Unfair practices in the leasehold market – Capsticks’ response to DCLG consultation
DCLG is currently running a consultation on proposals to stamp out unfair practices in the leasehold market. These focus on ending the practice of selling new houses on a leasehold, rather than freehold basis; eliminating unfair ground rents; and stopping the use of Ground 8 to obtain a possession order if a leaseholder is in ground rent arrears.
Following consultation with a number of social housing providers, Capsticks has submitted a response to DCLG’s consultation paper that reflects all the views of those we canvassed. Our response is broadly supportive of the proposals, but raised the following key points with DCLG:
- Landlords should be able to sell houses as leasehold, rather than freehold, where they are selling a shared ownership lease, or where they don’t own the freehold, and on all retirement/older person schemes.
- Initial ground rents should be restricted to a reasonable amount and limits imposed on the level of any increases – although annual increases would be more expensive to administer and so doubling every 25 years or so should be available as an option for leases of, say, 125 years.
- Ground 8 possession orders for ground rent arrears should still be available for shared ownership leases.
- Leaseholders and freeholders owning flats and houses on estates should have equal rights to challenge service charges levied by the estate owner/manager.
Our response in detail
Want to have your say?
Deadline for submissions to the DCLG is at 11.45pm on 19th September 2017, and you can access the consultation paper here. We would also be very interested to hear your thoughts on the proposals.
Please do get in touch with Susie Rogers, Jonathan Hulley or Jennifer Bennett if you have any comments or questions.