View more on these topics

Your Views

Facing spiralling costs over leasehold practice

A comment from a regular contributor on the freehold on leasehold new-builds being sold on, which featured in last week’s magazine, sparked debate among readers…

I really hope leasehold becomes a thing of the past.

We bought our first home in September 2016 using Help to Buy. The developer told us it was leasehold after we decided to reserve. There was nothing in the brochure or website about leasehold.

Thinking it was odd that a three-bed house would be leasehold (I had never heard of that before on houses – only flats) we asked why. We were told by the developer that the freehold was not available because the local college next door owned, and didn’t want to sell, the land but had let the developer build there. They said it didn’t matter as the lease is 499 years and therefore would not end in our lifetime.

In January 2017 we found out a housebuilding firm owned the land and had lied to us. Not just us but almost everyone on the site that has already completed. We are totally gutted. We had no idea ground rent would increase. If we knew this we would not have bought the house.

The parent company has gone silent and refuses to respond to questions about why we were lied to. We now have a house we don’t own.

We have spiralling costs and we probably can’t sell. We can’t park outside our home because of unfair terms in the lease (space reserved for visitors, not residents) and we cannot make any changes or improvements to the property. We have less freedom than if we were renting. And we are stuck here.

So disappointed that companies are allowed to deceive buyers and rip them off. Not just once but forever.

Louise O’Riordan

Exploiting loophole in outdated legislation

Developers have been allowed to exploit a loophole in outdated legislation. It’s a disgrace. Thousands caught up in this.

National Leasehold Campaign group is fighting back. Thousands of homes missold to us.

Katie Kendrick

Truth discovered on day contracts exchanged

A very well-written, piece, Harpal.

In my case, I was informed by the solicitor (supposedly independent but paid for by the developer???) on the day that I exchanged contracts.

This was in the same sentence as no satellite dish, no fencing, no pets, ground rent doubles… no further explanation, no warning as to how this would affect the future saleability of my property.

Nothing at all in the brochure or documents from the developer.

I would be interested in comments from solicitors and conveyancers as to whether they feel that this constitutes clear explanation and independent legal advice.

Kath J

Solicitors need to explain risk dangers

I would recommend that conveyance solicitors look at whether it was reasonable for the property to be leasehold (particularly on new-builds) as well as ensuring potential purchasers on the terms of the lease (how often does the ground rent increase and by what amount) and clearly explaining the risks of leases being sold to investment companies.

I was never made aware that this could happen and the cost to buy my freehold has gone from £5-6,000 to over £40,000. This has now hugely impacted the value of my house. Warn your clients!

Jo Darbyshire

Builder shafting buyers with lease clauses

There is no need for a new-build property to be leasehold, especially if the developer owns the land. This has been an extra income for developers.

The reward for somebody buying one of their homes is to get absolutely shafted by the builder when they include clauses in the leases that are extortionate for the purchaser but attractive to investors on the open market.

Stephen McGowan



Landlords fear further blows following Budget

Landlords could be further hit following recent Budget announcements, experts believe, with aspiring first-time buyers facing a possible knock-on effect. Although the Budget is largely seen as being neutral to the mortgage market, some parts of the chancellor’s report gave landlords reason for concern. One area that could hit landlords is that the chancellor will […]


First-time buyer share highest since 2007: BoE

The proportion of first-time buyers getting mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2017 was the highest since records began in 2007, according to figures published today by the Bank of England. The figures show that first-time buyers took 22 per cent of all new residential lending in the period. The Bank says: “This coincides with […]


Market Watch: Good gags but a Budget damp squib

The Budget was never going to be a spectacular show, so the mortgage market must pin its hopes on the Autumn statement Much of the talk and speculation last week centred on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Spring Budget. The truth is, it was never going to be a spectacular show laden with effects, especially as […]

9 October thumbnail

Johnson Fleming set to host webinar on auditing auto-enrolment schemes

With 23 auto-enrolment compliance notices issued by the Pensions Regulator, and an evolving legislative landscape meaning previously compliant schemes may now be in breach of regulation, now is the time to think about auditing your auto-enrolment scheme. Johnson Fleming is hosting a webinar on 9 October at 11:00 on how to audit your scheme to ensure compliance, avoid breaches and fines and overcome data issues.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
  • Post a comment
  • power to the people 16th June 2017 at 4:05 pm

    it all smells a bit sleazy and a bit fishy all this ground rent multiplier business-firstly why haven’t the government made these firms who collect ground rents buy a licence off the government in order to trade and collect monies? and secondly why isn’t there a regulatory body like there is for water bills with ofwat to stop these ground rent collection firms charging what they want?-The present system for setting up ground rent firms and collecting ground rents should be scrapped from today forward and a new system put in place where these firms should have to pay a fee to the government like firms who want to build a mobile phone mast do in order to trade the money the government raise could set up a body like ofwat to regulate these grount rent bills and any money left from the licence collection could be diverted into the nhs-the government would raise billions like they did with the mobile phone firms the nhs would be sorted out and the new regulation body would tear up all existing ground rent terms and bill everyone on inflation or rpi rises only like all your other bills coz ground rent is just a bill like any other bill and at the end of the day people are paying a bill for a bit of soil so all existing ground rent bills should now be declared null and void and redrafted linked to cpi rpi or inflation type terms and the government make all ground rent firms rebid for the right to collect ground rent by issuing them with licences to trsade which the government would then be paid for to help run the country-its fishy to us why this system isn’t already in place is it because the people who run these ground rent firms are all friends family activists or paid up members of the ruling government party and the government don’t want to upset these ground rent firms owners’ by charging them lots and lots for licences and capping their charges-because that’s what it feels like to our family-but these ground rent bills need to be redrafted for everyone where they rise in line with inflation rpi or cpi now and they need to be capped off for everyone and these firms must be made to rebid for the rights to collect ground rent by paying for a licence which could be withdrawn if they start trying to charge homeowners stupid amounts of money for a bit of soil like they are doing now!