Thousands could be caught up in a leasehold 'property trap'

Thousands of families across the North West are discovering rising costs on the new-build houses they bought on a leasehold basis.

Katie Kendrick from Ellesmere Port Cheshire wants a change in housing law after seeing the price of the freehold on her home rocket.

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston has described this as the "PPI scandal of the housing market' and in a parliamentary debate said home owners are being 'exploited'.

MPs are calling for buyers to be compensated after being caught up in the leasehold 'property trap'

For four years Taylor Wimpey sold leasehold properties with a double ground rent clause every 10 years. They have now stopped that practice.

In a statement they said:

"We understand our customers’ concerns and are actively reviewing these leases, which we stopped using on sites commenced after 2011 as a result of changing economic conditions and outlook.

Our priority is to ensure that we do a full and thorough review for our customers and we are seeking to understand how we may be able to help them.

We have committed to coming back to customers who have this type of lease and who are part of our review by the end of April.”

The National Leasehold Campaign is planning to protest outside a new Redrow housing development in Ellesmere Port where two thousand homes are being built.

Campaigners say they want to warn potential buyers are the 'rising costs' of leasehold properties.

Matt Grayson, spokesperson for Redrow, said:

“Everyone in the leasehold debate has a right to express their opinions. Along with the rest of the house building industry, we’re currently engaging with Government on leasehold and new build houses, as part of its Housing White Paper, which was issued in early February 2017. That consultation is ongoing and we’re playing an active role in the discussions.

“We sell new houses on a leasehold basis in pockets of the country where it is common-place and not unusual for land to be acquired on leasehold in the first place. The process is talked through with purchasers and customers have access to independently-regulated financial and legal advisers acting in their interests.

“In our leases, any third-party acquirers of freeholds are bound by standard ground rent review clauses, which generally allow a review every ten years and only in-accordance with RPI.”