The NLC, National Leasehold Campaign. are surveying people who have bought leasehold with a doubling ground rent. If this applies to you, please take the time to complete the survey. Every piece of information supports the great work they are doing on leasehold reform. Thanks in advance and here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7HNDYP2
We at HorNet, together with the National Leasehold Campaign and many determined individuals, have successfully raised awareness of the way the privately managed estates model is detrimental to home buyers, their communities and the quality of the estates themselves.
The governments response is to propose regulation in a similar way to leasehold, giving rights to challenge charges and change manager in the Land’s Tribunal and possibly a right to manage as well. They also say they will repeal section 121 of the Law of Property Act so that the freehold cannot be lost for non payment.
We feel that these measures will simply legitimise the private management model without making a significant improvement for the estate dwellers who pay the charges.
Only adoption or some novel form of public ownership and management will address:
The fundamental unfairness of one group paying for the upkeep of open spaces and park facilities which are open to the general public
Non adopted estates are built to a lower standard, and subsequently deteriorate more quickly in future.
Home buyers blindly take on long term liability for repair/maintenance of sub standard areas if they sign up to private estate management when they purchase. Whilst these liabilities are not of the order of defective cladding, they can still be significant. Should the estate dwellers have to pay for a defect on land which does not belong to them?
Self management is not a panacea! We have had numerous reports of rogue directors in Residents Management Companies, it is divisive and simply not necessary for these areas to be managed in this way. Some form of communal management is necessary for flats but this is not the case for estates, unless they are truly private and gated. HorNet support common hold for these latter situations.
Do you agree? Here is the survey:
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!