Nigel Evans Welcomes New Leasehold Proposals

Nigel Evans Welcomes New Leasehold Proposals Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has welcomed the Government’s new proposals to bring an end to leaseholds on new-build homes. On Tuesday Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, unveiled the plans, which include measures to close legal loopholes to protect leaseholders who could potentially face possession orders, as well as altering rules on Help to Buy equity loans which would mean they could only be used for "new built houses on acceptable terms". The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership – a group that is tackling the issue head on - has previously stated that leasehold new-builds are most common in the North West, this includes several development sites in the Ribble Valley. The leasehold scam, which has been dubbed the “PPI of house-building”, means that owners of new-builds are subject to a yearly charge which doubles every ten years until the 50th anniversary of the lease – effectively making homeowners pay £10,000 per year for a property they legally own, rendering their home unsaleable. Developers will sell the lease to a third party, who will often enforce punitive measures on property owners, in many cases charging homeowners to make minor adjustments to their properties. Leasehold agreements have traditionally applied to flats and apartments, where owners do not own the land on which their home is built, now, over one million Brits own houses on a leasehold basis which is being used as an additional income stream for developers. Sajid Javid said of the leasehold scam: “"It's clear that far too many new houses are being built and sold as leaseholds, exploiting home buyers with unfair agreements and spiralling ground rents. Enough is enough. These practices are unjust, unnecessary and need to stop.” The welcome announcement came after Nigel Evans raised the important issue during last Thursday’s general debate, speaking from the main chamber, Mr Evans said: “People are being recommended solicitors by these builders who then, funnily enough, do not point out, or indeed emphasise, the fact that groundrents double every ten years for the next 50 years. It is an absolute scandal.” Mr Evans, who has been involved in combating the scandal since he was first contacted before the new year continued: “This is blighting the properties that people are now trying to sell…some building societies will not touch them or lend anybody money to buy them. Even worse, when people are about to buy a property, they are told they can buy the freehold later on, and when they get to this point, they are expecting to pay £4,500. They were told that the leases had been sold on to another company.”