06 April 2017
UK’s leasehold rules ‘a cause for concern’
The UK's leasehold system is creating uncertainty and confusion among home-buyers, a campaign group has warned.
According to the Homeowners Alliance, some properties are becoming unsellable due to their leasehold terms and conditions, while many people trying to navigate the system are facing high fees.
The leasehold system can trace its roots back almost 1,000 years, with the alliance indicating that there are now 1.577 million owner-occupied leasehold properties across England and Wales.
Occupiers of leasehold properties may encounter expensive charges when trying to extend the lease or buy the freehold, the group indicated. And it also noted that it can be tricky to secure a mortgage on a home which only has a short amount of time left on the lease.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of the organisation, has now described the leasehold system as "a slow burn scandal".
She commented: "It is as complex as it is unfair, landing many homeowners with vast and exorbitant fees, punitive restrictions, and depriving them of many of the benefits of home ownership."
Polling conducted by the alliance shows that only 58% of leaseholders are aware of the current length of their lease.