold.leasehold is economically good for E & W ? E&W are the only advanced western countries in the world to keep a substantial leasehold property tenure system.

    The sale of new property under leasehold title is decided by the developer because it can choose the type which gives the highest return and this includes the upfront price ( applies all types of tenures ) plus escalating annual ground rents and premiums for lease extension, landlord consent fees , annual building maintenance fees, annual insurance contributions etc and return of property at end of lease term ( all of which apply to leasehold system for subdivided buildings ).

    One can conclude the sale of Freehold or Commonhold property to the consumer is an investment product for the buyer .

    But sale of leasehold property under long lease means the buyer entering of a long term liability commitment which destroys the family savings base of 6 million leaseholders whilst the freeholder company gains long term business asset , protected by outdated unfair laws and by unfair tax rules.

    We can estimate the total debt value due loss of familiy savings under the “leasehold system” by taking 6million leaseholds and multiply by 180,000 pounds (average house price) = 1.1 trillion pounds approx which appears to be rising in step with the UK National Debt also at 1.1 trillion pounds..

  4. If you make an internet search for “UK National Debt” , you can find several sites offering information about a country burdened with debt . Here below is an extract from “debtbomb” and same burdens under the National Debt apply to the Leasehold System which many of our politicians don’t want to face up to.

    “Future generations won’t thank us for mortgaging their future. At best, national debt will be a millstone round our children’s necks. But if lenders lose faith in Britain there could be profound consequences for our currency, our country and our lives”.

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