Time to sort lease dilemma

Mary Glindon MP for North Tyneside.
Mary Glindon MP for North Tyneside.

The government’s perilous position in this hung parliament is forcing ministers to adopt actions that don’t come naturally.

I am primarily interested in their making decisions that help people.

One example of this is the vexed issue of leasehold versus freehold home ownerships.

Freeholders own the house and property while leaseholders own the house, but rent the ground from others.

The government is now consulting on banning leasehold properties for sale, which was a Labour manifesto commitment and which I have raised with ministers in the past.

I have asked the minister several pertinent questions based on my constituents’ cases.

Many residents in North Tyneside have purchased homes where freeholds have subsequently been sold to a third party that seeks extortionate prices for the purchase of the freehold.

I have asked the minister to take action on these, as well as new contracts.

Leaseholders describe a litany of woes:

The freehold is sold to a third party without telling residents.

Sales reps quote prices for the freehold, but then do not deliver the promise.

They use solicitors linked to property developers, who do not inform residents of the pitfalls, and charges and restrictions are added that go beyond the original agreement.

Freeholds are sold at markedly different prices. There are whopping increases in ground rents, and worries about reselling houses.

It would be a good start if the government stops new buyers being ripped off by unfair agreements and soaring ground rents.