5 apartments; an important step towards changing how houses and apartments are owned.
Originally drafted in 2002 with little take up, the government recently asked the Law Commission to see how they can further develop the commonhold idea.
The Law Commission, led by Professor Nick Hopkins was therefore surprised to learn last year that a new building company Hopton Build (Yorkshire) were ahead of the game and the only known builder in England building and selling properties commonhold.
Commonhold provides a structure for the freehold ownership and management of separate, interdependent properties. It enables a person to own the freehold of their individual property such as an apartment (called a “unit”) within a building or development and become a member of a “commonhold association” which owns and manages the shared areas.
By enabling the freehold ownership of apartments within a residential block, commonhold provides an alternative to leasehold.
Modern Leasehold changed everything.
Currently, residential leasehold, which doesn’t afford actual ownership, is the main way of owning apartments in England and Wales.
15 years ago major builders realised they could manipulate the leasehold concept, this has caused a lot of issues which the government have become increasingly concerned at. Resources. Guide to the issues
The Law Commission is running an enquiry.
There is an A.P.P.G. (All Party Political Group) trying to resolve.
The L.K.P. Leasehold Knowledge Partnership charity and the National Leasehold Campaign group have been very outspoken against the impotent government backed support service “Lease” who have been asleep whilst all this has happened. Supposedly an official point of assistance to leaseholders it had self serving interests, and there was a conflict of interest at the highest level of management.
The facebook initiated action group N.L.C. National Leasehold Campaign now has in 12 months reached over 16,000 members. 3 of the originators Katie Kendrick, Jo Derbyshire and Cath Williams and are also giving evidence to the current select committee investigating the scam. Jo has also been elected to the secretariat of the A.P.P.G.
The National Association of Estate Agents carried out a survey; “Leasehold a Life Sentence!” says 94% of leasehold property buyers regretted buying. They called it a scandal about to burst and bigger than the banks PPI scandal.
The Advertising standards Agency said they are currently investigating Builders and Estate Agents. Especially complaints reference misleading buyers saying leasehold property is for sale. The Law Commission advise leasehold is not ownership of property “Its a tenancy agreement”.
The Law Commission and many others are now also pushing for Commonhold to become the norm for apartments and Freehold for houses. As builders we couldn’t have achieved our leading commonhold development without the support from the 3 at the NLC and their influences with LKP Leasehold Knowledge Partnership the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group .
This is just a small sample of available media and gov action. To see current action please also see their Twitter and Facebook pages.
The leasehold property scam – A new phenomena
July 2019 BBC Radio 4. Today Sarah Jones MP
June 2019 Sky News Cath asks Boris Johnson
June 2019 BBC News C.M.A. Inquiry launched
April 2019 BBC Radio 4. You and Yours. Katie Kendrick
March 2019 BBC Merseyside Phone in. Katie Kendrick
March 2019 BBC Radio London with Sebastian O’Kelly
March 2019 BBC Midlands Today Leasehold scandal
Feb 2019 Move IQ Phil Spencer refers the NLC
Sept 2018 BBC Breakfast featuring NLC Jo Darbyshire / Beth Rudolph
June 2018 Which? Backdated leases
July 2017 BBC News at 6. The leasehold scandal
Further references: –
Jul 2019 Video New premier supports leasehold campaign
Jul 2019 Labour Policy Ending the leasehold scandal
Jul 2019 New Guide How to buy a leasehold home
Jul 2019 Paper Government response to Select Committee inquiry
July 2019 Video Eddie Hughes M.P. Ground Rents
Jul 2019 Letter Shadow housing John Healey letter to Jo Darbyshire NLC
Jun 2019 Papers Government technical briefing paper
Jun 2019 Paper Leaseholders Pledge by Builders. Dismissed by NLC
Mar 2019 Paper Leasehold Reform 12th Report
Jan 2019 Video Law Commission Leaseholders
Law Commission Leaseholders and Commonhold reform.
Dec 2018 Video NLC presentation to the Select Committee.
