A number of my constituents have written in to me about the issue of unfair leasehold practices and how it is affecting them.
Many who’ve bought houses under leasehold agreements are finding themselves exploited by companies who’ve bought the freeholds in order to squeeze more money out of homeowners through unnecessary maintenance fees and ever rising ground rents. Some homeowners who want to buy their freeholds to avoid these extortionate costs are being refused the right to do so by the companies that own them, leaving them trapped in these exploitative contracts.
I went to Cressington to talk to people in the area affected by the issue. I was shocked to hear that many were describing the same situation. High ground rents and charges and companies refusing to let them purchase the freehold because of the profit these charges bring in. These companies are shamelessly trapping people in these agreements so that they can make a quick buck.
The Government have published a white paper looking into these practices, but there seems to be little support for current owners of leaseholds who may be forced to pay high legal fees in cases where companies refuse to allow them their right to buy their freehold. The Government needs to do more to stop this exploitative practice, and I will continue raising this issue in Parliament until they do.