A short item on national news which highlighted the problems of estate charges and “fake freehold”. We briefed the reporter on the issues home buyers/residents face and hope that these will be followed up in greater depth in future articles.
Although 2020 has been difficult in many ways and little has happened over new law making which might help us, members and co-ordinators continue to lobby for change. We have an undertaking from the CMA that they will look at “fleecehold” next after dealing with the leasehold new build houses mis selling scandal. We will continue to press them over this.
And now today on 7th January we have the great news that the government are going to act on leasehold, abolishing ground rents and making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold. Most importantly, this is the first step in dismantling leasehold in favour of common hold. We believe there is no way that “son of leasehold” AKA fleecehold or fake freehold will be able to survive for long after these moves and we will press with renewed vigour for change here as well.
Congratulations to the National Leasehold Campaign and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership for their tireless work for leaseholders rights.
We are very grateful to all of our supporters (and many others) who responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on estate charges. Their Housing Minister has responded in this statement published on 30th November 2020. With over 600 responses, many from affected home owners/buyers, they have clearly now got a good grasp of the issues. We recommend reading the whole report – it is not that long, but if you cannot perhaps this quote summarises best what has been heard from estate dwellers:
Three actions are proposed:
Require that section 121 of the Law of Property Act is excluded from any future Help to Buy sales in Wales.
Clear information on estate charges and their implications to be given to new home buyers, and mandatory for Help to Buy in Wales.
More work to be done on looking at how public open spaces are funded on new developments – HorNet look forward to this one!