Heather Wheeler to give evidence to HCLGC leasehold inquiry

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will take evidence from Heather Wheeler MP as part of its inquiry into leasehold reform on Monday, 4 February.

The session will investigate the government’s position on a range of issues highlighted over the course of the inquiry. These include concerns around onerous ground rents and service charges, as well as accusations of mis-selling.

It will also look at the potential for reform, including wider adoption of the commonhold model of ownership and improved dispute mechanisms.

Wheeler is minister for housing and homelessness. Monday’s session will be the final one in the committee’s inquiry into the leasehold sector.

In November, the committee heard from representatives of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform and Secretariat, the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, and the National Leasehold Campaign.

In a separate session, the committee took evidence from freeholders and managing agents, as well as developers including Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, and Bellway.

December saw the committee take evidence from social sector landlords, solicitor representatives and the Leasehold Advisory Service.

UK Finance and the Law Commission gave evidence to the committee in January. During the session, UK Finance principal of mortgages Matthew Jupp claimed the leasehold market “as a whole works fairly well” and argued there was no need for a major reform of the system.

However, Jupp could not say how many re-sales of leases with doubling ground rents have been turned down for mortgages, a point heavily criticised by Leasehold Solutions and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.

Meanwhile the National Trading Standards Estate Agency team has released a guide for consumers seeking redress for leasehold matters.

Trading Standards says it’s important prospective buyers are equipped with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision, including where to turn should they need to make a complaint.

The guide contains a list of important definitions which are commonly found when purchasing a leasehold property. It also explains what leasehold is and how it works, as well as giving examples of common issues.

National Trading Standards chair Lord Toby Harris says: “I hope this new guidance provided by NTSEAT will help to clarify the rights and responsibilities around owning a leasehold property.

“Property legislation can be complicated area, and this guide offers some practical steps for individuals to take in the event things go wrong.”



Law Commission proposes commonhold as leasehold alternative

The Law Commission has proposed reforms that it says would help drive the expansion of commonhold as an alternative to leasehold. Commonhold was introduced in 2002 as a new way to own property, but fewer than 20 commonholds have been built since, reports the commission, citing varying reasons why. These include a lack of flexibility […]

Home builders face MPs questions on leasehold

Representatives from the country’s biggest housebuilders have faced a grilling from MPs as part of the inquiry into leasehold reform. The Housing Communities and Local Government Committee took evidence from developers, freeholders and managing agents for more than two hours on Monday evening. Taylor Wimpey group operations director Jennie Daly, Persimmon group managing director David […]

lifetime lease purchase

CA calls for criminal action where leasehold purchasers have been misled

The Conveyancing Association is calling for criminal action to be taken against sales agents who mislead purchasers about a property’s tenure. The proposal is part of the CA’s response to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation on reforms to the leasehold system. The trade body points out that under the Consumer Protection […]


Mortgage market ends 2018 with a “flourish”: MAB

The Mortgage Advice Bureau’s December report describes a positive end to 2018, even finishing with a “flourish” in some regions, with major indicators stable. In the residential purchase market, the average property price was mostly flat, dipping 0.3 per cent to £241,341. On an annual basis this was 2.9 per cent lower than last year’s […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up