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Housing developers face enforcement action over leasehold terms - MSE News

The competition watchdog has launched enforcement action over leasehold concerns and is investigating four leading housing developers after uncovering "troubling evidence" of potentially unfair terms and potential mis-selling...

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'Housing developers face enforcement action over leasehold terms'

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  • eidand
    eidand Posts: 1,023 Forumite
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    About time something happened. let's wait and see the full report first though. While I agree with the above, I do think that developers are guilty and need to pay the price now, because otherwise the message is that they can still do whatever they want. No, there needs to be adequate protection in place and it needs to go a lot further. We're talking about the quality of the new builds as well, which in many cases it's shockingly bad. 
    Let's hope this is just the beginning.
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,498 Forumite
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    Just listening to someone now and his first recommendation is that developers should be banned from telling buyers they have to use their own solicitors and valuers and incentivising them to do so..

    To me it is a clear conflict of interest and I don't see how it gets around Law Society and RICS codes of practice.
  • Hey look let us not beat about the bush over this scandal . This was a CONSPIRACY  that mainly CONNED & DUPED vulnerable First Time Buyers who were ruthlessly EXPLOITED , as they are like sitting ducks , just waiting to be fleeced ;  so great was their understandable anxiety to gain a foothold on the property ladder  !  . Do you seriously believe the Developers could have got away with all this legal shenanigans without  Mortgage Providers , Solicitors , Valuation Surveyors , etc ,  etc , turning , at the very least ,  a blind eye ;  and at worst , greedily indulging in the COMPLICITY , in all this dreadful FIASCO ! .  Because you would have to be extremely NAIVE to think otherwise ! . 
    Oh and First Time Buyers , the Vulnerable & Unwary need proper protection from this ever being allowed to happen again ,  and all those that have been CONNED & DUPED need to be COMPENSATED to the fullest possible extent  !  . 
    Oh yes , and of course , this is all notwithstanding the many many instances that have now come to light concerning the pitiful 
    & dreadful state of some of the New Development Build Quality Issues that have arisen ; plus how certain Developers ruthlessly exploited .the ' Help to Buy ' Government Scheme to OVER INFLATE the price of their Houses , not to assist Buyers , but 
    to MASSIVELY boost their Profits , and legally plunder the Companies ill gotten gains , by way of  massive Bonuses being granted to their Executives  !  .

  • princeofpounds
    princeofpounds Posts: 10,396 Forumite
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    edited 11 November 2020 at 11:41AM
    Typical government:
    - Identify a potential problem
    - Do nothing about it for decades on a legislative level
    - Wade in with retrospective regulation on an arbitrary subset of market players in the hope it scares the rest into behaving
    - Still do nothing about it on a legislative level.

    Personally, whilst I think sorting some of these issues out is overdue, I'm very uncomfortable with how this concept of 'mis-selling' is spreading beyond finance. It's a concept that should really only apply where companies have a duty of care towards their customers, and housing has historically never been one of those areas - in fact it is specifically exempt from a lot of consumer legislation precisely because it is a high value transaction where people should be able to rely on the professional advisors they already pay for. Mind you, the specific issues highlighted in the investigation are at least the common lies that are told.

    In that context, I totally agree that a huge part of the problem is with solicitors not really explaining the consequences of things. The attitude has been - put bare bones information in a document with no real explanation of context or consequence and wave it in front of the client so we can claim they have been informed. People really should look into this stuff but they are normally too lazy, trusting, inexperienced or stupid to really do it.

    Developer-tied solicitors are the worst at it, but even regular ones aren't always that great at communicating this stuff. The Law Society has to have a cold hard look at itself in the mirror - in finance there has been regulation like RDR which tried to split apart the selling of services to retail customers from supplier-provided incentives. It's not really ethical for solicitors to take the dollar of the developers and EAs to act for clients.

    Edit: while they are at it, perhaps government would also like to look at the shared ownership trap that has been sold by all sorts of public entities like Housing Associations to people who clearly weren't bright enough to understand what a 90 year lease was.
  • Solicitors in the main want you to sign on the dotted line and complete so they can collect their fees  . So where is the incentive
    for them to disclose anything negative to the unwary  ?  .  Believe me it is a MINEFIELD  ! .  Homebuyers , especially First Timers need to make sure to  put any concerns they may have IN WRITING and merely ask the Solicitor for replies again IN WRITING , and simply state ; '  Is their ANYTHING in the Contract that may be detrimental or have a possible negative impact
    at some future date that I/We should consider/take into account , prior to Exchange  ?  .  
    If the Solicitor(s) fail to properly disclose in detail , then they would almost certainly be guilty of NEGLIGENCE toward their
    Client(s)  best interests  -  Simples  !  .
  • AdrianC
    AdrianC Posts: 42,189 Forumite
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    '  Is their ANYTHING in the Contract that may be detrimental or have a possible negative impact
    at some future date that I/We should consider/take into account , prior to Exchange  ?  .  
    If the Solicitor(s) fail to properly disclose in detail , then they would almost certainly be guilty of NEGLIGENCE toward their
    Client(s)  best interests  -  Simples  !  .
    Failure to be psychic, more like.
  • Much of the problems with soliciors originated when the market was introduced, advertising was allowed and competition started to overtake professional standards.
    Yes, costs dropped especially with the introduction of online conveyancing warehouses, with low-paid 'admin' staff doing all the work, overseen by a single person with a qualification, usually a Licenced Conveyancer not a solicitor, whose knowledge is strictly limited so flounders in the face of anything unusual.
  • Crashy_Time
    Crashy_Time Posts: 13,386 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Every little helps.
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