Specialist Lancashire law firm Adkirk Law – whose experts have represented clients at national and international level – is supporting the campaign to help those families who cannot sell their homes because they previously bought them under leasehold.
The government has said that it wants to abolish leasehold when parliamentary time allows and make sales of all new-build houses freehold in the future, although the ban would not be applied retrospectively which means only future homeowners would benefit. It also wants to reduce ground rent to zero.
Linda Kirk, director of residential conveyancing at Adkirk Law, based in Preston, said: “Some people find themselves caught in a trap through no fault of their own where they can’t sell their home because the leasehold terms are unfavourable and it is too expensive to buy the freehold from landlords or developers. This does not apply to every leasehold property and there are many leasehold properties with nominal ground rents that are fine and saleable. Leasehold property has been around for many years and the issue has arisen due to doubling of ground rents.
“We want the Government to make these changes as soon as possible to resolve the issues being faced by those people who are caught by this and unable to sell their properties. The real solution would be for them to abolish increasing ground rents and capping these at a fixed nominal amount or zero. Legislation should prevent landlords from exploiting leaseholders with admin charges for providing information when selling and various other admin charges which should be capped at a reasonable fee with some mechanism to enforce any breach.
“Some of these cases can be complex, and our team in this field offers advice and direction in these instances to ensure we find the most relevant solution case by case.”
The National Leasehold Campaign (NLC) is a not for profit organisation that is campaigning to abolish outdated leasehold laws which affect an estimated 6.6 million people in England and Wales and also campaigns to make commonhold mandatory for flats where indefinite freehold can be applied to multi-occupancy of a building.
Adkirk Law is a member of the Conveyancing Association and holds the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation ensuring compliance with all Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS). The company provides conveyancing services at all levels and can advise on complex cases such as leasehold, new build, shared ownership, help to buy and lease extensions in addition to sales, purchases and remortgages.