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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Chris D
    • By MSE Chris D 13th Jan 20, 10:07 AM
    • 17Posts
    • 5Thanks
    MSE Chris D
    Leasehold reform proposals could save homeowners £1,000s - MSE News
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 20, 10:07 AM
    Leasehold reform proposals could save homeowners £1,000s - MSE News 13th Jan 20 at 10:07 AM
    Millions of homeowners looking to extend their lease or purchase their freehold could save £1,000s under new proposals published by the Law Commission, though any changes are likely to be a long way off...
    Read the full story:
    'Leasehold reform proposals could save homeowners £1,000s'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.
Page 4
    • Nlc
    • By Nlc 15th Jan 20, 10:57 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    Nlc
    Yes it would still need to be managed but if the Commonhold tenure was used it's the difference of who the management company actually works for.
    It's about control and the management company would work for you not a greedy 3rd party freeholder who simply wanted to use your home as an income stream.
    • dnees
    • By dnees 15th Jan 20, 11:08 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    dnees
    Hi. Yes you would need a management company in a block of flats. When commonhold replaces leasehold as we hope,then the people will OWN their flat and a part of the ground the block sits on. There will be managers who are also owners of their flat in the block. The owners will choose the management company and decide how their money is spent. A lot of work has been done by the law commission to take the best way forward for commonhold. The only builder/ developer I know of that build commonhold now and have been, are Hopton Build. Find them on Twitter and Face book. Commonhold has not taken off in a big way because leasehold tenure is to good a source of income for landlord freeholders and most developers.
    • pepita
    • By pepita 15th Jan 20, 12:10 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    pepita
    Does anyone have any leasehold of 999 years? It includes an annual £1ground rent - that will be review every 10 years (double up I would assume after all cases seen in the news). The concerning fact is that there is a maintenance charge or £550/year that it will be reviewed yearly.
    Not 100% sure how this will work out knowing that the ground rent isn't going to make the landlords any moneys. I'm just thinking the yearly maintenance charge is where they will be getting their stake every year as they can increase as they wish (following index prices, etc.... in the development seller point of view!). As per my understanding there isn't any clause/law that manages the increases in service/maintenance charges, at least the site management can't provide the info for it.
    Did anyone stumbled in a similar situation?
    • Joanne Borchert
    • By Joanne Borchert 15th Jan 20, 1:30 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Joanne Borchert
    Why is England still peddling Leasehold when Scotland and other European countries use the Commonhold model? Urgent reform, these properties are the new PPI, dwindling leases, devalued values, unprotected service and management charges, making an rapidly growing number unsellable. Why? Companies like Adriatic Land own so many Freeholds as part of Blue Harbour Pension funds. The leaseholder finances these funds through Ground Rent charges, could be a 10/15 year doubler, or RPI. In the 80's most were peppercorn! Their are no safeguards in place to stop Management/Service charge companies from fleecing Leaseholders, many legal contests are biased and pitted against the rich Freeholder. Leasehold is a license for the Freeholder to hold the Leaseholder to ransom or worst lose their financial investment.
    • BurntOutLeaseholder
    • By BurntOutLeaseholder 15th Jan 20, 2:02 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    BurntOutLeaseholder
    Please write to your MP and ask them to support the abolition of Leasehold.
    Tell all your friends and relatives not to buy Leasehold property.
    Report all adverts for Leasehold Ďhomesí to the Advertising standards authorities it takes one minute via their website.
    [nationalleaseholdcampaign online
    • D.leck
    • By D.leck 15th Jan 20, 9:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    D.leck
    Martin, please please help with this matter if you possibly can. This is a huge concern and ridiculously unfair. We feel trapped. Buying a new build house on an extortionate leasehold rate we were told we could by the freehold within 4 weeks of the purchase so the leasehold we thought, was temporary.After purchasing, whilst going through the process the solicitor advised us all covenants would still stand and we were paying 20 years ground rent in advance for the privilege - both of which they deemed unfair and was really buying us nothing. Based on this we didnít buy.
    We werenít shown any of these terms when purchasing and the sales advisor made out it was a simple process. Not one word was mentioned about it being a con of a freehold.
    Now we are trapped. Itís unlikely we would be able to sell the property leasehold and we have to pay huge annual rent which we have little control over as years go on. To buy the freehold gives us no rights to even put a window box up without permission and a fee.
    Ridiculous and devastating. Our life savings are in this property. All we want is a freehold at a reasonable price with the option to have the rights to have our home as we wish. Exactly what we thought would happen when we were totally mis sold this house.
    • HRH MUngo
    • By HRH MUngo 15th Jan 20, 9:41 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 840 Thanks
    HRH MUngo
    I have a modern flat which I rent out. Some of the other flat holders had difficulty selling because of rapidly increasing ground rents. I rang the developers (Persimmon) as I had heard that they would allow a deed of variation to the ground rent increasing by RPI, that lenders would accept. I have instructed a solicitor on this and it will cost me £750. Hope this helps someone.

