New Carpet ! New Charge !
Southport residents buying newly built properties are being unfairly exposed to a brutal property market as houses are sold leasehold with multiple strings attached.
Some face bills higher than £1500 for making the most basic alteration to their property.
Not only will they have to pay out when adding conservatories or garages, but when changing carpet, flooring, lighting or when having their drive or fence changed. Licences must be obtained and bought for all these changes or the householder can forfeit the property.
Most new houses built in the North West have been sold as leasehold property though not all have such restrictive conditions imposed on them.
According to Cllr. John Pugh, who organised a meeting last week for leaseholders with the independent Leaseholder Advisory Panel, this is an outrageous attempt to exploit first-time buyers desperate to get on to the housing ladder.
“It’s literally money for nothing out of the pockets of hard-pressed new owners. It also forces up the price of the land as developers are able to sell off not only the houses they build, but the leases they create”.
At last week’s packed meeting the Leaseholder Advisory Service advised residents of their rights but pointed out that no firm proposals have yet gone through parliament to change the law.
“There is a clear sense in many quarters that this is all horribly unfair, and many reforms have been suggested but the picture remains of vulnerable new buyers being exploited. Some have even been persuaded by developers to use the same solicitor as the developer as a means of saving on the initial cost; some don’t feel they can afford solicitors. "