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Government to crack down on toxic leasehold deals

Government has announcement that it will crack down on toxic leasehold deals and produce a new statutory code of practice for retirement leasehold properties. In response, Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, said: “(This) news is a victory for those stuck in leases with onerous ground rent payments, charges for making alterations to their properties, and ultimately, unable to sell their homes.

“Our Leasehold: A Life Sentence? report, found that 45% of those who bought a leasehold house in the last ten years, didn’t realise they were only buying the lease until it was too late. As a result, 62% feel like they were mis-sold and the vast majority (93%) say they definitely wouldn’t buy another leasehold property.

“Buying a property is a huge undertaking and it should be an exciting time, but for thousands of homeowners, it’s led to financial difficulty as they’ve become trapped in confusing contracts with freeholders. The Government promised to ban the sale of new leasehold houses in 2017, but this pledge, backed by developers, is a triumph for those already tied into leases.

“It’s also positive that the retirement sector has been included in the Government’s pledge. With event fees being reformed, older homeowners who have historically been stung with unfair charges, when they become ill or die, will be treated fairly when they are at their most vulnerable. These measures are a huge step in the right direction towards fixing Britain’s broken housing market.”

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