Updated Briefing Paper

Our numbers increase with time, so we have had to update our briefing paper for politicians and press to reflect this. The best place to find up to date numbers is in the “Who are We?” section of this web site.

The issues outlined remain the same as does the lack of government action!

We propose a number of solutions in our paper:


Fleecehold on Radio Northwich

Starting 2022 with another news item on local radio about fleecehold. We are grateful to Graham Emmett, who is deputy Mayor for Northwich, for spreading the word on the issues arising out of fleecehold estate charges. It seems developers are still implementing this model under the radar – the interviewer hadn’t heard of it and neither was aware privately managed estates have been implemented for 20 years although it is true that builders are selling “fake freehold” or “fleecehold”homes instead of leasehold houses now that the latter have been banned.

You can hear the short clip below:

Radio Northwich Clip


Far from Privatopia?

A New Build Estate

Entitled FAR FROM PRIVATOPIA: PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL ESTATES IN ENGLAND AND WALES this paper brings together research by Professor Susan Bright, Professor of Land Law, New College, Oxford and was published in January 2022.

The issues HorNet have learned and shared over the past 5 years or so are all mentioned, particularly the lack of transparency and redress and the fact that most buyers have not been aware of what they were getting into.

Very significantly the lack of sustainability and threat to community cohesion of this model are mentioned We are particularly keen to get this across to policy makers and are currently working on this.

You can read the paper on this link:- https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4007198

If you wish you may read and/or download a copy pdf from here.

We strongly recommend that you read this before you lobby your MP or write to the CMA.

It is a wonderful piece of evidence and should be very helpful to our campaign and we are grateful to the author for allowing, and indeed encouraging, us to share its contents widely.


How To take Over

hands pulling rope

We have been contacted by a Residents’ Group who have successfully taken over management of their estate. They thought their experience would help others, and so do we! We are very grateful for the sharing.

We would like to say again that there is huge variation in how the developers set up each estate, so not all will have the advantages in company structure that this example benefits from. In spite of having the required company structure the builder and their appointed managing agent strongly resisted the residents’ taking over. We have heard similar stories from others.

Also remember that it is developers who drive this model, whilst councils may have reduced landscaping and road mending costs, the community loose out when estates are retained privately because other potential section 106 benefits are lost. The estate in this example is not built up to adoption standards and we believe this also is a prime cost saver for the builders.

That said, if you want to know what worked for one group of residents, read on ….

Continue reading “How To take Over”

The Biggest Rip Off???


An unusual private estate which illustrates some key points that we have been making for the past 5 years!

Sadly, we have become accustomed to green open spaces within estates and even adjacent country parks being funded solely by the estate dwellers, but this is a unique variation on the theme! The scale of the unfairness is so great it is almost unbelievable and little wonder estate agents are so coy about it.

Sovereign Harbour has 3400 homes who also pay for flood defences which protect the whole surrounding area. Our understanding is that they are the only contributors to this maintenance cost, together with harbour maintenance costs without exclusive use. One resident feels so strongly he has published a page on his web site dedicated to the set up there. Click on Image above to visit Sovereign Harbour site.

Continue reading “The Biggest Rip Off???”