Reform of unfair leasehold practices will continue to be a major constituency priority for me in this Parliament. Yesterday I met the Housing Minster, Esther McVey MP, to ask what action we might see from the Government. The MPs for Knowsley, Ellesmere Port and Weaver Vale were also present, reinforcing this is very much a North West issue
There are three things I think we need:
- An outright ban on the sale of new leaseholds. There now seems to be wide agreement on this and acceptance from the industry.
- A straightforward formula giving everyone with an existing leasehold a transparent price to buy it, and the legal right to do so
- For people in flats with communal leaseholds, clear transparency and benchmarks as to what can be charged for the delivery of goods and services by the managing agent.
The Minister said she accepted all of these and the Government will legislate to do so. This is excellent news.
She could not give a timescale at this stage however and said not all these steps would be done at the same time. The ban on new leaseholds is straightforward to do, whilst the right to buy formula clearly needs time to get right. This references the work done by the Law Commission: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/leasehold-enfranchisement/
Since I began raising these issues, I’ve been helped a lot by constituents sending in their case studies and examples which I then raise in Parliament. A huge thank you for this. We’ve won the argument but we need to keep up the pressure to ensure the law is changed. If you’re also affected do let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are getting there!