    But bring on the commonhold, can't come quikly enough!
    I used to be seven-day-weekend
    • Martaldn
    • By Martaldn 15th Jan 20, 9:45 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Martaldn
    I appreciate that people buy a lease and would like to extend that at nil cost, but it means the freeholder suffers a commensurate loss. There's no money tree to shake, which makes the money appear.

    The argument that freeholders are rich people, so ought to be fleeced in this way is a bit odd. Car makers are rich companies, so should they be made to give their cars away? Apple is an incredibly rich company, so should we all get free iphones? Maybe, we should change the political system, but for the time being we seem to be in a capitalist country.

    Where people claim not to have understood that they were buying a lease, I am simply flabbergasted. The biggest transaction of their lives, and they claim they did not understand what they were doing? To be frank, I don't believe them. But, if it were true, it's not painting a very flattering picture of themselves, is it?
    Originally posted by GDB2222

    When you buy an iPhone you know exactly what you are paying for. If the phone is faulty or if you think as consumer your rights havenít been guaranteed you have the right to complaint and you have the law that protect you. If you buy a leaseholde no on protect you from unregulated mgmt companies that can charge you thousands pounds to carry out works that can be done at a fraction of the cost. Or you have to pay building insurance with hidden commissions on in without knowing any of this beforehand.


    Do you think we are all a bunch of idiots?!
    Where is the human rights protection for us?
    I donít want my flat for free I have a 22 years mortgage to pay so the last thing you can accuse us is of wanting freebies.
    • Socajam
    • By Socajam 15th Jan 20, 10:00 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 1,099 Thanks
    Socajam
    Does anyone have any leasehold of 999 years? It includes an annual £1ground rent - that will be review every 10 years (double up I would assume after all cases seen in the news). The concerning fact is that there is a maintenance charge or £550/year that it will be reviewed yearly.
    Not 100% sure how this will work out knowing that the ground rent isn't going to make the landlords any moneys. I'm just thinking the yearly maintenance charge is where they will be getting their stake every year as they can increase as they wish (following index prices, etc.... in the development seller point of view!). As per my understanding there isn't any clause/law that manages the increases in service/maintenance charges, at least the site management can't provide the info for it.
    Did anyone stumbled in a similar situation?
    Originally posted by pepita
    When I bought my flat which was a 4 bed roomed semi detached house in London (3 bedrooms are extremely large), separate bathroom and toilet.
    The lease was 999 years, with a £1 per year ground rent. - extremely large back garden.
    The person who owns the ground floor owns the freehold, but at the number of years, I will have no problem selling.
    I was very lucky to stumble upon it in 1989@£39,000.00
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 16th Jan 20, 6:15 AM
    • 16,285 Posts
    • 84,156 Thanks
    GDB2222
    When you buy an iPhone you know exactly what you are paying for. If the phone is faulty or if you think as consumer your rights haven’t been guaranteed you have the right to complaint and you have the law that protect you. If you buy a leaseholde no on protect you from unregulated mgmt companies that can charge you thousands pounds to carry out works that can be done at a fraction of the cost. Or you have to pay building insurance with hidden commissions on in without knowing any of this beforehand.


    Do you think we are all a bunch of idiots?!
    Where is the human rights protection for us?
    I don’t want my flat for free I have a 22 years mortgage to pay so the last thing you can accuse us is of wanting freebies.
    Originally posted by Martaldn
    You are confusing two issues. Management costs, where the leaseholders have huge protection, including the right to take over the management themselves. And, the cost of extending leases, which this Law Commission report is about. They have made suggestions for improvements to the system. All the sock puppets that have suddenly appeared think the freeholders should simply have their rights confiscated.

    I only say this in case there are some genuine readers here who have been confused.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • simondv
    • By simondv 16th Jan 20, 9:16 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    simondv
    "You are confusing two issues. Management costs, where the leaseholders have huge protection, including the right to take over the management themselves. And, the cost of extending leases, which this Law Commission report is about. They have made suggestions for improvements to the system. All the sock puppets that have suddenly appeared think the freeholders should simply have their rights confiscated.

    I only say this in case there are some genuine readers here who have been confused."

