Leaseholders should not be paying so much to landlords, says Battersea MP

By Alex Waite

An MP has supported plans to help local residents with leasehold and property fees.

Marsha de Cordova, Member of Parliament for Battersea, backed Labour proposals to ban any sales involving new leasehold houses and flats. Leaseholders could own the freehold to their houses for one per cent of the property value under the party’s plans.

The plans put forward would also cap ground rents in current leaseholds at 0.1% of the overall value of the property up to £250 a year.

Further proposals have been put forward by Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP and Shadow Housing Minister, Sarah Jones MP, following a consultation in the summer. They have also suggested challenging unfair fees, allowing leaseholders to choose their managing agents, and to introduce commonhold arrangements in place of freehold.

This follows issues residents have faced regarding purchasing a long-term lease rather than outright property as well as ground rents and service charges as 81% of homes were sold as leasehold last year.

Cordova said: “Leaseholders are being ripped off and the Tories are failing to act. The next Labour government will end this exploitation and deliver justice for Battersea leaseholders.”

Jones said: “Leaseholders have everything stacked against them. Too often they suffer extortionate fees, appalling service and restrictive contract terms, and no way to easily challenge them.”

The report has also proposed a full public inquiry to investigate any previous mis-selling based on leasehold ownership in order to stop any additional fees for leaseholders such as ground rents.

Conservative plans to reform the leasehold system, promised in their manifesto two years ago, have not been implemented.

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