April 23, 2017

Housing minister says LEASE must be on the side of leaseholders, and promises more money

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The Leasehold Advisory Service will be funded so that it can unambiguously represent the interests of leaseholders without dependence commercial deals with the sector, the housing minister Gavin Barwell said yesterday.

“This means information must be free in financial terms, but it must also be free from any bias; impartial; a service dedicated to leaseholders,” Mr Barwell told the Leasehold Advisory Service “annual conference” / trade show where admission cost £350 a head.

“In recent years we have encouraged them to act more commercially, selling their services to others in the leasehold markets, including freeholders and managing agents.

“But what we really want is for them to help leaseholders. To be solely, and unapologetically, on their side.

“That’s why I am announcing today that the Department for Communities for Local Government will ensure LEASE receives sufficient on-going funding to concentrate solely on advising the growing number of leaseholders.

“This means LEASE concentrating only on supporting leaseholders and being funded to ensure it can maintain its independence in doing so.

“I want LEASE to use the capacity they gain to inform and shape future leasehold reforms, alongside their advice service to leaseholders. I want LEASE to use what they learn from helping leaseholders to take forward our ambition for improving how leasehold operates to ensure it works on a fair basis for all.”

 

Comments

  1. Its not enough for Gavin Barwell , Housing Minister to say LEASE must be on the side of the leaseholders.

    The Housing Minister himself and every other Government Minister must be on the Leaseholder’s side and put an end to the current Leasehold system by terminating the ground rent demands and allowing the flat owners become directors of the company owning their freehold.

  2. When a developer sells property under freehold title, the home buyer pays the sale price and gets legal ownership of the building and the land within the boundary limits. The mortgage lender accepts the freehold title as security for their mortgage loan . After paying off the mortgage loan over 25-35 years period , the home buyer has invested his/her lifetime work savings into an asset which becomes part of his/her future pension pot.

    When a developer sells property under leasehold title, the home buyer pays a premium and gets a long term rental contract for 99 years or 125 years subject to paying annual ground rent and onerous annual service charge contributions to maintain the building. There is no legal ownership of the property and even after the buyer has paid off the mortgage loan, the annual ground rent and service charge over 25-35 years, the buyer’s investment in the premium starts falling below 85 years and declines to zero value at the end of the lease term. All the lifetime earnings wealth of the buyer ( and successors) has transferred to the freehold company for which many are controlled by legal entities based in off-shore tax havens.

    So what is the real effect on our economy ?

    Sale of freehold property title produces the working life time savings pot which handed down can support the living standards of future generations in Britain.

    Sale of leasehold property title produces an unfair contract which results in the transfer of wealth in the premium ( = buyers working life earnings invest in home ) to benefit companies based overseas in tax havens and this earnings wealth is LOST and NOT available to finance the living standards of future generations in Britain.

    We need the Housing Minister and HMRC to apply economic analysis of the leasehold property system and keep the 6 million leaseholders money tied up in UK leasehold property from being transferred to BVI and spent in Monte Carlo etc..