West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has called on Government to make good on their 2017 promise to take action on leasehold reform.
During a Parliamentary debate on Leasehold Reform, introduced by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Chair Clive Betts MP to note the Committee’s Twelfth Report, called for the Government to use its power to reform leasehold now.
MP Rosie, who like hundreds of West Lancashire residents is caught in the leasehold trap, outlined examples in West Lancashire of residents being ripped-off, by developers, by leasehold companies, by solicitors, charging extortionate amounts for everything from ground rent to email exchanges, for permission to carry out work on your own home to the cost of purchasing the freehold itself.
Over 20% of homes in West Lancashire were sold as leasehold in 201617 and still over 15% last year, with many approaching MP Rosie for support when dealing with their leasehold issues.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, who is also a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold since its inception in 2016, said in the debate:
“It appears that we have 18th-century practices operating at 21st-century prices and, more fundamentally, that a person’s home is not really their own, with the freedom to do within it as they please. The issue seems to be that leasehold has strayed into being an extortionate money-making racket at the expense of house owners.
“Owners are forced to pay extortionate ground rents and locked into rip-off service charges, with nearly 60% of them lacking an understanding of their contractual obligations.
“Perhaps leasehold would not be talked about so negatively if leaseholders did not find themselves obliged to Dick Turpin-like companies that require them to stand and deliver—in this case, it is “your money and your home” that they are after.
“We need leasehold reform now. It is in the Government’s power to do it now, and households right across the country demand that they do it now.”
Speaking after the debate, MP Rosie further commented:
“Leasehold reform is becoming a growing issue for residents living in estates and apartment blocks developed over the last ten years and for new developments both in West Lancashire and across the county.
“The government need to take serious action on leasehold to ensure buyers are fully aware of the circumstances in which they are buying their home, and also to regulate the leasehold industry and tackle exploitation.
“The Government has repeatedly promised action on Leasehold reform and I believe their sentiment, but we need action – that is why I have called on the Secretary of State to give a clear timeline for action in bringing forward amendments or new legislation to bring about the necessary changes as soon as possible.”
Full transcript: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2019-07-11a.522.1&p=11667#g527.0