    Much of this is nonsense - Leaseholders cannot always change the freeholder appointed managing agent, for example where more than 20% commercial in the building, housing association shared ownership leasehold, and houses with park home type leases.
    The human rights of 6 million leaseholders must take precedence over the rights of a remote freeholder who may have only paid 1 or 2% for the freehold interest and yet expects disproportionate, excessive compensation. Most freeholders are only concerned about an income stream from the building, the leaseholders get nothing for the ground rents and excessive permission fees charged.
    I hope genuine readers as you put it are not conned into buying into the leasehold system, and know what they are getting into. They are just buying a long tenancy, paying a lot of money upfront and may have to pay a lot more to escape from it. Time for England and Wales to join the rest of the civilised world in using Commonhold instead of the archaic, abusive tenure of long leasehold.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 16th Jan 20, 10:09 AM
    • 1,169 Posts
    • 2,845 Thanks
    BBH123
    The whole Leasehold system is appauling and I would say it is only in recent years that the cash cow has really been milked. Years ago ground rents were peppercorn paid to absent Freeholders who you never heard from. You never saw Leashold as a problem.

    These days a whole industry has built up to fleece Leaseholders of as much money as possible . Freeholders, managing agents, builders, surveyors, insurance, solicitors, tribunals etc all want their pound of flesh. Where else could you be demanded of a sum of money equivalent to a family car on demand and be at risk of forfeiture of your home if you can't pay it.

    Our Freehold was sold on and the first thing the new one did was appoint aggressive Managing agents and redo all the works we had previously paid £12k for saying the quiality of work was inadequate.

    Our managing agents were so aggressive and bullying with their contstant demands for money my neighbour was driven to a nervous breakdown, the last straw being when they threatned to break in to carry out a survey on demand to a part of the property they were not allowed access to without prior warning. We were threatened that the locksmith would break in at 12midday and we would have to pay over £500 for his services so it was in our interests to open the door. As it was I had to pay to get a solicitors letter warning them off and quoting the Lease which they hadnt understood.

    We then had to go the stressful route of a right to manage but that isnt without its problems, the process is expensive and complex. I have no experience or desire to run a limited company but as one neighbour has mental problems and the other is uninterested I have no choice. I cannot wait to sell my flat but until the Lease is extended or Freehold bought which I cannot afford i am stuck with it.

    To buy a Leasehold is the absolute worst decision I have ever made in my entire adult life.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 16th Jan 20, 10:39 AM
    • 16,285 Posts
    • 84,156 Thanks
    GDB2222
    The whole Leasehold system is appauling and I would say it is only in recent years that the cash cow has really been milked. Years ago ground rents were peppercorn paid to absent Freeholders who you never heard from. You never saw Leashold as a problem.

    These days a whole industry has built up to fleece Leaseholders of as much money as possible . Freeholders, managing agents, builders, surveyors, insurance, solicitors, tribunals etc all want their pound of flesh. Where else could you be demanded of a sum of money equivalent to a family car on demand and be at risk of forfeiture of your home if you can't pay it.

    Our Freehold was sold on and the first thing the new one did was appoint aggressive Managing agents and redo all the works we had previously paid £12k for saying the quiality of work was inadequate.

    Our managing agents were so aggressive and bullying with their contstant demands for money my neighbour was driven to a nervous breakdown, the last straw being when they threatned to break in to carry out a survey on demand to a part of the property they were not allowed access to without prior warning. We were threatened that the locksmith would break in at 12midday and we would have to pay over £500 for his services so it was in our interests to open the door. As it was I had to pay to get a solicitors letter warning them off and quoting the Lease which they hadnt understood.

    We then had to go the stressful route of a right to manage but that isnt without its problems, the process is expensive and complex. I have no experience or desire to run a limited company but as one neighbour has mental problems and the other is uninterested I have no choice. I cannot wait to sell my flat but until the Lease is extended or Freehold bought which I cannot afford i am stuck with it.

    To buy a Leasehold is the absolute worst decision I have ever made in my entire adult life.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    Delighted to hear that you went the RTM route. That's what it is there for.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 16th Jan 20, 10:43 AM
    • 1,169 Posts
    • 2,845 Thanks
    BBH123
    There is no delight in it at all tbh its an option that is all.

    This legalised extortion needs to stop, people talk about Freeholders right to have return on investment but what about all the retrospective monies they have made over the previous years.

    If their hadnt been riches to be made Freeholders wouldnt have bought and those riches have come from Leaseholders, people who thought they were buying a home have been totally shafted.

    An Englishman's castle is his home , not true when the castle is owned by a Freeholder.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 16th Jan 20, 11:38 AM
    • 16,285 Posts
    • 84,156 Thanks
    GDB2222
    There is no delight in it at all tbh its an option that is all.

    This legalised extortion needs to stop, people talk about Freeholders right to have return on investment but what about all the retrospective monies they have made over the previous years.

    If their hadnt been riches to be made Freeholders wouldnt have bought and those riches have come from Leaseholders, people who thought they were buying a home have been totally shafted.