Dec 2018 Video Anthony Essien CEO lease
Oct 2018 Paper Implementing reforms to the leasehold system in England
Dec 2017 Paper Tackling unfair practices – Gov response
Jul 2017 Paper Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market
Feb 2017 Paper Fixing the broken market – Gov Whitepaper
Sept 2018 Select Committee
All Party Parliamentary Groups want change
Thursday 11th July 2019
15:11 Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP (The Cotswolds, Conservative)
Ground rents and service charges on both leasehold and freehold.
15:17 Rosie Cooper MP (West Lancashire, Labour)
Inducements – time for the solicitors regulatory authority to act
15:21 Bob Blackman MP (Harlow East, Conservative)
Legislate developers & right the wrongs
15:28 Sir George Howarth MP (Knowsley, Labour)
Escalating permission and admin charges. About time it was sorted!
15:33 Fiona Bruce MP (Congleton, Conservative)
Trapped by the ground rent £1,837,850 over their lifetime
15:37 Maria Eagle MP (Garston and Halewood
Thought they were buying their own homes. 69% sold as leasehold. Mis-sold, not advised about leasehold. Feudalism of the worst kind.
Ground rent over £250 counts as a short-hold tenancy and easily terminated. 3 months overdue compels courts.
15:42 Dr Mathew Offord MP (Hendon, Conservative)
Morally corrupt requiring action.
15:48 Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge & Hyde Labour (Co-Op))
Legalised extortion, simply no relationship between charges and services supplied. Ground rents capped, simple right to buy formulae.
15:55 Marcus Jones MP (Nuneaton, Conservative)
Commonhold. Link with solicitors to be broken,
16:00 Chi Onwurah MP (Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Labour)
Labour party to end feudal practice. Remove exemption for charities and trusts.
16:04 Jo Platt MP (Leigh, Labour (Co-Op))
Gov made 60 leasehold announcements but real action. Labour will cap existing GR at £140pa and buy at 1% of house cost
16.08 Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Poplar and Limehouse, Labour)
16:09 thanks to NLC. Grenfell highlighted the problems with
Commends Labour policy to end leasehold. Now time to deliver.
16:13 Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Worthing West, Conservative)
Thanks to Lynn & Martin Boyd, Seb O’Kelly LKP. Pay tribute to the NLC Jo, Katie and Cath who made practical progress and media interest.
16:18 Liz McInnes MP (Heywood & Middleton, Labour)
One doubling by 2055 £1650 per annum, £13m by end of lease:- not informed, dev solicitors. Freehold sold to BVI. Mental stress.
Will gov launch enquiry same as Banking PPI
16:24 Justin Madders MP (Ellesmere Port and Neston, Labour)
Special thanks to LKP and NLC. Need a fully independent inquiry. Support from all sides to get resolution on the statute book
16:31 Lyn Brown MP (West Ham, Labour)
The law isn’t there to help. Prisoners in their own home. Doubling ground rents, poultry commitments from this government. Establish commonhold developments.
16:36 Sarah Jones MP (Croyden Central, Labour)
Thanks to Select committee for such a powerful report, respondents and LKP and the National Leasehold Campaign who have done extraordinary work. One in four homes are leasehold 6 million people think they purchased homes that they don’t. Labour to bring leasehold in line with every major economy. Est 100,000 stuck in homes they are unable to sell.
60 announcements since 2010; none have led to any action. They are propping it up with Help to Buy.
16:44 Mrs Heather Wheeler MP (Parliamentary under-secretary Housing, Communities and Local Government) for State. (South Derbyshire, Conservative)
Reforms to remove incentives for builders, require property agents to register, doubling ground rents to be varied. CMA to review unfair contracts. New “How to lease” details the costs, rights and responsibilities. Thanks to APPG, LKP & The Law commission, Reinvigorate commonhold. Gov supports the use of commonhold. Freeholders also able to challenge fees and appoint a new manager.
16:55 Clive Betts MP (Sheffield South East, Labour)
Chairman Parliamentary select committee.
Minister said we would get answers. Commitments made today don’t go far enough. Need to end onerous ground rents, permission fees, new and existing properties. Improvement and tenure for commonhold.