February 12, 2016

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If you want to reform leasehold, this is how you could do it

The paper below by Philip Rainey QC was presented to the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership’s all-party round-table meeting at Westminster on January 29 2015. It is a superb analysis of the defects of leasehold law, along with suggestions to reform them. Mr Rainey makes clear that these views are not necessarily wholly, or even in part, […]

No thanks! We don’t want to inherit Brook Court flat with all its service charges

A family does not want to inherit a retirement flat because it is now worthless and would come with service charge liabilities. The flat at Brook Court in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is advertised for sale at £97,500 here The flat is owned by an elderly woman, who has dementia and has been in care for more […]

LEASE: We need to make a million quid a year by 2020

The Leasehold Advisory Service conference 2016 The annual conference of the Leasehold Advisory Service saved until the last moment its most dramatic bombshell: by the year 2020 LEASE needs to be self-financing. The Department of Communities and Local Government, on which LEASE is dependent, is facing 30 per cent cuts in budget. This inevitably means […]

AgeUK: sort yourselves out!

It is very sad to see it reported today that AgeUK has been pushing expensive energy tariffs to the elderly in exchange for £6 million a year from energy giant E.ON. The Sun reported this in an investigation this morning Age UK recommended a special rate from E.ON which saw pensioners typically pay £1,049 for […]

80% of Londoners like living in a flat, even ones run by FirstPort

FirstPort / Peverel, the country’s largest and most controversial apartment manager, has interviewed 738 Londoners and found that they quite like living in a flat. As they bought a flat or chose to rent in the first place, this is encouraging news and they don’t feel that they have made a mistake. It did not […]

Why are retirement ground rents so high?

… because it is what retirement housebuilders can get away with, along with 125 year leases, high estate agency fees, try-on documentation fees on sale, exit fees, transfer fees, sublet fees, contingency fund fees … AND plummeting capital values Thank you Sebastian, We are stuck with it. I have a nephew living in Buckinghamshire who has […]

Another day, another set of fees in a retirement flat sale …

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to make you aware of the exorbitant transfer fees, contingency fee & charges for information packs that we were charged by E&M Estates Management Ltd when I sold my parents flat last week. The flat in question was built by Mcarthy & Stone in Deal, Kent, managed by Peverel & […]

LEASE: Don’t be panicked over Triplerose multi-block RTM ruling

(… which is what we have been saying all along) Ten months after the Triplerose decision in the Court of Appeal on multi-block RTMs, the Leasehold Advisory Service has issued its advice: don’t do anything. “The advice to the customers for now can only be to do nothing, unless the landlord starts any action of […]

Daily Mail reports retirement flat rip-offs, with the Law Commission stepping in to stop them

The Daily Mail has reported on the Law Commission report into event fees with a robust article. The author can expect a deluge of housebuilder requests to have lunch, at very expensive London restaurants, in order to “talk the issue through”. The Daily Mail found the Law Commission report rather more robust than Carlex did. […]

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Telegraph reports surge in leasehold newbuilds

A good article in the Telegraph about leasehold newbuild flats being on the rise. They make up 43pc of all newbuild registrations with the Land Registry, compared with 22pc in 1996. While leasehold newbuild flats were up by roughly 10,000, leasehold houses also sharply increased: registrations of newbuild detached leasehold houses more than doubled in […]

Law Commission outlines ‘event’ fee report, but still wants to hear from leaseholders

About 100 of those who have contributed to the Law Commission report into retirement housing “event” fees were invited to an evening get-together at Westminster last Thursday. There was wine and canapés and gossip, after attendees had digested the evening’s theme “Building Fairness: Growing a housing market older people can trust”. Esther Rantzen was the […]

LEASE uses debt-collecting Brady Solicitors for leaseholder survey

The Leasehold Advisory Service has dismayed key leasehold groups by handing over an important survey of leaseholders to Brady Solicitors, in Nottingham. The survey aims to gauge leaseholder satisfaction, with a particular emphasis at blocks of flats run by resident management companies and RTMs. In other words, data concerning the most empowered leaseholder-controlled sites in […]

Realities of leasehold spelled out during the Housing Bill

– Commons urged to back amendment to abolish leasehold by 2020 in favour of commonhold – Tchenguiz, Peverel and Cirrus get another Commons naming – McCarthy and Stone told to explain collapsed second-hand values of retirement flats – Leasehold Knowledge Partnership praised, and thanked for reasonably accurate figures for leasehold sector Labour MP and LKP […]

Fairwater Gardens freehold for sale ‘offshore’

Another day, another example of all that’s wrong in retirement housing in this country … The freehold of Fairwater Gardens in Evesham is up for sale and the residents – there are 22 flats – passed by the opportunity to buy it. Now it is supposedly for sale offshore. Meanwhile, the management contract is up […]

Rats and rain beset residents of St Mauritius House

UPDATE: Hyde responds to YouTube and Carlex shaming (Monday pm January 11) Dead rats, a kitchen carpeted in mouse faeces, water pouring through bedroom ceilings … these are the conditions filmed at the Hyde Housing’s St Mauritius House, in Lewisham, south east London. A video of conditions at the site of 36 flats has been […]

Don’t be tempted by informal lease extension deals

Carlex urges retirement leaseholders to extend their leases and NEVER let them fall below 82 years, otherwise they are in danger of losing all value. But negotiating with freeholders to get an informal lease extension deal is too dangerous for most leaseholders. You can trash the value of your flat with a bargain offer that seems […]

Boughton Hall’s £950,000 freehold for sale and it pays out 22% a year …

(… unless Law Commission’s exit fee report ends this income stream) It is not often that you are made an offer that it would be simply madness to refuse, and it is a great shame for the elderly at Boughton Hall in Chester that it has come so late in their lives. The 80 residents […]

Lansdowne Court wonders whether a News on the Block Award for FirstPort is (strictly speaking) deserved

This letter of late November arrived from the mobilising residents of Lansdowne Court in Hove. It should have been shared earlier (and did FirstPort win anything?): 17 November 2015 Dear Ms Crabtree PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2015-16 – FIRSTPORT In confirmation of our telephone conversation earlier today, I and other flat owners at Lansdowne Court in […]

Family hit with £9,341 contingency fee charge on Anchor’s Cherry Trees flat …

… that’s on top of a £26,950 fall in value after 11 years of ownership A family whose parents owned a one bedroom flat at Anchor’s 59-unit Cherry Trees site in Redcar, Cleveland, have been hit with a double whammy common in retirement leasehold. First, the flat for over-55s was bought for £79,950 in 2004 […]

Law Commission: Don’t ignore £318 ‘information packs’ that leaseholders have to pay

As well as exit fees, monopolising estate agency with exorbitant charges, sellers of retirement property also have to pay for ‘information packs’ to the property manager and the freeholder. Here, Alan Eadie, a long-standing supporter of Carlex who is a leaseholder at Homepine House in Folkestone, tells the Law Commission to include these information packs […]

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