    An Englishman's castle is his home , not true when the castle is owned by a Freeholder.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    It sounds as though your original freeholder was fine. Things only changed after it was sold on. The legislation protected you, so I still don't know what you want changed and why? Sure, you are having to see to the maintenance yourself, but what would you prefer? If you had commonhold, for example, you'd be in exactly the same position. Commonhold does not come with a fairy godmother to see to the maintenance free of charge.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • simondv
    • By simondv 16th Jan 20, 2:21 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    simondv
    "The Legislation protected you"

    The point is the the existing legislation does not protect leaseholders, and was recently described by Nick Hopkins of the Law Commission as not fit for purpose. I gave some examples in a previous comment. Martin Paine is one example of a freeholder, who has exploited leasehold law to the maximum at great expense and distress to leaseholders. You will find his exploits on Google so is already public knowledge.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 16th Jan 20, 3:27 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 7,898 Thanks
    Sapphire
    The whole Leasehold system is appauling and I would say it is only in recent years that the cash cow has really been milked. Years ago ground rents were peppercorn paid to absent Freeholders who you never heard from. You never saw Leashold as a problem.

    These days a whole industry has built up to fleece Leaseholders of as much money as possible . Freeholders, managing agents, builders, surveyors, insurance, solicitors, tribunals etc all want their pound of flesh. Where else could you be demanded of a sum of money equivalent to a family car on demand and be at risk of forfeiture of your home if you can't pay it.

    Our Freehold was sold on and the first thing the new one did was appoint aggressive Managing agents and redo all the works we had previously paid £12k for saying the quiality of work was inadequate.

    Our managing agents were so aggressive and bullying with their contstant demands for money my neighbour was driven to a nervous breakdown, the last straw being when they threatned to break in to carry out a survey on demand to a part of the property they were not allowed access to without prior warning. We were threatened that the locksmith would break in at 12midday and we would have to pay over £500 for his services so it was in our interests to open the door. As it was I had to pay to get a solicitors letter warning them off and quoting the Lease which they hadnt understood.

    We then had to go the stressful route of a right to manage but that isnt without its problems, the process is expensive and complex. I have no experience or desire to run a limited company but as one neighbour has mental problems and the other is uninterested I have no choice. I cannot wait to sell my flat but until the Lease is extended or Freehold bought which I cannot afford i am stuck with it.

    To buy a Leasehold is the absolute worst decision I have ever made in my entire adult life.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    I'd agree with everything you say – except to state that with older leases, such as mine (late-Victorian maisonette), concocted decades ago, this issue does not exist. My lease runs for about another 200 years, and there is no ground rent or other charges to pay. I look after any work that needs to be done in my maisonette and in general on the ground floor. The freeholder's grandfather cleverly bought these maisonettes and three others in the row decades ago, before 'property speculation as a business' existed to the extent it does now, and lived in one of them. She rents out the upstairs maisonette, and takes care of work affecting the upper floor. The way this works is clearly set out in the lease.

    I think older properties may tend to have leases like this (I know several other people with similar leases). The issues raised here do appear to be a recent problem related particularly to new builds (which I would never buy), and property speculation by wealthy corporations and individuals, often not even based in Britain.

    It's all pretty disgusting, and I agree that all leaseholds should be abolished.
    • pepita
    • By pepita 16th Jan 20, 3:38 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    pepita
    When I bought my flat which was a 4 bed roomed semi detached house in London (3 bedrooms are extremely large), separate bathroom and toilet.
    The lease was 999 years, with a £1 per year ground rent. - extremely large back garden.
    The person who owns the ground floor owns the freehold, but at the number of years, I will have no problem selling.
    I was very lucky to stumble upon it in 1989@£39,000.00
    Thanks for your answer. Let's hope I am as lucky as you have!!!
    • Tony bikr
    • By Tony bikr 16th Jan 20, 5:13 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Tony bikr
    I was misled despite being told I could buy my freehold within five years the freehold was sold without me knowing to a faceless freeholder within six months of the purchase of my house

    A very very angry Anthony Baker
    • 75REVOR
    • By 75REVOR 16th Jan 20, 7:49 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    75REVOR
    Everyone remotely concerned about the fleece hold system of home 'ownership' should contact their MP and make your point. So far 145 MPs have joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform (APPG)
    It's purpose:
    To examine the complex, antiquated legal matrix governing leasehold tenure in England; analyse the effects of investigatory powers by Government and regulatory bodies within the leasehold sector on protecting leaseholders from exploitation; explore how our current leasehold laws and systems can be improved and the implementation of commonhold tenure, as it is intended.

    The more MPs that are made aware of this vile system and get it abolished the better. Go one further and lobby all the TV property presenter folk such Kevin McCloud, Phil Spencer, Kirstie Allsop, George Clarke et al.... They have tremendous clout to the wider public for awareness.

    While you are about it join the NLC (National Leasehold Campaign) and the 16,000+ and counting already there.
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